25th September 2023
EIT Health has invested €1.5 million to fund heart health innovation projects between 2016 and 2022, with the aim of bringing innovation solutions to unmet heart health needs to market faster. Ahead of World Heart Day, on Friday, 29 September 2023, we are celebrating how this investment has helped drive advances in cardiovascular disease (CVD) care.
The World Heart Federation’s ‘Use Heart, Know Heart’ theme of World Heart Day 2023 reiterates the importance of owning our heart health. EIT Health is committed to facilitating the uptake of digital medical devices across Europe which help patients and citizens do just that. inEurHeart and SAVE-COR are two examples of EIT Health innovation projects developing pioneering digital medical devices which empower doctors and patients to own and improve their heart health.
In a time when an estimated 17.9 million lives are lost annually due to cardiovascular diseases, according to the World Health Organisation , the inEurHeart project offers a much-needed breakthrough. This EIT Health innovation project transforms the conventional approach to treating ventricular tachycardia through catheter ablation.
Traditional catheter ablation procedures can be lengthy and expensive. To solve this challenge, with support from project partners, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Bordeaux University Hospital, the start-up inHeart, Bordeaux Unversity, and Inria, inEurHeart’s solution creates a digital twin of the heart using artificial intelligence.
The project team’s pioneering technology helps doctors target the area of the heart that needs treatment during the ablation procedure which becomes faster, improving hospital and healthcare resource efficiency. In doing so, it can enable the treatment of more patients. As inEurHeart makes ablation more affordable for healthcare payers, more patients can get access to a procedure that reduces life threatening arrhythmias and improves their quality of life and participation in society.
SAVE-COR is another EIT Health innovation project working to transform cardiovascular care. Led by Corify Care and supported by project partners Universitat Politècnica de València, Heidelberg University, Agency for Health Quality and Assessment of Catalonia, University of Lisbon, Region Skåne, GENESIS Biomed, and Hospital Clínic de Barcelona, the SAVE-COR team is also working to increase the efficacy of heart arrythmia treatment.
SAVE-COR is developing a monitoring platform that non-invasively maps intricate cardiac activity to pinpoint the root of arrhythmias to ensure doctors can detect the root cause of an arrythmia faster. In this way, the project team aims to transform the care pathway for patients.
The team’s product, ACORYS®, is a cutting-edge medical device that employs 3D imaging and a set of 128 high-density electrodes. This offers clinicians a non-invasive method for generating real-time maps of cardiac activity, allowing for accurate diagnosis and personalised treatment plans for arrhythmias. SAVE-COR’s innovation is expected to significantly improve patient outcomes, reduce the financial burden on healthcare systems, and empower patients—goals directly aligned with EIT Health’s organisational objectives.
As well as funding healthcare innovation projects shaping the future of cardiovascular care, EIT Health supports the growth of promising heart health start-ups like Acorai, so that they can bring their life-changing innovations to market faster.
Acorai is developing a non-invasive and scalable intracardiac pressure monitoring tool. Their journey to market access is being accelerated through mentorship, resources and skills gained through EIT Health programmes. Through the Catapult programme, they are receiving training in business planning, pitch preparation, and will gain visibility among international investors.
Previously they have been supported through Gold Track to fine-tune their financial strategies and their participation in the Swedish French Accelerator, provided them with key insights into French market access, helping to forge valuable healthcare partnerships.
With our help, Acorai has been able to pivot their business model to better navigate Europe’s complex regulatory landscape, bringing them closer to their goal of enabling equitable patient access to their DMD (digital medical device) across Europe and beyond.
Acorai continues to grow and is now competing on a global stage. Recently the FDA designated Acorai’s innovative solution as a Breakthrough Device and The Galien Foundation shortlisted them as “Best Start-up” for this year’s Prix Galien USA award, which honours excellence in scientific innovation.
As World Heart Day approaches, we want to publicly celebrate the work our heart-health innovation projects and supported start-ups are doing to advance cardiovascular care, promoting better health of citizens throughout Europe and beyond.
World Health Organisation (no date). Cardiovascular diseases. Available at: https://www.who.int/health-topics/cardiovascular-diseases#tab=tab_1 (Accessed: 22 September 2023).