4th May 2022
A record number of 20 early-stage innovations have been chosen to receive support through the EIT Health RIS Innovation Call 2022, a unique programme to assist proof-of-concept projects. The selected promising innovations include six projects from Portugal, more than from any other country in the programme, two projects from Slovenia, bringing the total up to 11, making the country the most successful in Central & Eastern Europe in the history of the programme since 2019. This year four projects were selected from Croatia, three from Greece, two from Lithuania and one from the Czech Republic, Estonia, and Latvia.
Now in its fourth year, the latest round of the EIT Health RIS Innovation Call drew more than 80 proposals. The initiative, put out by the EIT Health Regional Innovation Scheme (RIS), supports the development of healthcare innovation in Central, Eastern and Southern European countries that are rated as progressing by the European Innovation Scoreboard.
The high quality of the submissions is reflected by the fact that twice as many projects were selected than last year. The consortia behind the chosen innovations will be granted funding of up to €75 000 for further development of their breakthrough product or solution, mentoring, a place at a bootcamp, and access to potential investors and partners through EIT Health, a network of best-in-class health innovators with approximately 150 member organisations.
In 2022, Portugal had the highest number of successful proposals with six, followed by Croatia with four and Greece with three. During the four years of the programme, Portugal is tied with Slovenia with the highest number of selected projects. Nearly 50% of the chosen consortiums this year focus on solutions that bring healthcare to patients’ homes, which are innovative solutions that support healthcare delivery in the home and away from the hospital, improving health outcomes.
“The record number of consortia submitting successful proposals to this year’s RIS Innovation Call indicates that Central, Eastern and Southern Europe is full of talented innovators with bright ideas to usher in a new era of healthcare solutions. Our aim is to find the best ideas and early-stage innovations in the region and encourage players from business and academia to build consortia and turn their concepts into realities. We are proud that the RIS Innovation Call has already supported several success stories over the past three years, for example STEMI, an innovation to save critical time diagnosing cardiovascular diseases. The Slovak project supported in 2019 won the 2021 EIT Health Bridgehead Global. It also reached the top at the House of Med Tech Luxembourg Call as well as at the Central European Initiative (CEI) “Early response COVID 19” category. Other example is EmPlastrum that developed psoriasis patches of various sizes with integrated UVB LEDs, a solution, that enables patients to be treated at home. The solution won several start-up competitions and attracted €100 000 EU Structural Fund”, said Mónika Tóth, EIT Health InnoStars RIS Director.
The projects will be developed in collaboration with the EIT Health Hubs, local organisations that support regional ecosystem development: University of Porto in Portugal, Ljubljana University Incubator in Slovenia, University of Zagreb in Croatia, DEX Innovation Centre in Czech Republic, Riga Stradins University in Latvia, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences in Lithuania, Kaunas University of Technology in Lithuania, National Documentation Centre EKT in Greece and Tartu Biotechnology Park in Estonia.
The chosen projects
The 20 early-stage projects that will be supported by EIT Health RIS Innovation Call 2022 are:
- MEGI (Croatia) aims to develop an AI-enabled virtual cardiovascular health assistant that uses personalized protocols to remind patients to take medication and measure their blood pressure at home.
- PsyFlux (Croatia) The consortium is developing a telemetric intracranial pressure monitoring device that can be used outside the hospital without infection risks, allowing the patient to partake in everyday activities.
- StressLyft (Croatia) is an educational course about workplace stress and stress relief skills, based on interactive video content, that companies provide for their employees to prevent work-related stress.
- Gesture-based human machine interface for guided orthopaedic surgery (Croatia) The team aims to develop novel medical devices that help surgeons to make millimetre-precision measurements during hip replacement surgery (and possibly other types of operations).
- 3DIAMOND (Czechia) The team is developing a hospital data life-cycle management system that will allow the creation of accurate 3D printed models to be used by doctors for preoperative planning.
- ApniWave (Greece) is a smart screening device combining a sensor, an on-board computer and an AI-enabled software suite to detect Obstructive sleep apnea hypopnea syndrome (OSAHS) at home.
- Frequency coded reflectometry for the measurement of Macular pigment density in AMD patients (Greece) The team is developing a novel, small form factor and cost-efficient optical instrument to calculate the value of macular pigment optical density in the eyes with minimum patient interaction.
- Autonomous robotic vehicle for disinfecting workplaces (Greece) The proposed solution proposes an autonomous vehicle for performing sanitization protocols in workplaces while minimizing the consumption of sanitizing liquid.
- PIOAS (Lithuania) The consortium is developing a fast, non-invasive, portable, 7/24 or periodic monitoring device for lungs condition to observe patients’ health without the necessity to stay in a hospital.
- AI. (Lithuania) is a system collecting real-time biometric data of the elderly (e. g. body temperature, rate, blood pressure, daily activity, sleep quality etc.) and notifies caretakers of any abnormalities detected.
- Accelerated wound healing in rat model via fast point-of-care autologous skin cell isolation and reapplication (Latvia) The team is developing an iPad-sized surgical kit for quick extraction and reapplication of patient’s own skin cells right in the operating theatre for faster and better skin renewal.
- CoNurse (Estonia) is a mobile app providing a personalized treatment plan with step-by-step video and audio guidelines for rehabilitation procedures at home.
- Graphresp (Portugal). The consortium develops a portable electronic rapid diagnostic test for the non-invasive diagnosis of respiratory infections in both home environments and healthcare facilities.
- Ai (Portugal) is a smart wound dressing that combines a skin-friendly adhesive patch with a biosensors that send data to a digital tracking software and health practitioners to ensure an optimal healing process.
- Motiphy+ (Portugal). The team’s proof-of-concept uses a 3D imaging sensor for body tracking and gamified virtual environment to make physiotherapy an enjoyable and motivating treatment.
- TindSkin (Portugal) is a mobile application for accurate early-stage skin screening that uses a consensus by a group of dermatologists to provide the best results in a convenient and affordable way.
- CardioWheel (Portugal) is a steering wheel with invisible conductive leather that monitors the ECG signal of the driver of a vehicle, capitalizing of the emerging automotive trend of driver vital sign monitoring.
- HF@Edge (Portugal) is a home-based monitoring system that uses Edge-computing to record, store, transmit and analyse key vital signs and IoT sensor data (from smartwatches and other devices) to detect heart failure.
- Miniaturised sensor for monitoring and prevention of airborne inflicted diseases (Slovenia) The consortium aims to develop a novel nanoparticle detector for aerosols such as viruses and air pollutants.
- SafeStep (Slovenia) aims to combine a wearable hardware device with an algorithm-based software for elderly patients, that is capable of predicting and detecting falls and other dangerous situations.