Beyond Rheum: Chasing impact in Rheumatology through open innovation

If you are developing an innovative solution to improve the monitoring and tracking of patients with chronic diseases, this could be your opportunity.

Beyond Rheum is an open innovation programme that seeks viable solutions to the needs of patients with axial spondyloarthritis (axSpA) – a chronic inflammatory disease that affects the spine and has a major impact on the patient’s quality of life.

In the programme, you’ll develop your solution with support from experts in business, technology, implementation, user/patient experience, and leaders from the public health system and Novartis. If selected, you could pilot your solution in a European public health system.

Programme applications are currently closed.

What you get

The challenge

How could we improve the monitoring of patients with axSpA by implementing solutions that involve healthcare professionals and patients to ensure an adequate control and management?

Axial spondyloarthritis (axSpA) has a strong impact on the patient’s quality of life, both physically and psychologically. Hence the importance of constant monitoring and follow up of the patient’s evolution supported by evidence-based questionnaires. The ideal solution to this challenge should be addressed to patients and/or doctors.

On one hand, patients need a tool that allows them to take control over the evolution of their disease through a monitoring system that integrates notifications, as well as a platform that encourages them to adopt healthy habits. Exercising, controlling sleep, maintaining a healthy diet, and giving up habits such as smoking, can significantly improve the patient’s perception of the disease.

From a medical perspective, the solution should function as a tracking tool that integrates notifications that potentially collects patient information, integrates it into the medical record and enables bidirectional communication between the patient and the healthcare professional.

How it works


1 of 4

Submit an application by 28 November with your company, team and product/service information.

Get selected

2 of 4

Our expert panel will review applications and choose four-to-eight of the best solutions the challenge.

Expert assessment

3 of 4

We assemble a group of business, market, regulatory and domain experts to assess your company’s status, identify any important gaps, and set business priorities.


4 of 4

Up to four solutions will perform pilots in collaboration with leading European healthcare providers.

Who should apply?

Beyond Rheum welcomes applications from suitable start-ups or projects that:

  • Have a proof of concept, market validation and prototype that matches the challenge (TRL 5-9)
  • Have a solution with the potential to address axSpA unmet medical needs, backed by strong science and technology
  • Are active in the field of medtech or digital health
  • Own and/or are entitled to use the intellectual property (if applicable) that is the basis for the project or product
  • Be legally incorporated and established in one of the Horizon Europe countries
  • Are not in a situation of concurrent submission or implementation of another project targeting the same objectives

Ready to apply?

Applications to Beyond Rheum are currently closed. Please take a look to our other EIT Health programmes that may be a good fit for your start-up


Meet the team

Powered by

This programme is supported by Novartis, through Novartis BIOME, a global network that facilitates interactions between the company and the digital health ecosystem, enabling them to provide innovative and high-impact solutions to patients, healthcare professionals and the national healthcare system.