Eleven winning healthcare consortia announced at the EIT Health RIS Innovation Call 2021

It is time to celebrate, since EIT Health does not only have eleven promising shortlisted ideas that aim to target some of the healthcare challenges, but this unique programme has also reached important milestones by its third edition.

A solution for patients with obstructive sleep apnoea, a phone extension that helps patients who stutter, and a digital therapeutics social platform to create healthier workplaces – these are some of the products and services that have been shortlisted at the 2021 EIT Health RIS Innovation Call, which is a unique support programme for proof-of-concept projects in the emerging European regions.

This edition proved to be particularly exciting as there were more than 100 submitted ideas. Not only the quantity – there was 29% growth in the number of eligible projects compared to 2020 – was laudable but the quality of the proposals was also higher than the previous years, which is proof of hard work and continuous development in the EIT Health RIS regions. The shortlisted health innovation solutions originate from Slovenia, which has been the most successful country with three winning solutions, Portugal, Latvia, which presented two solutions each, Croatia, Slovakia, Italy, and Greece.

“It is great to see that the quality of proposals we receive is higher each year. This is a sign of a clear development in the EIT Health RIS regions. Every year, we see interesting patterns regarding what the most pressing healthcare challenges might be from the perspective of researchers: in this edition of the programme 46% focus on bringing care home solutions, 36% on fostering healthier lives and 18% on health in the workplace.” – said Mónika Tóth, EIT Health InnoStars RIS Programme Manager.

The granted projects focus on:

  • assistive technology solution that helps people who stutter make phone calls and is based on fluency-inducing conditions (Croatia);
  • an all-in-one solution for home physiotherapy exercise programmes combined with innovative technologies and expert design (Slovenia);
  • telemonitoring solution for patients with hypertension, dyslipidaemia, obesity, high cardiovascular risk, and SARS-CoV-2 positive in connection with polymorbidity. The solution ensures the reduction of interventions, fewer GP calls or visits to the doctor (Slovakia);
  • an add-on module for CPAP devices that helps patients with obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) by controlling the oxygen concentration, enabling oxygen supplies to be adjusted and monitoring the patient (Latvia);
  • a thermometer that is a non-invasive medical device which evaluates the colour of the inner ear and eardrum, using an RGB sensor for early-stage ear infection assessment (Portugal);
  • a multiple-layer hybrid coating for medical implants with the ability of drug delivery (Latvia);
  • an online diagnostic platform for testing sexually transmitted infections – tests can be ordered and performed from home (Slovenia);
  • an ergonomic system of individual protection that lowers the probability of exposure to contaminated droplets (Italy);
  • a wearable device for continuous “at home” monitoring for acute and chronic cardiorespiratory diseases patients (Greece);
  • a digital therapeutics social platform to create healthier workplaces, using personalized electronic cognitive behavioural therapy (Portugal);
  • a unique tool that enables quick, more efficient, and safe transfer of frozen cryovials (Slovenia).

The eleven shortlisted consortia will be granted funding of up to €75 000 for further development of the breakthrough product or solution, mentoring, place at a bootcamp as well as access to the biggest network of top tier healthcare players in Europe where they might find investors and professional partners. The projects that took part in the previous editions already know how valuable these experiences are.

“People from EIT Health look at your project as a whole: how comprehensive it is, how well it is designed from a scientific perspective, as well as how it will be disseminated. I have learned how we need to change our concept. We would all like to help patients; that’s not the question. The question is how to make it realistic, and how to make it successful. This is what we have learnt from EIT Health” – said Eduard Maron, CEO of DocuMental, a unique decision support system, which improves diagnostic and treatment reliability in mental health. Their solution received a grant in the 2019 EIT Health RIS Innovation Call.

EIT Health RIS Innovation Call Impact

Throughout these three years, several projects benefitted from the funding and experience that they gained at the EIT Health RIS Innovation Call, and there have been quite a few success stories. One of them is related to STEMI, a Slovakian project, which took part in the programme in 2019. STEMI aims to save critical time diagnosing cardiovascular diseases – that cause 1.8 million deaths in the EU each year – in the pre-hospital phase by virtually connecting the paramedic-doctor-dispatch operator using a software solution. After the EIT Health RIS Innovation Call STEMI won the 2021 EIT 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. It was also nominated for the GLOBAL Unicorn Cup in 2020 and ranked fifth in the global finals.

Discover EIT Health RIS Innovation Call Playbook here.

More about EIT Health RIS Innovation Call