Trinity launches new European digital health incubator programme
Posted on: 19 June 2018
Digital health start-ups from across Ireland and Europe will this week embark on a brand new European incubator programme at Trinity College Dublin which aims to identify new technologies that promote healthy living, support active ageing and improve health care systems.
The EIT Health Validator is hosted by the Innovation & Entrepreneurship Hub at Trinity in collaboration with the EIT Health (European Institute for Innovation and Technology). The first of its kind in Ireland the incubator is open to health tech start-ups founded by professionals and researchers working in the medical and technology sector across Europe. The incubator will enable early stage digital health start-ups to validate their business ideas and identify suitable markets for their products.
From this week, the 10 start-ups from Ireland, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, Finland and Poland & Latvia will participate in six weeks of intensive validation and mentoring activities at Trinity before embarking on a two-week tour of four health tech hubs across Europe — TU Delft, Netherlands; Grenoble EM, France; Imperial College London and Newcastle University. This tour is designed for rapid multi-market validation.
The 2018 teams are made up of health and science researchers, medical professionals, software engineers, digital innovators, pharma specialists, medical device experts and business developers. To gain entry to the programme all ten teams had to prove that their venture had a defensible technology with a measurable health benefit to society that can be delivered within a realistic time frame.
Dublin has the ideal ecosystem for health tech start-ups with nine out of the top 10 Medtech companies based in Ireland and almost 200 funded health tech companies, according to CEO of the Innovation & Entrepreneurship Hub at Trinity, Fionnuala Healy.
Fionnuala Healy added: “Trinity College Dublin is delighted to be working in partnership with the EU’s European Institute of Technology to welcome digital health entrepreneurs from across Europe to participate in this new health tech incubator. The first of its kind in Ireland, the Validator programme is seeking to identify new technologies that promote healthy living, support active ageing and improve health care systems. Here at Trinity we are very proud of our standing as the number one university in Europe for producing entrepreneurial graduates and we’re looking forward to working with these high calibre teams over the coming weeks to help them validate their business idea and identify markets.”
Among the 2018 teams participating in the programme are BrainyApp which has developed the Fatigue Friend app to help prevent full-blown episodes of chronic fatigue through a series of early warning alerts; Praxagoras which is developing an easy to use, monitoring system to help GPs prevent stroke by the early detection of Atrial Fibrillation; and Pinpoint Innovations which has developed a wearable tracking device which monitors the amount of time patients spend in each stage of their care in the hospital setting.
Speaking at the launch of EIT Health Validator in the Innovation Academy on Wednesday, June 20th, Professor Martin Curley, CIO, Health Service Executive and CEO eHealth Ireland, added: “We are delighted to support the new digital health accelerator programme — EIT Health Validator, which will run over the next two months at Trinity College Dublin. There is a need globally to focus on technologies and innovations that can keep healthy people well, enhance quality of care and quality of life at the most efficient cost. It is exciting to see and learn about the new technologies that have been developed by these exciting new European start-ups to improve healthcare systems across the world.”
The 2018 Validator teams are:
Adamant (Finland) has developed a wearable smart sensor to improve our understanding of Parkinson’s disease. Its NeuroTracking system measures electricity muscle activity (EMG) and human motion to assess a patient’s condition and the effects of treatment such as drug therapy and deep brain stimulation.
Avalanche (Germany) has developed a 3D recognition system to replace manual documentation of medical implants used in surgery to improve the existing protocol for re-ordering used parts, which is complex, error-prone and can cause delays. The team has developed a 3D scanner, which recognises implants deployed in the sterile operating theatre, and links to specialist software on a mobile device.
BrainyApp (Ireland) has developed the ‘Fatigue Friend’ app which prevents full blown episodes of chronic fatigue through a series of alerts based on early warning stages of fatigue. Using this platform, a person can control their fatigue more effectively by managing their energy levels over a 24- hour period, significantly improving their quality of life.
European Blockchain Vaccination Pass (Poland, Latvia) is an electronic vaccination passport that uses blockchain technology to enable the recording, tracking and monitoring of every vaccine administered. The electronic passport integrates the vaccination systems of multiple countries and also provides vaccine traceability.
ELEM Biotech (Spain) has developed ‘Alya Red’, a “virtual human”, which simulates cardiovascular or respiratory systems for the medical devices and pharmaceutical industries. Combining high performance computing, computational biomechanics and data analysis, this computational avatar can be used to elaborate diagnoses, plan treatments, improve drug delivery and optimise medical devices.
FeelTect (Ireland) has developed ‘Tight Alright’, a ‘smart’ compression bandage that measures and monitors sub-bandage pressure for improved treatment of venous leg ulcers (VLUs). The adjustable and reusable bandage has pressure sensing properties and will facilitate the consistent provision of evidence-based therapy.
Incareview (Ireland) is developing an app to allow caregivers create and personalise care plans for patients on discharge from hospital. The patient will have instant access anytime, anywhere to their care plan ensuring greater adherence to their doctor’s instructions and also leading to a reductions in adverse events and avoidable readmissions.
Pinpoint Innovations (Ireland) has developed ‘tracworx’, a patient tracking system, which aims to improve patient flow and increase hospital efficiency. Developed in collaboration with University Hospital Limerick, ‘tracworx’ is a simple wearable device which monitors the amount of time patients spend in each stage of their care in the hospital setting.
Praxagoras (Netherlands) is developing ‘Afi’ an easy to use, unobtrusive monitoring system to help GPs prevent stroke by the early detection of Atrial Fibrillation (AF), which carries a high associated risk of stroke or heart failure. Current detection systems are very obtrusive for the user and often miss AF episodes due to their short monitoring time.
WaytoB (Ireland) is a smartphone and smartwatch solution to enable people with intellectual disabilities to navigate by themselves, while providing peace of mind to loved ones. WaytoB allows user to safely reach their destination by following icon-based instructions displayed on their smartwatch.
For more information about the 2018 teams and the EIT Health Validator programme see https://www.tcd.ie/tangent/accelerators/digital-health/
*Cover photo: Fionn Barron from Pinpoint Innovation.