EIT Health InnoStars granted a promising healthcare consortia from Lithuania
Jul 30

EIT Health InnoStars decided to support 15 new healthcare innovations that are developed in more progressing regions of Central, Eastern and Southern Europe. Each project receives up to 75,000 EUR in 2020 for further development of the breakthrough product or solution, but also mentoring and access to the network of top tier healthcare players in Europe. This year one of the supported projects is by EmPlastrum, a company based in Lithuania who aim to change the way patients who suffer from psoriasis, a long-lasting autoimmune skin disease, receive treatment. Vilnius University is a co-partner in the project.

EmPlastrum would like to develop a device that is a flexible, silicon patch with a small screen on top with integrated UVB LED lights. The innovation gives the opportunity to shift psoriasis treatment from hospital to home and makes the treatment itself more comfortable compared to current, time-consuming methods patients are not satisfied with, based on survey responses and research.

With their patches, people not only will be able to have treatment basically anywhere, but they will avoid unnecessary UV rays and treat several damaged skin places at one time. The patches will come in 3 different sizes that patients can use depending on the size of their wounds.

  • Our aim is to stimulate development of healthcare innovations in our regions. We constantly work on scouting for talents in our region and invite them to use opportunities given by EIT Health. They get best-in-class mentoring, training and funding which support their innovation but also the region’s growth – said Laurynas Jarukas, Head of LSMU Development Service, EIT Health Representative in Lithuania.
  • Our aim is to foster next generation of innovators and support establishing of new healthcare budding businesses. And it’s more than giving funding. We identify and enhance best local researchers to build consortia, involving other players from business or academia. In long-term perspective they can achieve a maturity level that would enable them to monetize their innovation or scale up their business – said Mónika Tóth, EIT Health InnoStars RIS Programme Manager.

Half of the granted teams develop new healthcare solutions such as active 3D cell culture system for primary hepatocytes. On the other hand, almost 40% of awarded consortia focuses on big data, cloud solutions, mobile apps and platforms. It is a reflection of the global trend. Since healthcare providers create and collect a huge amount of health-related information every day, there is an urgent need to find solutions for these providers to access and interpret data.

Four winners to share podium

In 2020 Romania (4), Portugal (3), Italy (2) and Slovenia (2) finished among the most successful countries in terms of awarded consortia. This is a second year, when Romania and Slovenia showcase the best quality of healthcare innovation projects in the EIT Health RIS Innovation Call.  Other supported projects come from Croatia, Czechia, Latvia and Lithuania.

The supported projects, which will all be completed by the end of 2020, focus on:

  • AI driven IP intelligence engine for early stage drug discovery (Latvia)
  • Big Data software services for decision support in precision medicine (Italy)
  • Innovative robotic system for cancer treatment (Romania)
  • Diagnostic and follow-up system based on artificial intelligence algorithms and transthoracic ultrasound image analysis for diffuse lung diseases (Romania)
  • Remote therapy management in chronic heart failure patients (Slovenia)
  • Patches for psoriasis treatment (Lithuania)
  • Digital platform for promoting and sustaining healthy behaviours in obesity (Portugal)
  • Strengthening intergenerational playing cards (Slovenia)
  • Wearable device for emotion monitoring and control for children diagnosed with ADHD (Romania)
  • Pervasive platform for fall detection, fall risk assessment and prevention (Portugal)
  • Active 3D cell culture system for primary hepatocytes (Czechia)
  • Adherence to hypertension treatment and blood pressure self-monitoring using embedded smartphone camera and advanced image processing (Portugal)
  • 3D Virtual Navigation which integrates high resolution stereo depth camera with medical imaging systems with ‘in the air’ real control of surgeon’s hands (Croatia)
  • Improvements of an existing 3D freehand ultrasound periodontal scanner prototype using bidimensional neural networks driven segmentation techniques (Romania)
  • FGD Dosimeter – a fast and precise dosimeter to improve cancer therapies carried out with radiation (Italy)

More about EIT Health RIS Innovation Call:

In total the EIT Health RIS Innovation Call supported 30 consortia of healthcare innovators in 2019-2020 from more progressing European regions. After the last year’s success, the programme continued this year with the aim to fund high-quality, strong and balanced projects by local academic institutions and research teams. The projects will be developed in collaboration with the EIT Health Hubs, local organisations that support regional ecosystem development: Asociatia INIT & Freshblood HealthTech Community in Romania,  University of Porto in Portugal,  Ljubljana University Incubator in Slovenia, Consorzio Arca in Italy,  University of Zagreb in Croatia,  DEX Innovation Centre in Czech Republic,  Riga Stradins University in Latvia, and Lithuanian University of Health Sciences.

The list of the selected projects is available here (hyperlink should be added).