EIT Health launched matchmaking platform to fight COVID-19
The leading European network of healthcare innovators has opened “a collaborative platform” where innovators, scientists, healthcare professionals, and organisations can set-up cross-regional partnerships to find solutions to the COVID-19 crisis. EIT Health is looking for “asks” and “offers” from Central, Eastern and Southern Europe, among others.
EIT Health with engagement of approximately 150 partners across Europe covering research, academia, business and health service delivery (including some of the largest hospitals in Europe) is using its network’s strength in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. The platform, which is available on the EIT Health website, allows those who work in the healthcare sector on COVID-19 related research to post an „offer” or an „ask”, and EIT Health helps to facilitate the matches across Europe. During just the first days there were more than 100 proposals submitted, such as open source ventilators, free bio-decontamination devices for hospitals and applications to monitor the virus spread.
The aim of the platform is to find out directly from the experts, what resources they need right now and what are the resources they can share within EU. EIT Health is playing matchmaking role, facilitating the collaborations across regions of the best solutions, so the fight can be more effective against the virus. Amongst the „asks”: DEX Innovation Centre, EIT Health Hub in Czech Republic, has started working on an open source lung ventilator that can be assembled from parts of a 3D printer. Takis, a start up from Italy, which won EIT Health 2019 European Health Catapult, will be testing four vaccines based on Covid-19 spike protein, first in animal models following a phase I trial in healthy volunteers. Amongst the „offers”: Oxipit, a computer vision software start-up is offering a chest X-ray diagnosis AI model to hospitals facing radiologist shortages and Delox also offered powerful bio-decontamination device to hospitals. In Italy PatchAI offered an app for prevention and monitoring of the general population for COVID-19, while SoftMining offered an app to hospitals with the help of which they can evaluate the risk of virus transmission.
- EIT Health uses the power of this impressive network to find cross-border solutions and products to support the fight against this pandemic. Regional teams put every “ask” and “offer” on watch and try to find the proper connections in EU. In progressing regions in Central, Eastern and Southern Europe we offer in addition mentoring or funding for the chosen initiatives – said Balázs Fürjes, Managing Director of EIT Health InnoStars, a part of the network that focuses on Central, Eastern and Southern EU regions.
EIT Health highlights also its community response to fight the current pandemic. For instance due to the contribution of EIT Health, Master students of Delft University of Technology started the initiative for a simple and relatively inexpensive ventilators, to try and fight off the shortage of ventilators in the Netherlands and started to work on reusable surgical masks. In Poland Celon Pharma initiated a strategic therapeutic program on COVID-19 where in the first stage, existing and approved therapies and their combinations will be tested. Polish SensDX has undertaken joint actions to develop an ultrafast diagnostic test for the COVID-19. In Portugal Pedro Nunes Institute’s accelerated start-up Mindflow, introduced a learning video game about coronavirus to provide verified and credible information about the pandemic and reduce excessive panic. These are just some examples among many others.
- Health innovations has significant potential to overcome some of the challenges. Within our community there are several products and services for instance in the field of telemedicine, which, if adopted on a large scale within healthcare systems, would relieve the pressure on healthcare professionals. Central and Eastern Europe, but also Italy, Portugal and Greece can play big role here. Last years proved that many breakthrough innovations come from these regions and already implemented on the market. Now we must learn how to strengthen our healthcare systems to help overcome health crisis – said Balazs Furjes.
- The EIT Health initiative was needed to find and share resources related to COVID-19 across borders. We are all in to support the healthcare system as much as we can with the support of local innovators, start-ups, academia and industry– said Dr. Ion-Gheorghe Petrovai, EIT Health Hub at FreshBlood HealthTech.
What’s more EIT Health has just extended the application period of Headstart competition until 14 April to entice digital health start-ups with valuable COVID-19 solutions – products or services of a TRL8 (technology readiness level eight) maturity, to be delivered in six months. The best teams will be awarded with € 50,000.
EIT Health community is constantly developing services and products that can help better protect our societies in the next health crisis. Amongst these there are solutions, using artificial intelligence which has a potential to streamline or even eliminate administrative tasks – which can occupy 20-80 percent of a healthcare professional’s time – or remote care platforms, that allow healthcare professionals to monitor patients from their homes. The aim of the EIT Health community is to play a crucial role in contributing with innovative solutions that can strengthen the ability of healthcare systems to overcome challenges in Europe.