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EIT Healthcare: Building a Global Network of Best Innovators for Better Health


Modern technologies and innovations have significantly transformed the healthcare industry in the recent years.

It has helped the industry to emerge from its restricted, traditional form of detecting and treating diseases to more enlightened ways using high-tech diagnostic and treatment options. Though this has led to an improvement in patient outcomes, there is more to do through new innovations and collaboration to improve the quality, efficiency, and value in health treatment. This is precisely the focus of EIT Heath, to deliver new solutions that enable European citizens to live a longer and healthier life. Backed by the European Union, the company realizes this mission by providing tools, resources, education, funding, and support to innovative players in healthcare across Europe.

Founded in 2015 with headquarter in Germany, EIT Health is a network of world-class health innovators from over 140 partner organizations, thought leaders and entrepreneurs. Jan-Philipp Beck, CEO of EIT Health says, “We connect all relevant healthcare players across European borders making sure to include all sides of the ‘knowledge triangle’ so that innovation can happen at the intersection of research, education, and business for the benefit of citizens”. The prime focus of EIT is to promote innovation and provide personalized healthcare by meeting the unmet clinical and economic needs. EIT facilitate innovation, it collaborates with parents across the world and it cares network comprises best-in-class health innovators who create outside-the-box solutions.

EIT Health is built on the basis of three pillars that are interconnected:

  •   ‘Accelerator’ for business development
  •   ‘Campus’ for education
  •   ‘Innovation’ to support new innovation projects

By bringing these three programmes together, the company strengthens healthcare systems, brings out better health treatment, and promotes sustainable health economy in Europe. Mr. Beck explains, “They are designed to complement one another. Graduates from Campus courses can find support in the Innovation Project programmes and also gain assistance with scaling up their ideas and taking them to the market through the Accelerator.”

These programmes promote new innovation and fresh ideas for better treatment options by facilitating and supporting key players in healthcare. The programmes also support emerging entrepreneurs and scientists to develop their concepts for healthcare innovation into products and services. Furthermore, it validates their ideas and helps them to grow in the market.

Committed to Patience-Centric Solutions

The healthcare industry needs to be recalibrated again where the patients are at the center. EIT is committed to promoting patient-centric health treatments and solutions. Mr. Beck says, “European citizens and patients are at the center of what we do.” The company actively channels the innovation process and collaborates with the global networks in healthcare to ensure the industry goes toward this direction.  Mr. Beck adds, “We also work closely with patient groups to ensure that healthcare users are at the center of partners’ innovations.”

Enabling European Players to Enter the APAC Region

The APAC region is home to some of the most advanced and largest markets in medical technologies including countries such as China, Japan, Australia, Singapore, and South Korea. There are many challenges for European companies to enter the Asian market. EIT is building bridges between the two regions through its Accelerator GoGlobal Programmes.

GoGlobal Programmes aim to provide companies in medtech, biotech and digital health with the competence needed for international expansion. Participants are supported in entering into new markets with knowledge about specific countries' healthcare systems, regulatory environments, key stakeholders and competitors.

Through GoGlobal programmes, EIT Health plays a key role in bringing new innovation into the domestic European market as well as enables European companies especially the SMEs to sell their services into foreign markets.

Major Programmes in China

The EIT Health Go2China programme is a GoGlobal Programme supporting European ventures so that they can expand beyond Europe’s borders to China, more specifically to the highly innovative region, the so-called Silicon Bay of China.

The Safety Belt to Go2China programme was completed in China-Shenzhen between 12 and 18 November. 13 European Biotech, Medtech and Digital Health start-ups were involved, including three EIT Health Regional Innovation Scheme players engaged in Big Data, applied AI, software & hardware solutions, medical devices, educational & research tools.

The Go2China outbound mission was organized and led by E-Group and supported by IMEC and the University of Groningen. The Chinese prominent partners included innovative investment institutions, venture capital companies, industrial parks, incubation bases, enterprises, medical institutions, hospitals, universities, importers, distributors, association organizations, etc.

The primary goal of the Go2China outbound mission was to gain more insiders’ knowledge about the Chinese health and e-Health market and assist the participating companies with a soft landing entry point necessary for their international expansion in China. The participants were provided with seminars, webinars, and other Chinese-culture and business-related training before, during and after the Bootcamp in Groningen. They also attended a training organized prior to the outbound mission in order to accelerate their entry into the Chinese health market. Participants could discuss and improve their market entry strategies, take part in seminars on market opportunities and socio-economical developments held by Chinese experts, including sharing success stories with such partners which already work or worked in the Chinese market.

Start.Smart.Japan Programme

Given Japan’s interest in novel technologies, services, and products, this sector holds significant opportunities for innovative European SMEs. However, the conservative Japanese health market can be time-consuming and consultation-intensive for European health service companies to introduce new technologies and establish large companies. The EIT Health’s Start.Smart.Japan Programme is helping European SME scales up to speed up this process. It is a training project and part of EIT’s Accelerator programme specially design for start-ups, scale-ups, and SMEs, whose goal it is to enter the Japanese life-science market. Similarly, EIT through its GoGlobal programme is helping SMEs to optimize their market entry strategies in Korea and other APAC countries.

EIT Health also has a forum called the Think Tank of EIT Health which is a forum of experts and thought leaders who work in collaboration to shape the future of healthcare in Europe. Mr. Beck explains, “The Think Tank brings together EIT Health Partners with other leading healthcare experts to agree on means for ensuring that innovation reaches the citizens and patients who need it most. Through central and local exchanges, Think Tank members seek to identify healthcare needs and potential solutions to those needs.”

When asked about the future of the company, Mr. Beck says, “We will continue to contribute to making our health systems more sustainable and introducing more efficiency through innovation. We aim to show that access to high-quality care and cost control can go together.”

Quote:

“By supporting the innovative players in healthcare, the company is enabling European citizens to live a longer and healthier life.”