The 12-week Philips Cardiology Startup Program ended Thursday (May 17) and has been hailed as a “celebration of innovation” on a “breakthrough day” by Darren Adams, Head of Strategy, Marketing and Operations at Philips HealthWorks. Some 300 international start-ups had applied for the Health Accelerator for which six promising start-ups were selected and supported by Philips’ experts, leading hospitals and health professionals in the Health Innovation Port in Hamburg-Fuhlsbüttel. The international program with which Philips is developing new healthcare solutions and making them market ready, was held in Hamburg for the first time.
Philips HealthWorks Startup Program – from idea to market readiness
The Philips HealthWorks Startup Program is about “turning visions into reality”, stressed Alberto Prado, Head of Philips HealthWorks. A good idea alone does not guarantee a successful market launch. During his keynote speech, Prado noted that around 95 per cent of all health start-ups fell by the wayside, according to studies. The selected start-ups are likely to be spared that fate all going well. Philips will hold talks with all six companies. Dr. Peter Vorländer, HealthWorks Innovation Lead at Philips, said: “We will look closely and see which start-up support is best suited to turning a dream into reality.”
Six start-ups present clinical innovations
On breakthrough day, the start-ups pitched their business models to Philips as well as other potential partners and investors. A wide range of innovations were showcased – from software that improves the quality of care and patient safety in hospitals (Cognuse, Estonia) to another that detects signs of sudden cardiac arrest and gives doctors valuable time to act (Transformative AI Limited, Britain) and software that ensures automatic regulation of blood glucose levels in intensive care patients (Admetsys Boston, Massachusetts). The British start-up Oxford Heartbeat uses a combination of predictive calculations; big data and artificial intelligence to achieve more precise and safer surgical methods for stent implantations, while BIOMODEX produces lifelike organs in a 3D printer to plan complicated operations in advance. The Paris and Boston-based start-up is currently in talks with the University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE) about its products.
northh medical – foetal heart imaging using MRI
The Hamburg-based northh medical start-up was founded in 2007 as a UKE spin-off. Dr. Fabian Kording, co-founder of northh medical, explained: “We enable foetal heart imaging using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).” Until now, MRI has been used in prenatal diagnostics mainly in relation to the brain and abnormalities, but not for the prenatal diagnosis of heart defects. “This is mainly because MRI imaging is slow and the heart of a foetus beats very fast. The image acquisition must be synchronized with the heart movement to achieve diagnostic image quality,” added Kording. The company has developed an ultrasound device that records movements in the heart in the MRI, acknowledges the heart’s action and enabling synchronisation with the MRI. northh medical hopes to launch the device on the market in 2019 and in co-operation with Philips. Plans are already being laid for the next Philips HealthWorks Startup Program when the focus will turn to artificial intelligence in radiology in the second half of 2018.