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UK-Ireland EIT Health Headstart competition in Dublin: 13 start-ups win €50k each

CLC UK Ireland , Accelerator , Activity/Project News

UK-Ireland EIT Health Headstart competition in Dublin: 13 start-ups win €50k each

Chosen from 22 finalists on 17 July 2019

25 July 2019
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Thirteen start-ups, addressing challenges such as heart disease, wound closure, chronic neuropathic pain and lung cancer, will receive EIT Health funding and networking support after winning the UK-Ireland Headstart finals, a competitive pitch competition in Dublin, Ireland on 17 July 2019.


The EIT Health Headstart Programme was created to support early-stage start-ups and SMEs in developing their new products and services. The winners are provided funding of €50 000, and their companies work on their product or service with the support of the EIT Health regional manager, so that they can access EIT Health’s local and continental network.

The EIT Health UK-Ireland Headstart finals competition involved 22 companies from the UK and Ireland who had been chosen to pitch in front of an expert jury comprised of industry representatives, business mentors, venture capitalists and EIT Health Partners.

“We are so proud to be able to play a part in the growth and acceleration of these innovative and creative start-ups, ” Kristen Stavridis, Project Coordinator (Business creation and Events) for EIT Health UK-Ireland said after the awards. “It’s fantastic to see the great work all of the projects are doing to improve the lives of people in Europe.”

EIT Health UK-Ireland Headstart award winners

Endowave Ltd.: The Endowave Flexible Microwave Ablation Probe will enable lung cancer patients to be treated at an earlier stage of the disease and in a minimally invasive manner, thus substantially improving survival rates and significantly decreasing healthcare costs.

FeelTect (Tight Alright): FeelTect delivers a connected health solution for measuring and monitoring sub-bandage pressure during compression therapy, primarily in the treatment of venous leg ulcers. The device, Tight Alright, helps realise the full potential of compression therapy, through safety, efficacy, and empowerment. Tight Alright is unique in its handling and functionality, it's designed for easy use by healthcare professionals, carers, and patients alike. The clip design has an inner arm housing the pressure sensing region that is placed beneath the bandage, and an outer arm housing the electronics that remains outside the bandage and transmits wireless signals to a mobile app. The clip properties have been tuned to provide a balance between comfort and safety to the patient, with sufficient flexural rigidity for insertion. The low-profile design offers unobtrusive, accurate pressure measurement at any point on the leg, while the hinge facilitates uninhibited and versatile placement with easy securement to the bandage.

Head Diagnostics (iTremor): iTremor ONE is a new era cutting-edge technology and associated hand-held medical device aimed at providing an objective assessment of concussion (mTBI - mild traumatic brain injury) in under 10 seconds. iTremor ONE does not require an initial baseline test, is non-invasive and is easy to use for all levels of clinicians and non-clinicians. The core focus is to provide for better patient outcomes, whilst avoiding the unnecessary use of CT where possible, especially in paediatrics.

Heaviside Ltd: This technology will revolutionise the speed, cost and accuracy of diagnosing urinary symptoms. This device will allow doctors to determine the cause of urinary problems earlier, and with greater consistency, than current methods.

Jelly Drops Ltd: Dehydration is one of the leading causes of death for people with dementia. Many people with dementia are no longer aware of thirst, do not equate drinking with quenching thirst or do not recognise cups for what they are. People with dementia often find eating more intuitive than drinking. One way to overcome this is to offer them a treat! This format excites people with dementia, they instantly recognise it and know how to interact with it. Jelly Drops are hydrating treats that enable people with dementia to hydrate more often and independently. Online videos have received over 100 million views and Jelly Drops have been featured on BBC, Sky and on the TEDx stage. There is now a waiting list of 15,000 people and 1,000 care homes and the team is supported by the Alzheimer's Society, the UK’s leading dementia research and support charity.

Kite Medical Ltd: KITE is the first non-invasive, radiation-free system to detect and monitor kidney reflux in children. It will provide significant cost savings and ultimately move this procedure to primary or community care setting. KITE will support preventative healthcare through early screening and data can be used to predict other urological conditions. KITE has no direct competitor and therefore has first mover advantage and has been described as a market disrupter by clinicians.

Luminate Medical: Luminate Medical is developing a new solution to prevent chemotherapy induced alopecia. It is comfortable, portable and dignified. Using a novel non-thermal method, the existing biological mechanism for preventing hair loss during chemotherapy is mimicked, to provide a completely patient-focused solution.

MPH Support Ltd. (Triple Tread): Triple Tread® is an innovative, patent protected and award-winning trike designed to motivate regular physical activity. This can promote social interaction and positive wellbeing for the ageing population. Triple Tread® is also for those unable to balance on a two-wheel bicycle, due to neurological conditions. Regular aerobic activity reduces costs to the individual and health systems.

Relevium: Relevium Ltd. have developed the world’s first Hydrogel solution (Hydrobloc) which is a drug free treatment for Chronic Neuropathic Pain. This disruptive drug replacement therapy will be used to treat any form of Neuropathic Pain. Hydrobloc is a medical implant that gives at least three times longer pain relief (up to 12 months) than current pharmaceutical injectable treatments. Free from any side effects, the Hydrobloc technology will completely disrupt the therapeutic landscape for patients with chronic pain. Another major clinical benefit is that, as the material degrades, it supports the repair and regeneration of damaged tissue.

Starling Surgical: Surgical wounds are closed with sutures or staples, both have drawbacks. Sutures are the gold standard but are slow, increasing anaesthetic related complications and costs of procedures. Staples can speed up wound closure by 20mins but have increased pain, higher infection rates and worse cosmetic results than sutures. The Starling Surgical solution will disrupt this $3 billion market by enabling surgeons to close incisions faster than staples, with superior clinical results to sutures.

Transformative AI (CodeRhythm): Transformative creates algorithms to predict acute outcomes of chronic diseases. Their initial focus is on predicting Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) before it occurs. Using advanced AI and statistical analysis techniques from CERN and Cambridge, Transformative’s algorithm detects minute changes in patient physiology and predicts an imminent risk of SCA. The prototype, CodeRhythm, predicts SCA within minutes with high accuracy on cardiac data. It would serve as the basis for a SaaS early warning system that would alert clinicians and improve survival for a broad spectrum of high-risk patients.

Vitrue Health: Their mission is to change the way we assess and treat musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions across healthcare. Currently MSK assessments are based on sight alone or basic and subjective tools like goniometers. This leads to the majority of assessments just being “eye balled” and producing non repeatable, inaccurate and subjective data. Vitrue have developed a depth camera-based device that can automatically track and assess a patient’s motor function. The device will automatically detect and assess movements of interest such as sit to stand transitions or standing squats, calculate biomechanical metrics for these and provide the clinician with a standardised and visual report detailing the patient’s motor function.

Xploro: Xploro® is an award-winning health information platform that uses augmented reality, gameplay and artificial intelligence to deliver health information to young patients in a way that makes them feel empowered, engaged and informed, whilst having fun at the same time. By putting health information in the hands of children, using language they understand and interaction paradigms they are familiar with, Exploro aims to reduce their stress and anxiety and improve their clinical outcomes. Reducing the fear associated with procedures can reduce repeat procedures and shorten treatment times. Finally, by improving child health literacy it will provide the foundations for a generation of patients better able to self-manage their healthcare.