Wild Card Projects


Magda Krakowiak
Innovation Manager, Wild Card Projects
EIT Health

EIT Health Wild Card Projects are high-risk, innovative projects with transformative potential. The projects are targeted at challenges provided by EIT Health Partners, where the “solution” of the challenge would be a major breakthrough.

Each Wild Card Project consists of three distinct parts – the challenge, the team and the network of incubators, which is a flexible structure supporting the project. Connected to these are three processes: challenge identification and selection; team selection; project initiation and support.

Wild Card Projects identify and support truly ground-breaking ideas and projects, focusing on applied research, entrepreneurial ideas and innovative thinking to address healthcare challenges and improve health outcomes for Europe’s citizens.

Current projects

Based on the 2018 Wild Card Challenges of “Smart Health”, which sought projects that use the possibilities of Artificial Intelligence and Big Data, and “Fight Back”, which sought projects addressing the problem of antimicrobial resistance, two projects were chosen to receive mentoring and hosting at an incubator, and €2 million each in development support: 

  • Abtrace uses artificial intelligence to provide doctors with the information they need to pick the correct antibiotic for every patient.
  • DX-Labtrack surveils the quality of human blood samples before laboratory testing.

Challenges for 2019

The challenges are based on proposals from EIT Health Partners.

Mental and Brain Health: How to improve prediction, diagnosis and treatment to fight mental disorders and strengthen brain health

The human brain is the central organ of the nervous system and is therefore one of the most important organs in the human body. Our brains give us the ability to remember, learn, concentrate and maintain physiological and emotional well-being.

Although we live in a world that knows the importance of looking after both the physiological and psychological aspects of the human brain, more and more people are diagnosed with mental disorders and neurological diseases. The European Brain Council estimates that the cost of brain disorders in Europe reaches €800 billion each year and that one in three citizens will experience a brain disorder during their life.

As we live longer, our brains work for longer and that also has an impact on the level of disorders we will experience, the new challenges we will face in tackling them and the cost of treating them.

The Wild Card programme is looking for new ways and tools to help make our brains stronger for longer and fight against the increase in disorders.

Digital Biomarkers: How to improve early diagnostics with the application of digital biomarkers

Digital biomarkers (DB) are objective, quantifiable, physiological and behavioural clinically relevant information. On one hand, DB could be seen as consumer-generated physiological and behavioural measures collected through connected digital tools (mainly wearables and apps). On the other hand, DB could be considered to have a broader meaning, such as new ways of capturing data that before was not possible.

DB can be collected massively and cost-effectively. Besides patient monitoring, people living with a condition may only see a physician once or twice a year and may not entirely remember how they have felt on a specific day. DB help to provide a more comprehensive picture continuously.

DB could significantly help in bringing healthcare from a reactive to a more preventive approach. The characteristics of DB also holds promising potential for value-based patient-centred healthcare. Longitudinal and individual-level data collection provides the granularity and time context necessary to understand, prevent, detect, and manage disease.

Find out more about the Wild Card Projects here: http://wildcard.eithealth.eu/

Wild Card News

Applicants sought for Wild Card 2019 projects addressing mental and brain health, and digital biomarkers

The EIT Health Wild Card programme has launched its second year with a call for applications from medical professio ...
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Mental and brain health, and digital biomarkers, to be Wild Card challenges for 2019

The EIT Health Wild Card Programme officially launched its quest to build two new ventures that will tackle the challenge areas of Mental and Brain Health and Digital Biomarkers for Early Diagnos ...
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Q&A: Abtrace Wild Card project employs AI to fight drug-resistant superbugs

Abtrace, a team that seeks to slow the development of “superbugs” by ensuring that antibiotics are used with optimum efficiency, was named on 23 November 2018 as one of two teams that will receive support in the first EIT Health Wi ...
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First EIT Wild Card winner, DX-Labtrack, receiving €2 million to develop real-time sample monitoring

The first team announced as a winner of the EIT Health Wild Card competition is DX-Labtrack GmbH, which provides real-time monitori ...
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