The aim of the EIT-Health Wildcard programme is to bring together scientists, clinicians, engineers, entrepreneurs, and business experts to develop new innovations to tackle healthcare challenges. Multidisciplinary project teams are formed and ideas are developed. Through various stages, the teams have their ideas challenged as they seek expert advice to understand better whether their proposed innovations could be successful, both clinically and in business terms. It is important to say that these projects are very much in the early stages of development and are not available commercially. EFIC is supporting EIT-Health in providing experts for this project.
BrightSide is a digital app that helps people who suffer from chronic pain and their close environment talk about the condition and their needs in a constructive way, and to monitor their pain management progress.
BrightSide is the first pain management & tracking app to promote the involvement of loved ones in the pain management process – it is a two-sided platform that provides insight to both the people with the condition and their family members. BrightSide will actively encourage people who live with chronic pain to share their state and needs with their loved ones and will support family members by generating personalised advice on how to provide physical, emotional and functional support on a daily basis.
BrightSide’s interaction will establish a behavioural change by encouraging positive communication routine. By focusing on the brightside, we provide an anchor to motivate people with chronic pain to quantify their improvement, and expand their social life, getting those around them on board with their pain management journey, and increasing empathy.
We are a skilled cross-disciplinary team with backgrounds in interaction design, biomedical engineer, and product engineer. We are eager to open the door for a whole new field of pain communication.
Project update from the team:
My team and I applied to WildCard because we saw it as an exceptional opportunity to take a project that we really believed in, and that was an ‘out of the box’ idea, forward. It meant the possibility to turn our concept into reality through further stages of iteration, with the support of experienced mentors and cross-pollination with peers from the cohort.
The two stages of the programme have been extremely insightful, and packed with very interesting sessions: from team dynamics activities to lectures both on medical technologies and business, it’s been an intense and gratifying experience overall. What WildCard has taught us about developing a new product is that it is key to have a clear value proposition, to have a solid problem definition and last but not least, the importance of good questions in order to get relevant insights from users.
During WildCard you don’t leave a single mentoring session without your concept being challenged: we have learnt to be flexible and adapt. But it’s not only the concept that matters; for example, we learnt about how important the flow of the pitch is in order to deliver the idea to your audience and convince them about your product. In a single session with a business expert we restructured the order of our pitch entirely, and found the delivery of our message to be enhanced by just rearranging our existing content.
Mariona Ruiz Peris
Dolores helps patients suffering from chronic pain gain access to effective modern care. The scarcity of pain specialists creates a burden in the healthcare system of €440bn in European market only. The costs accumulate from sick leave compensations and adhering to treatment advice not suited for the health condition of the patient.
Dolores focuses in the first phase to provide better care for patients which experience pain chronification of over 6 months. The typical patient for Dolores is suffering from musculoskeletal pain, most common diagnosis is low back and neck pain, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis. Dolores’ main goal is the democratization of the knowledge of pain specialists. In the first step it uses individual guidance from pain experts to recommend therapies using gold standards from modern multi-modal clinics.
The proprietary AI technology builds upon the recommendations of pain specialists and measurable treatment success. It scales the scarce knowledge of pain specialists and automates the personalized therapy advice. To the patients, Dolores offers a cloud mobile application with different modules that help them in different stages of the treatment.
The self-care module empowers patients to adhere to conservative therapies that reduce pain severity: mindfulness, guided mediation and physical exercises. Gamification techniques create rewards that drive behavioral change of the patient that is incentivized to regularly use the application to complete the suggested therapy plan and enter critical data to measure the therapy outcome. The pain-academy module provides medical articles reviewed and approved by doctors.
The team is formed by pain specialists and orthopedists from LMU Universität München: Dr. Simon Weidert and Sebastian Andreß, and benefitting also from the knowledge of the company strategist Annemarie Grund and IT specialist Mihnea Dinu.
Project update from the team:
In the first stage, we had the opportunity to receive top class feedback from so many different mentors. It helped us refine the concept and articulate our idea more clearly. The second module pushed our limits in so many ways. We have become stronger as a team, working together more closely. We spoke with different stakeholders impacted by our solution: pain specialists, general practitioners, patients, and top management from pain clinics. Their insights helped us refine the value proposition in several ways and understand how different actors can benefit from our idea. The second module also pushed us to create a first version of our prototype that we showed to our stakeholders during our interviews. We also learned how important is to pitch the concept in a clear and understandable way.
Globally, 17-23% of children are chronically ill and need continuous medication. Depending on the age group and disease area, up to 95% of medication is not approved for use in children (off-label). In disease areas such as cancer, epilepsy, arthritis, rheumatology, diabetes type 1, or rare diseases, there is hardly any clinical data for children – not to mention Real-world-data (RWD) or patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs). The overall aim of Symba Health is to collect granular parent/patient-reported outcome measures (P/PROMs) from chronically ill children. The mobile application called Symba will work as a “digital diary” for parents and children themselves – a friend and companion that will support the therapy of the chronically ill child. Through Symba, parents will be able to log symptoms and quality of life (QoL) measures, set medication reminders, and see the effects of the therapies on pain and wellbeing. Symba will generate informative, graphical 2-page summary reports that parents can bring to their doctor appointments and share with clinicians, closing the highly needed granular feedback loop. Symba is modular and highly adaptable which enables its use in many different areas of paediatric care and to account for diseasespecific or clinical trial-specific requirements.
Symba Health was founded in Cambridge, UK by Dr. Cihat Cengiz and Lorena Gordillo Dagallier, 2 Engineers and PhD Researcher at the University of Cambridge.
Project update from the team:
We applied for the wildcard program in order to work with one of the leading investors, thought leaders and impact driven people in Europe. Symba Health can only reach its desired impact by working with people who are willing to go above and beyond. Throughout my professional life, I had the pleasure to work with members of the EIT Health team and they showed me that our project belongs to the EIT Health ecosystem.
Lorena and I came with a clear idea to the program and got amazing feedback for our aim and passion for the topic of pain management. However, our idea got sharpened by mentors who really digged into the details of our approach and coached us to be crystal clear with our solution and our communication. Our coaches and mentors showed us our weak points and gave constructive feedback on how to improve. They structured our thoughts on how to develop a new product in the highly-regulated area of health and opened us new pathways for success.
Team Symba Health really enjoyed the openness of our mentors during the first mentoring week of the wildcard program, and it was an interesting experience to work with experts in the field in such an early stage of the program.