• Date: December 17, 2019

More than 1000 delegates, including leading health innovation experts from across the globe, gathered in Paris earlier this month for the EIT Health Summit 2019, the theme for which was 'Defining unmet need – how much does it matter?'.

Several speakers reflected on the importance of putting the patient first in order to create the most impactful innovations. As pointed out by EIT Health CEO Jan-Philipp Beck: “Innovation for innovation’s sake no longer has a place in an ever-changing healthcare landscape. Unmet need must be the core focus of all innovation activity if we are to deliver true transformation to the lives of patients.”

This sentiment was mirrored by Borislava Ananieva, president of the European Patients Forum Youth Group, whose speech addressed the important role that patients have in the innovation process, and the responsibility of healthcare innovators to engage patients throughout this process.

In keeping with previous editions, the finals of the European Health Catapult were also held during this meeting. 21 finalists representing three categories—Medtech, Biotech and Digital Health—took to the stage one-by-one to pitch their ideas in front of a jury of experts, and an auditorium of health investors and stakeholders.

The winning startup in the Medtech category was PKvitality, which is developing a smartwatch that continuously and non-invasively monitors glucose levels. In the Biotech category, SparingVision took the top prize. They will soon begin clinical trials for an injection that prevents blindness caused by Retinitis pigmentosa. Finally, Epihunter was declared the best startup in the Digital Health category, for their digital solutions to identify and monitor absence seizures, common in epilepsy.

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