An emotional CareXS director Cliff Bos took in all congratulations. During his pitch earlier, he shared his motivation: his mother died at a young age from unconsciously incorrect use of medication and now he wants to help improve healthcare with technology. “We want a world without medication errors.”
Connected Infusion Care at home is the latest CareXS product which prepares for a near future when approximately 40 percent of the 2 million infusion administrations will be administered at home. CareXS receives the prize because, according to the jury, the solution responds to “recognizable problems”. “It is one of the solutions to the shortage of healthcare professionals and can really make a difference in the daily lives of patients.”
Bos: “This recognition means a lot. Not only for me, but also for the nurses who use it. One of them told me: I feel safer because of this. We do this not only for the patients, but also for the healthcare providers. We have to make healthcare better together and I see this as an encouragement to continue with this.”
Noord Holland Healthcare Innovation Award
CareXS will proceed to the final of the national Healthcare Innovation Award 2022 on March 17, competing for a chance to win a cash prize of 15,000 euros. You can vote for CareXS – or one of the other finalists – until the final. To do this, go to the voting form (in Dutch).
The Healthcare Innovation Award in the Noord Holland region is organized by Zorg2025 partners Amsterdam Economic Board, Rabobank, Sigra, Smart Health Amsterdam and ahti – Amsterdam health & technology institute.
The jury subjects today’s contestants to critical questions: for example, they look at how an innovation can work in practice and what is needed for further upscaling. Whether the user is central and how the innovation fits into the broader healthcare ecosystem are other important criteria. The jury consists of Madelon Bracke (Clear.), Sjoerd Broekman (GGZ InGeest), Douwe van Riet (HVO-querido) and Arianne van Lavieren (Zilveren Kruis).
Don’t do it alone
Last year, Clear won , an Amsterdam-based company that wants to make a data-driven personalized diet accessible to everyone. Customers of the startup receive personalized nutritional advice via the Clear app based on their blood glucose values and logged meals. Scientific director Madelon Bracke says the award has brought the company a lot.
“The Healthcare Innovation Award would give us the opportunity to collaborate with all kinds of stakeholders in the healthcare domain so that we could achieve our goal more quickly: helping as many people as possible. And that’s exactly what the award has brought us. We are at the table with Zilveren Kruis and thanks to the partners of Zorg2025, we have often been given the podium in interviews and at events. In turn, this has resulted in all kinds of contacts.”
Her most important advice to the nominees? “Go out and make sure you talk to a lot of people about your proposition. The healthcare domain is far too large and complex to be able to do it all alone.”
The other nominees: KOPPL, Elementa and Skinive
In addition to the Connected Infusion Care at home from CareXS, KOPPL, Elementa and Skinive have also been nominated. KOPPL developed software that every municipality or organization could use to support a goal and target group in finding a suitable offer. “We want to shorten the path to assistance throughout the Netherlands”, says contestant Marnix Kistemaker.
The Skinive app helps doctors and as of this year also users at home to detect skin disorders. “Artificial intelligence in healthcare can save or improve the lives of millions of people”, Skinive founder Kiril Astorov said in his pitch. “Our solution has an accuracy of more than 90 percent and especially general practitioners are very positive about it.”
Elementa Labs developed a voice assistant for laboratories. This digital assistant helps researchers in digitally documenting their findings and puts an end to a lot of paperwork. “We want to change the biomedical research world”, said co-founder Ahmed Khalil. Our solution allows researchers to understand the mechanisms of disease more quickly so that we can focus on prevention.”
For the jury, choosing a winner was not easy. “All four entries deal with relevant issues that concern us in 2022. That is why we encourage all contestants to persevere.”
Before the award ceremony, we spoke extensively with the four contestants. Read more about the innovations of CareXS, KOPPL, Skinive and Elementa Labs.
‘Don’t just focus on the technology’
As an investor in healthcare, Dick Sietses has already seen more than 2,500 pitches about healthcare innovations. Sietses is a partner at Health Innovations, a venture capitalist investing in healthcare startups. He notes that corona has accelerated digital care enormously, but there are still quite a few challenges. “The complexity of healthcare is increasing, which is why we don’t necessarily need fast but rather structural solutions, solid systems. And preferably also sustainable solutions: healthcare is responsible for 7 percent of CO2 emissions.”
He gave a few clear and practical tips to startups in the healthcare sector. Handy for those planning to take part next year. “Focus on the process in healthcare and not just on the technology,” he says. And: “Start a trade association with fellow startups, because that way you can talk to the Ministry of Health. Moreover, you often have the same challenges that you can also share. If you are doing research, immediately include a foreign hospital in your study. And make sure you really involve everyone in the chain in your solution: you can quickly collect feedback from patients at, for example, Diabetes Fonds and Epilepsiefonds.”
His last advice: if you make a product, make sure it is beautiful and sustainable. “Vicentra, one of our companies makes an insulin pump. One patient said that people no longer ask ‘what do you have?’ but ‘what is that?’. That makes a big difference.”
These are tips that will benefit not only the nominees, but all enterprising attendees today. And maybe Cliff Bos of CareXS can still use them to sharpen his pitch for the blistering finale of the national Healthcare Innovation Award on March 17, during the Health Valley Event. Anyone who wants to give Cliff and his team a helping hand can vote for him here for the audience award of the Healthcare Innovation Award.
Text: Mirjam Streefkerk