Ellogon.ai wins preliminary National Zorginnovatieprijs 2024

Ellogon.ai has been chosen as the North Holland preliminary round winner for the Zorginnovatieprijs. The Amsterdam-based scaleup will compete with EIDOS on March 21st with finalists from other provinces for the National Zorginnovatieprijs 2024.

EIDOS is an AI tool that supports medical specialists in selecting patients for immunotherapy. About 50 percent of all cancer patients receiving immunotherapy do not benefit from this treatment. And yet this form of therapy has a huge impact on patients’ quality of life and costs 150,000 euros per treatment, said Robert Kuipers of Ellogon.ai in his pitch. “During this five-minute pitch, 40 people in the EU will receive a cancer diagnosis. 14 of them will die from it. With immunotherapy, the survival rate is three times higher. It is important that the right patients get that therapy.”

Ellogon.ai developed EIDOS together with the Netherlands Cancer Institute, among others. The product has CE certification and is already used in four Dutch academic hospitals and one Greek hospital.

Click the button to view photos of the regional preliminaries. Or read on.

Now to market

Partly because of the impact EIDOS could have on patients’ lives, the jury chose this winner. “How stressful is it for a cancer patient to undergo treatment that has no effect at all?” said jury president Arianne van Lavieren of Zilveren Kruis. Ellogon.ai continues to the finals of the National Zorginnovatieprijs 2024 during the Health Valley event on March 21st, 2024 in Nijmegen. The award ceremony will be during the Zorg&ICT event on April 10th, 2024 in Utrecht.

Kuipers is grateful for the award, he said after the award ceremony. “This will hopefully generate the attention we need. Our product stands. Now we need to market it. This exposure certainly helps with that. People may have heard our name when we’re talking to them.”

Impressive healthcare innovations

The jury, which further consisted of Dagmar van Ravenswaay Claasen (Lumo Labs), Jenny Tsin, (Innovatiefonds Noord-Holland) and Anna van der Hulst (GGD Amsterdam), faced a difficult choice, Van Lavieren said. “I am proud of the impressive innovations I have seen here today. Everyone is making an impact in their own way.”

Indeed, the pitches of the other three participants showed this as well. For example, Dieuwertje Drexhage of Layco talked about vela, a reusable vacuum pump for childbirth. The pump most commonly used today is disposable. Existing reusable pumps are not patient- or user-friendly. Drexhage: “Healthcare emits more CO2 than the airline industry, in part because we use so many disposable products. At the same time, we see that in low- and middle-income countries, vacuum extraction can help reduce stillbirths. That’s why we came up with vela.”

Vela can be operated by one person, can be reused a hundred times and is easy to take apart for cleaning. The market for obstetric equipment is promising, Drexhage outlined. “There is more focus on women’s welfare, a lot of interest in green innovations and the number of births in low- and middle-income countries is only going to increase. 70 percent of gynecologists who have used it say they do not notice a significant difference from a disposable pump and 95 percent are willing to replace their current alternative for the vela.”

Night Nurse

Another nominee, Kepler Vision Technologies, enables remote care with its technology. Kepler Night Nurse allows hospitals and nursing homes to remotely monitor vulnerable patients. Sensors on the ceiling then monitor whether someone gets out of bed, perhaps has taken a fall or has been in the same position for too long. “With Kepler Night Nurse, we secure the availability of care at night and in the future,” Harro Stokman pitched. “We replace 2.5 FTEs for every 100 patients and have a payback period of 2 years. But perhaps more importantly, a patient regains his privacy and the care worker no longer has to visit unnecessarily. The latter can focus on the really important tasks.”

Currently, Kepler Night Nurse monitors some 4,500 patients in 20 care centers. But the ambitions are great. Several system integrators sell the software, and a German manufacturer supplies Kepler’s software automatically with its software.


Claartje Ypma also managed to touch the judges with her pitch. She is CEO and co-founder of Augmedit, a company that uses Augmented Reality to increase surgical precision during operations. Because many surgeons use 2D images to prepare their operations, mistakes are sometimes made. For example, when installing a drain. “Our solution can create a 3D image based on a scan. The doctor then looks through a hololens to see that image. This allows her to determine very precisely where she makes an incision or how she places the patient on the operating table.”

The company hopes to obtain CE certification by the end of this summer to then roll out the product commercially. In any case, the first users are very positive, Ypma said. “Not only students, but also experienced surgeons. Some even adapt their approach based on the hologram. We expect that young surgeons will soon be able to perform certain complicated operations earlier in their careers thanks to this solution.”

Last year’s winner

Last year, Healthplus.ai won the regional preliminaries. And that has paid off handsomely for the company. “Visibility, recognition, trust, connection, credibility,” lists product owner Maryse Wiewel. “The award got us a lot of leads at hospitals and it also challenged us. We learned to tell our story even better.”

That story is about the Periscope product: software that supports doctors and nurses in postoperative care. Periscope uses artificial intelligence to predict whether someone will get an infection based on a range of variables. The certifications are now in the final stages of assessment and Periscope will be integrated into several electronic patient records. “We are exploring how to implement this in different hospitals and what we will develop next.”

Opening Plus Ultra Amsterdam

The preliminaries also set the stage for the official opening of Plus Ultra Amsterdam, just steps away from the Amsterdam UMC. Companies can rent office and laboratory space here. During the jury deliberations, a panel led by host Quincy Dalh engaged in a discussion about the building and collaboration on this healthcare-campus-to-be.

Watch the video of the grand opening. The text continues below the video.

Plus Ultra, a building by Kadans Science Partner, should contribute to that. “We want to connect business, education and health care on a campus. We thus facilitate scientists and companies to find answers to social issues,” said director Michel Leemhuis. Jeroen Heijs of the Ministry of Economic Affairs is also pleased with this new location. “As a small company, it is always difficult to find a good, strategic location. After all, you can’t put up your own building next to an academic hospital. Facilities like this one, with their own lab space, are important for the Netherlands. They contribute to knowledge exchange within this campus, but also between similar knowledge hubs in Europe.”

Hans van Goudoever, chairperson of the Amsterdam UMC Board of Directors, would like to see more such places in the area. “Startups and scale-ups here can find out if the stuff we come up with in a lab actually works. And they can then take those discoveries back to the hospital and patients themselves.” “We also really need the business community to keep healthcare accessible in our region,” added Amsterdam councillor Alexander Scholtes.

Professor of surgery Marlies Schijven encouraged entrepreneurs not to push more and more technology towards healthcare providers, but to try and really support that healthcare provider. “Everyone thinks they have a golden idea, but please consult early on with the people who have to actually work with it.”

Text: Mirjam Streefkerk

About Zorg2025

The regional preliminary of the Zorginnovatieprijs is organised by Amsterdam Economic Board with the Zorg2025 consortium: ROM InWest, Rabobank, Amsterdam AI and Sigra. Together we also organise other Zorg2025 meetings. These are aimed at bringing together healthcare and welfare professionals, industry, researchers and knowledge institutions in the field of health and prevention. The starting point is the sharing of knowledge, new research and innovations.

14 February 2024

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