In the exciting regional preliminary round on February 14, three Noord-Holland nominees – Periscope, Zeno AI and Reset – gave their best on stage in Amsterdam.
“Periscope is our winner because they can help with a large problem that costs society a lot of money,” said jury member Guido Zonneveld as he announced the winner. Periscope uses artificial intelligence to accurately predict whether a patient will get an infection after surgery. This allows healthcare providers to take more proactive care of their patients. Zonneveld encouraged Periscope initiator Bart Geerts and his colleagues to further develop the product. “The real impact is hard to estimate at this point. Get to work on that, try to show what doctors are doing with the predictions of your tool. I wish you good luck with that.”
“This is an excellent confirmation that we are on the right track,” said a cheerful Bart Geerts shortly after the awards ceremony. “The problem we are working on has been validated. Now it is time for the next step.” That’s applying for CE certification for medical devices. “In a year, we hope to be live with the first five and maybe as many as 10 customers.”
The application can be added to the electronic health record, allowing doctors to immediately see the likelihood of infection.
Click to see all pictures of the nominees and winner of the Noord-Holland preliminaries for the Zorginnovatieprijs 2023.
National Healthcare Innovation Award 2023
Periscope will go to the final of the National Zorginnovatieprijs 2023 on March 30, during the Health Valley Event in Nijmegen. Here it will have a chance to win, among other things, a cash prize of 10,000 euros. The jury of the Noord-Holland preliminary round consisted of Arianne van Lavieren(Zilveren Kruis), Linze Rijswijk(ROM InWest), Ishaan Tewarie(EQT/LSP) and Guido Zonneveld(BovenIJ Hospital and TU Eindhoven). They asked the three nominated contenders sharp questions about their pitches: numbers, scalability and what data algorithms they use.
Safe infusion care
Last year, Connected Infusion Care at Home from CareXS won the regional preliminary round of the Zorginnovatieprijs. CareXS director Cliff Bos says the award kick-started his product. “We were given a great launching platform and as a result we were able to get connected to many organisations. There was even interest from Finland and Sweden. CareXS is focusing on rolling out pilots in cooperation with several hospitals in the near future.”
Though there are still quite a few barriers to overcome, Bos says. “Innovation is one thing, but current systems are often not ready for it. That’s why contract innovation is important, by looking at how we pay for innovations. We will continue to work passionately on that in the time ahead. I hope today’s pitchers will also experience that acceleration. Being a nominee here already makes you a winner as far as I’m concerned.”
Besides Periscope, Zeno AI and Reset were the other two nominees. Marius Wellenstein of WSK Medical talks about Zeno AI, artificial intelligence-based software that can help with early detection of throat cancer.
“ENT doctors can correctly pinpoint and classify an abnormality in the throat themselves in only 30 percent of cases, which means patients sometimes have to wait a long time for a diagnosis. That long wait, in turn, causes poorer survival rates and increased healthcare costs.”
Doctors at Radboud UMC in Nijmegen and at UMC Groningen are already using the tool. What makes the tool special is its ease of use, as Wellenstein also demonstrates in a video. Once the application has official CE certification, it can be sold to other hospitals. A lot of interest is already coming from there, Wellenstein says.
The third nominee is Jeff Povlo of Reset. With his startup, he wants to help people manage stress better. “Stress in itself is not bad, but poorly managing stress costs society a lot of money. Just taking a ten-minute break between meetings is enormously good for your brain.”
The Reset Pod is a physical space where employees can retreat for a while. Using an app on your phone and wearables like a smartwatch, a user is offered a brief intervention, after which they can return to work reset. Reset’s revenue model consists not only of selling the pods, but also of subscriptions and customised services to businesses.
The company hopes to start selling the first Reset Pods next year. “Companies and universities have been showing interest for several years, but we wanted to develop the product properly first. Now we are ready to go to market.”
During the jury deliberations, Douwe Jippes treats the audience to a beautiful vision of care. The founder and managing partner of investor Healthy.Capital sees considerable room for improvement in the Dutch healthcare ecosystem. “There is a health care infirmity and beautiful innovations can help solve it, but scaling up is difficult. Our system is focused on insuring the claims burden.”
But we cannot blame the system alone; innovators also have an important job to do: sales. “I talk to a lot of entrepreneurs and find it disappointing how much they do sales. How hard they work on a problem-solution-fit.”
Jippes’ advice: with your product, for example, look for alignment with “self if you can, home if you can, digital if you can,” a new standard from the Minister of Long-Term Care and Sport. Research carefully the many different financing options available. There are pots of money everywhere. “The companies that have been able to take advantage of the available transformation funds have all grown seriously, making a real impact.”
Jippes hopes for more boldness and vision. Many innovations fail to scale, and as far as he is concerned, the level of ambition may go up. “I think we can think about new care concepts instead of telemonitoring and other solutions that have been around for a long time. There should also be structural funding for the innovation ecosystem. And, to the directors present here today: if you get the chance, you can really make a difference by helping an entrepreneur.”
The National Healthcare Innovation Award (Zorginnovatieprijs 2023) is an award for the most innovative company in the scale-up phase in the field of health and wellness. During the Slimme Zorg Estafette (Smart Care Relay – a series of events) the regional preliminary rounds take place throughout the Netherlands. Each region will select one nominee and these advance to the finals on March 30 during the Health Valley Event. This is an opportunity for entrepreneurs to accelerate their innovation that has already been worked out, tested and launched.
Are you an innovator yourself and could use some help? Then sign up for the Health Impact Accelerator, a programme that will take you 10 weeks to work on a business case for your innovation.
The Noord-Holland preliminary of the Zorginnovatieprijs is organised by Zorg2025. Together with Ahti, Smart Health Amsterdam, Rabobank and Sigra, Amsterdam Economic Board is organising the 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.