IDTechEx Predicts Flexible Electronics will own a Major Slice of the Healthcare Market by 2030

smart Health Patches 2
Athlete wearing the smart Health Patch.

DSP Valley active in Flexible Electronics and Healthcare

Healthcare is a major market for both established and emerging technologies. Flexible Electronics is a growing field gaining more and more momentum. Flexible electronics in healthcare is a combination with a bright future.

As our Newsletter readers and members will know, DSP Valley is currently active in three Flexible (and Wearable) Electronics projects: Flexlines (focused on creating a one-stop-shop for flexible electronics), SmartX (specifically geared towards flexible electronics in textiles), and SmartEEs (aimed at helping innovative companies digitize). This is by design: flexible (and wearable) electronics have high potential. This is in part because of their many possible applications.

One of DSP Valley’s core programs in Smart Health. We’re co-founders of the IBN flanders.health. This year, we’ve worked hard alongside our partners Flanders.bio and MedTech Flanders in getting a Spearhead Cluster for Health Tech off the ground in Flanders.

Collaborative Digital Business Breeding

Our work in the health technology and flexible electronics sectors is essential to our central mission: breeding digital business through collaborative business development. The European Flexible and Wearable Electronics projects and the flanders.health IBN and coming Spearhead Cluster are concrete examples of creating collaborative business opportunities. These go beyond single company, or even single application, vision and seek to build and support strong ecosystems that will be economically sustainable.

This is why we were delighted to read IDTechEx’s analysis. The abstract of their report “Flexible Electronics in Healthcare 2020-2030” confirms DSP Valley’s perceptions. It reinforces our resolve to continue to work hard to bring Flexible Electronics and Health Tech together, in our region and beyond.

Click here to read the summary sent to us by IDTechEx. Please note that we have nothing to do with their research. This is neither an endorsement nor a promotion.

Join us to find out more

Want to find out more about our Flexible (and Wearable) Electronics projects? Check out the upcoming FREE events – click the titles for more information and to register:

22
October2020
Flexible Electronics Webinar Flexlines unites different players providing access to new Flexible Electronics technologies through one-stop-shop concepts in order to accelerate the design, development, and uptake of advanced applications in Flexible & Wearable Electronics. 
14:00 CETOnline
12
November2020
SmartEEs information Session with TNOThe SmartEEs Project is funded by Horizon 2020 and is aimed at supporting SMEs and Mid-caps in integrating flexible and wearable electronics into novel (series of) products.

In this webinar, Corne Rentrop (TNO) and Dieter Therssen (DSP Valley) will explain all about the project and what the benefits are for companies and service providers thinking about applying.
14:00 CETOnline
17
November2020
SmartEEs Information Session with imecThe SmartEEs Project is funded by Horizon 2020 and is aimed at supporting SMEs and Mid-caps in integrating flexible and wearable electronics into novel (series of) products.

In this webinar, Dieter Therssen (DSP Valley), Maarten Cauwe (imec), and Frederick Bossuyt (imec) will explain all about the project and what the benefits are for companies and service providers thinking about applying.
11:00 CETOnline

Sky’s the Limit for Flemish Startup Helpilepsy

Helpilepsy app visualization for patient care

At DSP Valley, we love to see our member organizations succeed. We’re happy for them, of course! We’re also thrilled to see our digitization ecosystem thriving and rewarding innovation. That’s why we’re delighted to share exciting news about one of our startup members, Helpilepsy.

Managing Epilepsy with Digital Technology and Personalized Medicine

Launched in 2017, Helpilepsy is a platform for both patients and their care team to monitor epileptic seizures, side effects, medication and other parameters. Billed as “a complete digital solution for people with epilepsy and neurologists,” the software allows for more personalized approaches to Epilepsy in patients. Currently, patients and doctors in 5 countries (Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Germany, and Hungary) use Helpilepsy, with more expansion on the horizon.

It works like any app: a patient can download it on their app platform of choice (the Apple store, Google Play, etc) and begin using it. Physicians and healthcare workers can track and monitor patient inputs through beautifully visualized web dashboards.

Moving Forward

This summer, the team announced an exciting development: official ISO13485:2016 certification, with many thanks to their Quality and Regulatory Lead Amandine Berton. This may not sound like a huge deal, but it’s a big achievement, especially for a small startup team.

ISO certification pertains to a manufacturer’s quality management system, which in turn involves their documentation and processes. All new releases need to be fully documented, the team must be able to show clinical proof of their software’s effectiveness, new employees must go through a welcome checklist, and more. These must comply with ISO13485 in order to meet European regulations. EU regulations govern myriad elements, including customer feedback, logistics, development and more — all before a product can be sold with the CE mark within the EU single market.

The CE symbol, which we probably all recognize but never really think about, indicates “that products sold in the EEA have been assessed to meet high safety, health, and environmental protection requirements. When you buy a new phone, a teddy bear, or a TV within the EEA, you can find the CE mark on them. CE marking also supports fair competition by holding all companies accountable to the same rules.”1 Crucially, it is up to manufacturers to make sure their products adhere to CE standards and EU regulations.

Recently, the rules regarding medical devices and medical technology changed. From now on, medical software including apps like Helpilepsy and the team’s newest product, Migraine Manager, fall into a higher classification. This means that they are subject to much stricter oversight. Affected class I medical software companies have been given until 2024 to fully conform to the new regulations.

The fact that the Helpilepsy team has been able to secure ISO certification ahead of the deadline is a testament to their talent and dedication.

Top Tier

While ISO certification, and subsequent CE marking, is administratively necessary, it brings with it tangible benefits. For one thing, the team is ahead of the game. The biggest part of their work to fully comply with new regulations is complete. They can once again focus on their core business!

Moreover, the processes necessary for the certification lend further credibility to Helpilepsy’s technology. It’s a strong selling point that they can offer to potential patients, doctors, and business partners.

What’s more, as co-founder Ludovic Ampe explains, ISO certification will hopefully be a catalyst for further expansion. Since the CE mark is a European-widely recognized standard, achieving it should open up more international markets.

Last but not least, at the end of August, Helpilepsy was named one of the top 10 health tech startups in the Benelux region. A great achievement — Congratulations!

Be sure to keep your eye on this up-and-coming organization! We’re willing to bet they have even more exciting developments in store 😊

You can visit Helpilepsy at their website and follow them via their social media channels:

What You Need To Bring an Innovative Healthcare Product To Market

Innovating in the field of medical devices can get extremely complicated and overwhelm even the most experienced engineers.

For startups all the necessary areas of expertise can prove be too much, but even for well-established medical companies it is not an easy task to keep up with the ever-changing field, increased complexity and regulations of medical devices.

Nyxoah – Surgical implant tool
Nyxoah – Surgical implant tool
Areas of expertise

The first thing you need is a multidisciplinary team that covers all the different areas of expertise. For startups, this is often impossible, and they need to look for external services to complement their skills. If you take this external route, look for teams that are flexible and can work well together with your team. Look for a team that has an extensive history in medical products and other fields. They can provide a wealth of expertise and experience in various areas that even some medical device manufacturers may lack internally. This will ensure you look at your project from different angles and transfer solutions from other fields.

Experienced design firms have tried and tested development methodologies that will guide you through the whole process. They know where the pitfalls are, and can work according to the required ISO standards.

MEDEC - Anaesthesia device
MEDEC – Anaesthesia device
Start from the user

Human factors, user-centric design, and usability engineering play an increasingly important role in the medical device industry.

Designing for healthcare must start from the user (patient, doctor, caregiver), not the technology. Particularly crucial is designing for human factors from patient acceptance, to increasing patient and user safety, to minimizing the risks of potential human errors.

Acquiring insights into user needs, fears, and use from patients and workers is essential for designing a successful medical device. Therefore, extensive user research and testing are an absolute must in the development process.

A couple sleeps peacefully. The man is wearing a medical patch device on his throat
Nyxoah – Obstructive Sleep Apnoea implant
Connected

Medical devices are not stand alone anymore. Many products are connected to platforms and exchange data with patients, doctors, and caregivers. This requires new insights and disciplines to design frustration-free user interfaces, secure data protection, and interconnected products.

Additionally, some healthcare is shifting away from hospitals and other medical environments to patients’ homes. Connected smart products collect medical data and make it available for patients, and doctors, in real time, to make the right decisions. This not only makes the development of products more complex, with smart censors and high connectivity, but also demands a complete rethinking of how healthcare services are delivered. These products become product-service systems that require a service design expertise to make them successful on the market.

TERUMO BCT – Laboratory tube sealing
TERUMO BCT – Laboratory tube sealing
Production

Finally, when you have your minimal viable product, proof of concept, and final prototype, you must be able to produce it in a consistent error-free way.

Thinking about this is not something you start with after the design is finished. Design for manufacturing should already be part of the design process from the very beginning. Production and product cost need to be taken into account at the very start of development.

Finding the right partner to produce your product is also essential, and if you start early enough, a good partner will help you in the last stage to go to production.

UNEEG Medical– For long-term monitoring EEG
UNEEG Medical– For long-term monitoring EEG
Go to market

Established healthcare companies have the necessary expertise to market their products in-house. For startups this can be a challenge. Even the best designed product can fail if it is not brought to market the right way. At the start of the development, product marketing and branding must already be part of the thinking process. This is the only way to make sure they will reinforce each other and avoid unpleasant surprises at launch.

How does Achilles face medical design?

At Achilles, we advance healthcare through people-centered design. We prototype early and often, to ensure we keep the people we design for at the heart of the process. By putting ideas in the hands of users from low-fidelity paper interfaces to 3D-printed prototypes and high-level immersion VR, we systematically identify improvements and preventively exclude risks without compromising our intuition.

We believe better health is achieved by engaging people at every stage of their health journey. Our cross functional team — consisting of biomedical engineers, designers, usability experts, and a doctor — work across disciplines to integrate people’s needs with responsible technology and sustainable business models. We strive to establish innovative healthcare service solutions that drive business value by advancing the standard of healthcare.


Visit Achilles Design at MEDICA Düsseldorf from 16-19/11/2020.

Written by

Jurgen Oskamp
Jurgen Oskamp

Founding partner at Achilles Design

Lung Diagnostics Startup ArtiQ Keeps Innovating During Pandemic

Leuven-based startup ArtiQ has had plenty to keep them busy these last months. Using artificial intelligence-based software, ArtiQ.PFT, they help doctors interpret pulmonary function tests and improve the diagnostic environment for respiratory diseases. As the covid-19 pandemic hit, their lung diagnostic innovation has found fertile ground.

lung diagnostic testing in a hospital

Lung diagnostics innovation in the time of Corona

Recently, ArtiQ CEO and co-founder Marko Topalovic wrote about how he and his team have been tackling the Covid-19 pandemic for Eureca (European Respiratory Cluster Antwerp). In his article, Marko explains how the pandemic shifted ArtiQ’s focus somewhat.

“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all lung function tests were shut down during a certain time. Now hospitals are restarting their practice and lung function tests can be used to monitor the progression of the disease,” he writes.

After requests from doctors inundated by pandemic patients, Marko and the team decided to offer their software free of licensing fees until September. As such, their diagnostic AI technology is increasingly being used to follow-up on patients, in addition to its original intention to help with initial diagnoses.

ArtiQ.PFT, is already used in the interpretation of more than 50.000 lung function tests in UZ Leuven, CHU Saint-Pierre, OLV Aalst and ZOL Genk.

Marko Topalovic

Following Patient Roadmaps

As Covid-19 patients leave hospitals, they’re increasingly visiting their primary care doctors for check ups. This means that non-hospital healthcare providers are in more need of lung care technology. In response, ArtiQ is looking to move out of hospitals, too, and is actively working on bringing their technological support to GPs.

“ArtiQ plans to integrate AI-expertise with spirometry to support GPs in identifying lung diseases and improving their decision making,” Marko states. “In the future, such tool may play an important role in the follow-up of COVID-19 patients on the GP level.”

A stethoscope lying on a cloth

ArtiQ in drug development

Given the success they’re seeing in patient follow-up, the team at ArtiQ is also looking into expanding their technologies into pharmaceuticals and drug development. They’re specifically looking to bring their technology to clinical trials and improving quality control of lung function measurements.

As Marko explains, “In respiratory drug development, lung function is the primary clinical tool to assess the efficiency of treatment. Therefore, it is critical for pharmaceutical companies and the success of their clinical trials that the results of these tests are consistent and reliable.” ArtiQ’s new AI-based software can do just this.

Using AI to improve healthcare

Ultimately, it’s the AI ArtiQ integrates and innovates that’s making the big difference. The ArtiQ team is profoundly aware of the changes AI is bringing to the healthcare system. As they see it, using artificial intelligence in healthcare can provide tangible support for healthcare workers. Three top examples, elaborated in a recent blog post. include:

  1. Providing consistent decision support for healthcare providers, especially where large amounts of data are involved
  2. Reducing the administrative burden so that healthcare professionals spend less time on paperwork
  3. Creating more time to focus on human interaction. The preceding two will allow health professionals to have more time with patients and for meaningful collaborations with colleagues

You can visit ArtiQ at their website and follow them via their social media channels

flanders.health Online Pitch & Match Sessions

1 July 2020 @ 09:30 12:00 CEST

In times of covid-19 and social distancing, it is more important than ever to boost collaborations and bring new healthcare ideas to the next level. After carefully considering the measures taken by the Belgian government, we have decided to cancel the Healthy@Home physical meeting originally scheduled for May 15 and replace it with a number of online meetings in which you can advance your ideas or collaborate with your virtual neighbor.

Given the health, economical, and societal impacts of the present covid-19 pandemic, and next to the topic Healthy@Home, the series of Pitch and Match sessions will ask “How to beat the next corona-like crisis: What digital & life sciences tools/services are needed to improve efficiency and support health and wellbeing?” We welcome your ideas to prevent, prepare, or support the global community in case of a new crisis.

Below you’ll find the information for the next session. We warmly invite you to indicate topics you would like to have addressed in subsequent sessions.

  • Wednesday, 1 July 2020 (9:30-12pm): AI, Big Data, & Telemedicine
    • How to use AI and big data for personalized disease prediction, early symptom detection, disease outbreak modelling, etc. How to use telemedicine or intelligent IT tools to inform and guide populations at large?
    • Send in your proposal using this form by June 10 to info@flanders.health

Do not miss this opportunity to submit your idea and/or to register for one or more of these Pitch & Match sessions!

This event is for members only!

flanders.health membership

These Pitch and Match sessions aim to kick-start cross-over partnerships and projects in order to accelerate the development of innovative healthcare solutions. They are open to flanders.health members only, with at least a Connect membership. If you want to present your idea, offer your expertise and/or services, and connect with the project holders, please register here. If you are not yet a Connect member (or higher), we kindly ask you to apply for a Connect membership within your registration.

Online

Wherever you are! + Google Map

Health Technology Spearhead Cluster Info Session

4 June 2020 @ 10:00 10:30 UTC

Since last year, we’ve been in talks with the Flemish government, alongside partners Flanders.bio and MedTech Flanders, to create a Spearhead Cluster in Health Technology.

This is an exciting opportunity for the ecosystem, and in this online session you’ll find out all the reasons why!

Members Only!

DSP Valley

+32(0)162441440

www.breedingdigitalbusiness.com

Online

Wherever you are! + Google Map

Eurostars Life Sciences – VIRTUAL MEETINGS

27 May 2020 All day

Carefully considering the current measures taken by the Belgian government, and as the Knowledge for Growth conference is being postponed to September 10, the Eurostars Life Sciences matchmaking event will be organized in 2 sessions: 

  1. Virtual meetings on 27 May 2020 (this event)
  2. Presentations, pitches and physical B2B-meetings on 9 September 2020

The Eurostars Life Sciences matchmaking event is a brokerage event for SMEs looking to cooperate in research and development projects in the context of the Eurostars Calls (next cut-off deadline is 3 September 2020).

To help interested parties in finding international partners (companies, universities, research institutes) with complementary expertise to set up a Eurostars project, the Enterprise Europe Network and the public funding agencies from Belgium, the Netherlands and Nordrhein-Westfalen (Germany) are co-organizing an international matchmaking event for SMEs interested in Life Sciences topics, including health, biotech, medtech and agrotech.

Eurostars funds international innovative projects led by R&D-performing SMEs. With its bottom-up approach, it supports the development of innovative products, processes and services. It is an ideal first step in international cooperation, enabling small businesses to combine and share expertise and benefit from working beyond national or regional borders.

  • On 27 May 2020, the b2match platform will facilitate online B2B meetings to allow companies to find partners for the next Eurostars call in September. 
  • On 9 September 2020, the physical matchmaking event will take place in Ghent, Belgium. Find out more here.

Please note that participants of the virtual matchmaking session on 27 May are also invited to attend the full Eurostars Life Sciences matchmaking event (with presentations, pitches and bilateral meetings) on 9 September 2020 in Ghent!

Free

Online

Wherever you are! + Google Map

Business Opportunities in Wearables & Artificial Intelligence for Health

This event has been postponed until further notice. Check back for updates.

We cordially invite you to attend this second edition of “Biomedica on the Move” that is exceptionally organized as a combination of the workshop and the official Kick-Out Meeting of wearIT4health, an Interreg V-A EMR project focusing on the development of a wearable device for the continuous monitoring of hospitalized patients in the Euregio Meuse-Rhine.

​You will benefit from:​

  • the presentation of the achievements of the wearIT4health project and a tech transfer possibility of the developed monitor
  • the chance to meet many potential project or business partners in one afternoon, coming from the Euregio Meuse-Rhine
  • the ability to discuss your innovation and collaboration needs in more detail during a  1-to-1 matchmaking session
  • effectively gain knowledge on the Euregional facilities and expertise
  • the opportunity for 12 SMEs to pitch during 5 minutes about their activity, the service they can offer, their need, and possibilities of collaboration in the field of Wearables and Artificial Intelligence in Health. The 12 pitching SMEs may bring a roll-up that will be displayed in the reception hall

A parking space has been reserved specifically for this event in the CHU’s offloading car park. Free shuttle buses will take you every ten minutes to the building’s entrance.

A press conference will be organised in a dedicated room at the 5th floor of the GIGA building  from 11:00 am

Free Registration is mandatory

GIGA Tower, 5th Floor, CHU of Liège

Avenue de l'Hopital, 1-11
Liege, 4000 Belgium
+ Google Map