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Danish digital health startup receives funding through Digital Sandbox

Radiobotics Martin Axelsen

In the EIT Health funded project Radiobotics is developing a product for automatic analysis of radiographs of the hip.

Six European startups in biotech, medtech and digital health will receive in total €180 000 in funding to access samples and collaborate with European biobanks and quality registers. During a year the companies will participate in an innovation program, called Digital Sandbox and funded by the Knowledge and Innovation Community, EIT Health.

“Our vision is to be at the forefront of clinical research and work closely with the hospitals to fully demonstrate how our technology brings value to clinicians. Being part of the EIT Health network and Digital Sandbox we have a brilliant opportunity to evaluate our new product on real-world data, allowing us to ensure that the final product actually supports the clinicians in their work just as we have intended,” says Martin Axelsen, CSO & Co-founder, Radiobotics.

Facilitating collaborations

The program will help the startups to tap into that data to create healthcare innovations and support in helping the development of new products and services as well as starting collaborations with biobanks, sample holders and quality registers in Europe.

All companies have at least technology readiness (TRL) 3 with proof of concept demonstrated analytically.

“It’s our second consecutive year that we host this program and we are expanding the network to cover not only Estonia, Sweden and Denmark but also Belgium and the Netherlands. Through last year’s Digital Sandbox four companies have started collaborations with biobanks in Europe and through our networking events we have facilitated collaborations with research groups and we have advised on regulations in different countries as they vary. Estonia has for example a National Biobank which differs from Sweden and Denmark who require a local research partner,” says Ulrika Zagai, Project Manager for Biobanks and Registers in Transition, EIT Health Scandinavia.

Half of the funding is earmarked for accessing health data or biological samples and EIT Health will support the companies in establishing connections and collaboration with biobanks and registers and identify a local research partner which is crucial in order to collaborate, not only with a biobank but also with a research group to access samples from Sweden and Denmark.

Automatic analysis of radiographs of the hip

Radiobotics is developing algorithms for automatic analysis and description of routine medical x-ray images at hospitals, within musculoskeletal radiology. In the funded project the company is developing a product for automatic analysis of radiographs of the hip. The developed machine learning model needs exposure to real-world data in order to ensure generalizability. This can be achieved by access to retrospectively collected digital radiographs of the pelvis and will allow for product validation. Such a data sample is for example accessible via a research sample collection in Denmark.

“We need innovative solutions that can optimize workflow, raise the quality of description of radiographs to keep up with the ever-increasing demand for diagnostic imaging. Hopefully by working with Radiobotics and new technologies we can ensure improved quality of healthcare in the treatment of patients with muscular-skeletal problems,” says Ole Graumann, Associate Professor, Department of Radiology, Odense University Hospital and Department of Clinical Research, University of Southern Denmark.

Digital Sandbox awarded companies 2020

Besides Danish Radiobotics, the awarded companies include Acobiom (France), which will use biomarkers for diagnosing and personalized treatment of pancreatic cancer, Amadix Advanced Markers Discovery (Spain), which will develop a test for early detection of colon cancer, BeFC Bioenzymatic Fuel Cells (France), which will use eco-friendly paper based Bioenzymatic Fuel Cells (BeFC) in medical disposables like pregnancy tests to eliminate the environmental impact, GlyCardial Diagnostics (Spain), which is focused on the development of a novel diagnostic test for the early detection cardiac events, and Healthinn:Rehand (Spain), which will use demographic and clinical data related to the recovery of the injuries and surgical interventions in hand, wrist, and fingers, from thousands of patients to empower their product.

About EIT Health Scandinavia

EIT Health is a Knowledge and Innovation Community (KIC) established by the EU body European Institute for Innovation & Technology (EIT). EIT Health is a collaboration between more than 150 Partners within pharma, medtech, healthcare and healthcare funders, research institutions, and universities. Backed by the European Union, EIT Health is Europe’s largest life science collaboration organisation, and one of the largest life science initiatives world-wide. EIT Health is active across three fields: business creation, education, and multidisciplinary healthcare innovation initiatives.

EIT Health has Partners and programmes in 17 countries. The other Co-Location Centres are present in Barcelona, Paris, London, Rotterdam, Heidelberg-Mannheim and Budapest. The headquarter of EIT Health is located in Munich. EIT Health Scandinavia covers Sweden, Denmark and Estonia, and the main office is located in Stockholm.

Core Partner are Karolinska Institute (KI),Technical University of Denmark (DTU),   Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Region Skåne, Region Stockholm, RISE, Thermo Fischer Scientific, University of Copenhagen (UCPH),University of Tartu and Uppsala University.

Associate Partners are AstraZeneca, City of Uppsala, Copenhagen Business School (CBS), Novo Nordisk, Region Uppsala and The Capital Region of Copenhagen.

Linked/Affiliated Parties are Entreprenörstiftelsen Drivhuset, Karolinska Institute Innovations AB, Karolinska University Hospital, Life Technologies Corporation, RISE Acreo AB, RISE Interactive Institute AB, RISE SICS AB. Smile Incubator, Stockholm Innovation & Growth AB, Tartu University Hospital, Uppsala Innovation Centre AB.

Image caption: Martin Axelsen, CEO, Radiobotics