EIC Pathfinder Challenge: Towards the Healthcare Continuum - Technologies to Support A Radical Shift from Episodic to Continuous Healthcare


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European Commission
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The EIC is Europe's flagship innovation programme to identify, develop and scale up breakthrough technologies and game changing innovations.The funding and support is organised into three main funding schemes and with its Pathfinder programme the EIC supports the exploration of bold ideas for radically new technologies. It welcomes the high-risk / high gain and interdisciplinary cutting-edge science collaborations that underpin technological breakthroughs. 

Applicants participating in EIC Pathfinder projects are typically visionary scientists and entrepreneurial researchers from universities, research organisations, start-ups, high-tech SMEs or industrial stakeholders interested in technological research and innovation.

EIC establish a portfolio of projects that explore different perspectives, competing approaches or complementary aspects of the Challenge, and one of the EIC Pathfinder challenge is Towards the Healthcare Continuum.

The objective of this EIC Pathfinder Challenge is to develop systems and technologies starting at very low TRL for unobtrusive monitoring of human health with new continuous and personal imaging and sensing modalities, implementing continuous assessment, processing and analysis of the data to identify early signs of disease. This call can support innovative technologies ranging from the sensor level up to the system level for effective integration of multimodal data.

Proposals can aim at monitoring a family of conditions or a wider mix of health factors, using the optimal combination of single-point or historic multi-point sensor data and, if appropriate, clinical records, genomic data, etc to realise maximal performance. Involvement of relevant stakeholders (eg, clinical experts and patient organisations) from an early stage is recommended. The gender dimension in research content should be considered, where relevant as well as the involvement of relevant stakeholders (eg clinical practitioners, patient organisations, etc) from an early stage.

Proposals submitted to this EIC Pathfinder Challenge should tackle the following specific objectives:

  • Develop a novel technology (device, instrument or full system) for unobtrusive proactive healthcare. The targeted technology should offer life-long health status monitoring and elements of predictive medicine with methodologies grounded in existing scientific evidence.
  • The end objective must be a Proof-of-Concept and preliminary data suggestive of adequate safety and performance, while paying attention to minimising false positives that could hamper its real-world use.
  • The targeted technology should make the case for a clinically acceptable solution amenable to successful evaluation under common Health Technology Assessment (HTA) methodologies.
  • The path to future integration in the European healthcare workflow, specifically in relation to the inter-operability with existing infrastructures, as well as take up and compliance by appropriate patient populations, should be plausible.

The expected impact should be the establishment of the basis for the transformation of the prevailing episodic, symptom-triggered, healthcare system into continuous healthcare, in which individuals are accompanied continuously and unobtrusively by health monitoring technology and practitioners, proactively offering diagnosis and treatment.

Requirements

The EIC Pathfinder Challenges support collaborative research and innovation from consortia or proposals from single legal entities established in a Member State or an Associated Country (unless stated otherwise in the specific challenge chapter). In case of a consortium your proposal must be submitted by the coordinator on behalf of the consortium that includes at least two independent legal entities: Consortia of two entities must be comprised of independent legal entities from two different Member States or Associated Countries. Consortia of three or above entities follow standard rules i.e. they must include at least one legal entity established in a Member State and at least two other independent legal entities, each established in different Member States or Associated Countries

The legal entities may for example be universities, research organisations, SMEs, start-ups, natural persons. In the case of single beneficiary projects, mid-caps and larger companies will not be permitted.

Grants of up to 3 to 4 million euro support early stage development of future technologies (e.g. various activities at low Technology Readiness Levels 1-3), up to proof of concept. Pathfinder projects can also receive additional funding for testing the innovation potential of their research outputs.

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