Quick reads


While it’s no secret that there is a convergence of digital technology and healthcare here in the United States, Europe too is on the cusp of such a revolution. European nations like Germany, France, Britain and Switzerland all have world-class research facilities and are often ranked near the top globally in life sciences innovation. This past March, the annual Healthtech Invest Europe conference was held in Helsinki, Finland. The conference showcased some of the most compelling and disruptive healthtech start-ups that European talent has to offer to the global marketplace. Here are some of the newest innovations to come out of Europe in 2017:


Leg Lengthening Orthopedics Technology – A joint German and Finnish medical technology startup called Synoste has put together technology that helps solve the medical condition for leg length discrepancy. The legs contain three “long bones” (the femur, tibia and fibula) all of which grow through human adolescence. Leg length discrepancy is a condition that stunts bone growth in the leg, where these long bones do not grow synchronously with humans. The technology that Synoste has developed is a high-tech medical implant that helps extend the length of the “shorter long bone” in order to better provide back support and proper gait, as these are major symptoms of this condition. Synoste is CE marked in Europe and is expecting sales by the end of 2017.


Mechanically-competent heart implants – A French medical device company called Fineheart has developed a patented and novel cardiac implant solution that can act as a replacement for patients whose hearts have severe cardiac failure. The device is meant to be a fully implantable and pulsatile support system that would overcome problems stemming from left ventricular assist devices while restoring normal cardiac output levels and eventually a higher quality of life.


Gaming to encourage healthy activity – Swiss start-up Dacadoo and Italian start-up Imaginary srl are trying to promote healthy living and well-being through the “gamification” of health. The companies both make applications that register users to keep track of their daily activities by creating an environment that fosters playful competition. The applications provide health scores that measure your overall “healthiness” and promote online gaming and coaching that will help improve your score. The idea is to merge behavioral science and psychology to engage users to monitor their health in ways that may be more meaningful.


Thin film “wearables” – Finnish company, Lakka Technologies, has a patented device that records health metrics like pulse, blood pressure and breathing rate. While wearables are a hot topic in today’s global marketplace, this particular device is a thin film that acts like a patch and is placed on the wrist. Unlike most wearables, the thin film is discreet in nature so it isn’t easily noticed and not distracting by appearance. Additionally, it has built in technology that recognizes skin pigmentation; thereby filtering out tattoos, hennas, etc. so they do not interfere with the collection of data. The film also has much lower power consumption than classic wearable devices that require the use of LEDs, so it is more energy efficient.

Image Source: https://blog.zesty.co.uk/digital-health-innovation-londons-healthtech-power-brands-emerge/

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