Three challenges announced for Start-ups Meet Healthcare Providers 2021

Applications for the programme are open until 3 September 2021.

Recognising the potential benefits for technological innovation in healthcare, we are excited to announce that the applications for our new programme Start-ups Meet Healthcare Providers are officially open! The Start-ups Meet Healthcare Providers is a challenge-based accelerator programme that aims to bring to the table novel ideas that improve the practice of health care and scalable solutions that create transformational change for the field. This year three healthcare providers, Children’s University Hospital Latvia, University Hospital Centre Sisters of Charity and Diakonie Baden-Württemberg released challenges and we are now accepting applications until 3 September 2021.

Challenges for 2021

Challenge 1: Integrating solutions into systems such as TI, eGK, ePA and ensuring approval as a medical device as well as integration into mainstream care, sponsored by the Diakonisches Werk of the Protestant Church in Baden-Württemberg.

The telematics infrastructure (TI), which connects all players in the healthcare system, continues to gain momentum and become more complex. In this context, the secure exchange of information across sectors and systems as well as the long term protection of sensitive data plays a central role. The ideal solution is a tool that allows the communication and handling of data between the different players, fulfilling the necessary medical and regulatory standards. Diakonie Baden is looking for innovative solutions, e.g. apps on prescription or similar health apps that can be approved as a medical device in several (partial) products according to MDR and integrated into standard care via reimbursement.

Challenge 2: Online interaction space for communities of patients and their families as part of an online children’s health ecosystem, sponsored by Children’s University Hospital Latvia. 

Online health communities are rapidly increasing their presence and relevance in the healthcare setting. If built and used in the correct way, they can offer an efficient way to collect information on unmet medical or social needs, highlight shared problems in specific groups, facilitate patient engagement or help in opinion-forming, among others. The ideal solution would provide a secure digital communication space for families, patients, and other stakeholders (for example Patient and Family councils) in relation to different diseases, health interests, etc. and ideally also the collection of information regarding their needs.

Challenge 3: Tools to identify, monitor and optimize patients’ medication adherence, sponsored by University Hospital Centre Sisters of Charity.

Failure to adhere to prescribed medication regimens is one of the principal reasons patients don’t achieve the expected outcomes from their treatment. According to the 2003 World Health Organization (WHO) report on medication adherence, among patients suffering from chronic diseases in developed countries, adherence averages only 50%. This challenge is looking for an innovative tool, technology solution (e.g. pillboxes, inhalers, injection pens, tracking devices), or applications for identifying, monitoring and optimizing patients’ adherence and feedback to the physician.

A full description of the challenges is available here.

Programme details


The program consists of four different modules with the objective to train and prepare startups to discuss collaboration opportunities with pharma companies.

  • Module 1 (11-15/10/2021): 5 days “Entrepreneurship & Market Access Training”. Start-ups will receive tailored workshops on different tools and methods to successfully build their business.
  • Module 2 (25-29/10/2021): 5 days of workshops by healthcare providers involved in the programme on how to collaborate with big players in the market.
  • Module 3 (22-26/11/2021): Start-ups will visit selected healthcare providers involved in the programme to discuss collaboration opportunities.
  • Module 4 (November 2021): Demo Day. Start-ups pitch in front of healthcare providers representatives, investors, EIT Health partners, stakeholders.


You should have a company with a validated proof of concept, market validation and prototype that matches one of the challenges released by the pharma companies. Your company must be based in any Horizon Europe country.


Application period: 1 June – 3 September 2021, 23:59 CET via Optimy platform.


Join us for an informative webinar to learn more about the Start-Ups Meet Healthcare Providers programme, including timelines and the selection process.

  • 1 September 2021 (11:00 AM CET) – Register here.

The recording from the first webinar is available here.