Wednesday, July 24, 2024

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Start-ups drive innovative health initiatives

In the Grant Program – organized for the fourth time by ING Bank Śląski – 215 start-ups and young entrepreneurs offering innovative approaches in health and improving the quality of life have been awarded PLN 1,000,000. The main prize of PLN 400,000 went to Walletmed, which produces subcutaneous implants that measure blood sugar levels.

In line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, previous programs focused on protecting water resources, saving energy and reducing the amount of waste. 

The winner of the main award, Walletmed, develops methods of understanding and managing metabolic health in order to improve global health, turning this into concrete reality in the fastest way, providing preventive health services. The implant that won the main award is a 3mm in diameter and 14mm in length passive NFC implant placed under the skin. This NFC, which does not have an internal battery, has a Raman spectrometer and a Fabry-Perot interferometer. It is only active when electrical contact occurs via the NFC. This contact is activated for half a second every five minutes with the smartwatch containing the application, or for a few seconds when using a smartphone. Numerical data is created with the artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms offered by Walletmed, and these data meet the standards required for European Medicines Agency (EMA) and US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) certification. The same implant can be used without replacement for at least ten years.  There is no enzyme or substance that evaporates or disappears, causing system recalibration. The implant also measures oxygen saturation, heart rate and body temperature.

The second prize worth PLN 300,000 went to UHURA Bionics with its digital larynx and voice amplifier, part of a speech converter project. The startup was born out of the struggles of a young scientist, a PhD student at the University of Warsaw, CEO Konrad Zieliński to regain his voice after health problems. UHURA Bionics Voice Amplifier is simple to use for those experiencing similar problems. The futuristic voice prosthesis is aimed to be cheap and accessible to everyone. At this stage, the products are provided to first users in line with special demand.

The third place and the winner of PLN 150,000 prize was Calmsie, which supports children’s fight against anxiety and depression by creating a gaming platform for them, essentially an educational program for children, which consists of animations, interactive activities, storytelling and real-time discussions, and is presented as a game experience through conversational AI and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). In this way, children make discoveries about their emotions and enjoy learning effective coping methods, and willingly participate in the systematic learning process. The training program was prepared by physicians and gaming experts using clinically proven methods. 20% of children in the US have a mental, emotional or behavioral disorder, the most common being depression and anxiety, at 40%. 80% of people with mental health problems do not have access to appropriate care, and a child under the age of 13 commits suicide every 3-4 days. The project was awarded the Product of the Year 2021 award by Mental Health Tech and the Health Digital Therapy & Disease Management and Public Award HealthCareLab 2022 by Roche and EIT.

A PLN 100,000 prize was awarded to Pogaduszki, which offers online speech therapy services to children aged 3-10 as a gaming experience. An award worth PLN 50,000 went to another speech therapy project, play.air.

Erol Dzhelik
Erol Dzhelik
I think we can overcome global challenges with mutual understanding, international cooperation and diplomacy. We offer you this insight at Poland Weekly.