A new milestone: the 1st Patient Innovation Bootcamp

Patient Innovation Newsletter #17
Patient Innovation Newsletter #18, December 2020

A new milestone: the 1st Patient Innovation Bootcamp

This year marked the launch of a new project: the Patient Innovation Bootcamp, supported by EIT Health! In this first edition, 11 teams were selected to participate in the first ever acceleration program aimed at supporting patients, informal caregivers and collaborators to implement and scale up the innovative solutions they developed to help them cope with a need imposed by their health condition.

Bootcamp Lisbon Week

• 3 Weeks of Intensive Hands-On Work

Despite the challenges imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, we were able to host the first week of the Bootcamp in Lisbon, at the Nova SBE campus, where the teams got the oportunity to meet each other and network face-to-face with the incredible panel of speakers and experts that took part in the week’s program, that focused on the developing and validation aspects and was organized by Patient Innovation in partnership with Glintt. The following two weeks of hands-on work took place online: IESE Business School and Biocat, our partners in Barcelona, supported the teams in designing their business plan; and our partners from Copenhagen Business School (activity leader), University of Copenhagen and Smile Incubator organized a week of activities focused on helping the teams consolidate, implement and diffuse their projects.

barcelona week
Copenhagen Week

• Patient Innovation Bootcamp Demo Day at the National Science Summit in Lisbon

After the Copenhagen Week, there was a session dedicated to the Patient Innovation Bootcamp at the Portuguese National Science Summit 2020, where the teams participating in the Bootcamp got the opportunity to present their pitches to both the on-site and online audience, as the event was live streamed for the entire world.

ciencia 2020

Alfred Alert, AppDermis, Biel Glasses, CF Hero, Heuristik, On Wheels, StepUp Health, UVRPM and WeWALK presented their projects to a jury of experts (Francisca Leite, Hugo Silva, Leid Zejnilovic, Sofia Rocha) who selected the winning pitch. It was not an easy task, as all the teams delivered great pitches, showcasing all the effort and hardwork they put into developing their solutions throughout the course of the Bootcamp. As a result, there were two winners of the Patient Innovation Bootcamp Demo Day – Biel Glasses and UVRPM – whose awards were delivered by the Portuguese Minister for Science, Technology and Higher Education, Manuel Heitor. The teams’ pitches are available to watch at Patient Innovation’s Youtube channel.

• Patient Innovation Advisory Board honored with Portuguese Medal of Science

The National Science Summit was also very special for Patient Innovation because four members of the Patient Innovation Advisory Board were distinguished with the Portuguese Medal of Science, for their outstanding contribution to science and, more specifically, for their support of Patient Innovation since its foundation. Nobel laureates Aaron Ciechanover and Sir Richard Roberts, as well as MIT professors Eric von Hippel and Robert Langer were also invited as guest speakers. In case you missed it, click here to watch their interventions.

Advisory Board Medal of Science

• Team from the Patient Innovation Bootcamp wins EIT Health Pitch Competition

In November, participants of all Bootcamps supported by EIT Health took part in the virtual EIT Health Bootcamp Tour, where CBS and Patient Innovation organized one of the Networking Stops.

To mark the end of the EIT Health Bootcamp Tour there was a Pitch Competition, where the best teams from all the Bootcamps supported by EIT Health got the opportunity to present their projects. We are very proud that Biel Glasses, representing the Patient Innovation Bootcamp, was selected as the winner of the Pitch Competition, showcasing the value and quality of the projects developed by patient entrepreneurs.

ciencia 2020

It was an intensive 5-month journey in which the teams got to improve on their solutions, with the invaluable assistance of their mentors. It has been a pleasure to follow the evolution of such promising projects and we are looking forward to continuing to accompany these teams on their quest to improve the lives of patients and caregivers all over the world.

If you want to know more about the participating teams, click on their names and you'll be redirected to their webpages: Alfred Alert, AppDermis, Biel Glasses, CF Hero, Happyr Health, Heuristik, Pheal, On Wheels, StepUp Health , UVRPM and WeWALK.

And read some of what the participants had to say about the experience:

Jean-Michel Hedreux, from Alfred Alert, one of the participants of the Patient Innovation Bootcamp gave an interview to EIT Health detailing his experience in the Bootcamp:

“In short, this Patient Innovation program is just perfect for startup patients who are creating the care and management solutions of tomorrow.”

Likewise, Cornelius Palm and Nicola Filzmoser, following their participation in the Bootcamp with their solution Happyr Health, wrote an article on their website entitled “Patient Innovation: Why patients are the better innovator”.

“Who would be the best person to tackle the challenges of patients? Exactly, patients themselves. No one knows more about a patient’s problem than those who themselves suffer from the disease and its associated problems in the diagnosis, therapy or prevention.”

• 2nd Edition of the Patient Innovation Bootcamp in 2021

Finally, we are very happy to announce that EIT Health has approved the proposal for sponsorship of a second edition of the Patient Innovation Bootcamp. The second edition will take place in 2021 and will follow the same general guidelines of the first edition, with the addition of NOVA University Lisbon a new partner in the organizing consortium.

Bootcamp 2021

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Patient Innovation won the Planetiers World Gathering Award

Planetiers Awards

We are happy to announce that Patient Innovation won the Planetiers World Gathering Award 2020 in the category of Non-Governmental Organizations & Associations for its contribution to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal of promoting Good Health and Well-Being (SDG 3).

This award comes 4 years after the Patient Innovation platform was recognized in a ceremony in New York City by the former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for our contribution towards the UN SDGs of Good Health and Well-Being (SDG 3) & Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure (SGD 9).

planetiers awards

Maria João Jacinto, Executive Director at Patient Innovation, was at the Planetiers World Gathering closing ceremony to receive the award, which you can watch here. On the first day of the event Maria João also gave a presentation about the work developed by Patient Innovation, our mission and the projects we’re currently developing (available to watch here).

Patient Innovation was invited to attend the event as an exhibitor, with a virtual stand that can be visited through this link and where online visitors can get to know more about the association.

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Healthcare Innovation and Entrepreneurship for Impact - a new research project


We are happy to announce that the project entitled "Healthcare Innovation and Entrepreneurship for Impact: Creating a Resilient, Safe and Crowd-based Innovation System” led by Nova SBE, with the participation of NOVA Medical School - Faculdade de Ciências Médicas, Católica Lisbon School of Business & Economics, Patient Innovation and Copenhagen Business School as partners, was selected to be funded by FCT (Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia), as part of the IC&DT Project Competition.

The proposal builds upon the Patient Innovation concept and focuses on the creation of a crowd-based (i.e. from the people/users/households), high-impact and resilient system of innovation that can help address emerging health related needs.

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3D-printing Workshop for Institutions in Portuguese-speaking African countries

Patient Innovation partnered with Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation in a program to attribute 3D-printing kits to institutions in Portuguese-speaking African countries. As part of the partnership, Patient Innovation was responsible for providing learning workshops that would arm the institutions with the knowledge and tools necessary to make the best use of their new 3D printers.

Catarina Santos and Salomé Azevedo, based on their extensive experience in leading Patient Innovation’s 3D-printing projects, prepared an online workshop to provide an overview of the foundations of the 3D-printing technology and its capabilities, with a focus on how to best apply this technology to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.


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The Patient Innovation team wishes safe and happy Holidays to all, with hopes for a brighter New Year!

Patient Innovation (PI) is a nonprofit, international, multilingual, free venue for patients and caregivers of any disease to share their innovations.

Nova Medical School - Faculdade de Ciências Médicas and Copenhagen Business School
President of the Republic of Portugal, EIT Health, Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia, Carnegie Mellon, Shuttleworth Foundation, LexMundi Foundation, Morais Leitão and Católica Lisbon School of Business

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