With each of our innovator stories, we get a chance to meet the people behind EU-funded ideas, which have the potential to change our future for the better.
With that in mind, we spoke with the winner of the Disruptive Health Category at the Innovation Radar Prize 2022, Dr Sofoklis Kyriazakos. He is the CEO of Innovation Sprint, owner of Healthentia solution, a certified Software as Medical Device (SaMD) for patients and clinicians that has set the ground to disrupt healthcare with a significant impact on patients’ health and health economics.
Tell us more about yourself and your work?
I am Sofoklis Kyriazakos, CEO of Innovation Sprint, a digital MedTech company that provides innovative technologies to Life Sciences and Healthcare industries, aiming to improve clinical research trials and patients’ health through our product Healthentia. I also hold the academic position of Associate Professor at the University of Aarhus in Denmark, where I focus on eHealth, Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship. I am a tech entrepreneur since 2006 and throughout these years, I have been designing innovative solutions and services for several industries. The moment I started to apply innovative technologies to the healthcare industry, I understood that there is no way back. This is an industry that inspires me, as it is very rewarding to see the outcomes of hard work influencing patients’ lives.
My education includes a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from RWTH Aachen, a PhD from the National Technical University of Athens, and an MBA degree in Techno-economic systems from the same University. I have published my research activities in various journals, books, and conferences, having received many citations. In 2022, I joined the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) to share my experiences and interact with entrepreneurs around the world.
What problem is your product solving and what makes its solution unique?
Chronic disease patients are practically on their own when they are discharged from the hospital and they face difficulties with self-care and adherence to their treatment during rehabilitation, while there is no support for lifestyle and behavioural change, which is key for disease management. At the same time, healthcare professionals cannot closely monitor their health outcomes and the evolution of the disease. This situation leads to poor health outcomes with a significant impact on patient’s life and the healthcare system.
Healthentia, as a certified medical device in the form of a smartphone app for patients and a clinical dashboard for clinicians, supports digital care plans and pathways that outperform traditional treatments with recorded technical and clinical evidence.
Chronic disease patients, discharged from the hospital, can enjoy a safer life supported by remote monitoring from clinicians in the form of a new digital care model of higher efficacy.
The uniqueness of Healthentia is based on the fact that it operates under the regulatory framework of Software as a Medical Device, has clinical evidence about the increase of the Quality of Life of patients and it is highly scalable thanks to its SaaS model.
What’s the biggest impact EU-funding has had on your journey so far, and can you specify an outcome?
Our journey from the ideation phase until the market authorization and commercialisation was strongly influenced by our research activities, many of them performed under EU R&D projects. The EU funding received contributed to the inclusion of key innovations in Healthentia, bringing the product to another level that is backed up by science. Furthermore, it was enriched in terms of innovative features and clinical studies through its participation in EC R&D projects and has set the ground to disrupt healthcare with a significant impact on patients’ health and health economics.
Have you already tested your product with clients? What was it like?
Healthentia solution has been validated since 2019 as an electronic Patient Report Outcome (ePRO) solution for the purposes of a clinical study of a Top5 Pharma and since then it has been used in various studies and patient support programs by hospitals, health organizations and pharmaceutical companies in Italy, Belgium, Netherlands, Spain, Bulgaria, UK, Estonia and Taiwan.
These moments were important for the evolution of the solution, as these are validation of the Product-Market-Fit, offering valuable insights and revenues.
What is Innovation Sprint’s greatest achievement to date?
A major achievement of Innovation Sprint was the collaboration with AstraZeneca Italy and one of the largest hospitals in Italy, Gemelli, to co-develop a novel digital care plan using Healthentia for Heart Failure monitoring. The project name is AZIMUTH and it is an important milestone for Healthentia, as we are collecting clinical evidence about the impact of such care model on critical endpoints, including Quality of Life, hospital re-admissions and mortality. AZIMUTH has already shown promising results in terms of patients’ acceptance and engagement and is now scaling in different hospitals. We strongly believe that it can be a game changer to empower Clinicians and Patients in the management of Heart Failure patients.
How do you see Innovation Sprint making a difference in the future?
Innovation is part of our company name, but foremost it is part of our DNA. Our purpose is to improve health outcomes and outperform existing therapeutic care paths using innovative technologies that come from our R&D activities. The adoption and use of such technologies respect the limitations of the highly regulated and challenging environment of healthcare while identifying opportunities to give a first-mover advantage. We strongly believe that this can make a difference in the future, both in terms of impact on patients’ lives, as well as for the growth of our company.
Why was participating in Dealflow.eu’s Innovation Radar Prize 2022 epitching event so important to you?
The participation in Dealflow.eu’s Innovation Radar Prize 2022 e-pitching event was important for us, as it was an additional validation of the solution and its prospects. The jury members were mainly investors, many of them with expertise in the healthcare sector and their vote for Healthentia means a lot.
What did it mean to you to win the Disruptive Health category?
Further to the validation of our solution, winning the Disruptive Health category has a major milestone in our journey that has involved significant R&D efforts in the first years. In the healthcare domain, especially when it comes to medical devices for diagnosis and/or treatment, R&D activities are highly important, but these are often uncertain and do not necessarily lead to commercialisation. The combination of the Disruptive Health prize, together with recent commercial results, is a validation of our prospects and empowers us on our way to scale-up.
How would you define success and what keeps you going in the pursuit of it?
We are passionate about what we do and success for us is to see Healthentia disrupting health, by outperforming traditional treatments, thus contributing to Good Health and Well-being, one of the key sustainability goals of the UN.
In this trajectory, we will continue to improve Healthentia in a way to address demanding market needs and regulatory challenges, while implementing our purpose to use innovative technologies to improve health outcomes and outperform existing therapeutic care paths.
About Innovator Spotlight Stories
The aim of innovator stories is to highlight and share with investors and relevant stakeholders in the industry, insights, and unique stories from some of the most innovative EU-funded project that Dealflow.eu is proud to support.
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Supported by the European Commission, Dealflow.eu discovers and supports the most promising EU-funded innovators and connects them with relevant investors and corporates. The initiative was launched to help groundbreaking innovations secure the funding needed for their future commercialisation by offering them tailored support and matchmaking services.
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Disclaimer: Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them