- Programme: Horizon 2020, EIC-SMEInst-2018-2020
- Funding amount: EUR 1.05 million grant and EUR 1 million equity (EU silent participation)
- Funding period: 04/2020-12/2021
- Coordinator: Dr. Hans Heyn, Managing Director Smart4Diagnostics GmbH,
- Project number: 945530
- Website: www.smart4diagnostics.com
Smart4Diagnostics - The first digitized and automated quality monitoring system for human blood samples
More than 70% of all medical decisions are based on laboratory results. The "data carrier” of the laboratory in the 21st century is the blood sample. They are, however, extremely sensitive to environmental influences such as temperature, vibration or sunlight. Their quality can deteriorate during handling, transport and storage. They then no longer represent the patient's state of health from a biological point of view. Wrong diagnoses and medical treatments affect patients and increase work and costs for the health system. Smart4Diagnostics GmbH has developed a solution to ensure the quality of blood samples.
Many blood samples are not meaningful enough due to incorrect handling
A Japanese scientific study states that around 4.7 percent of all blood samples that arrive in the laboratory are no longer biologically sound due to incorrect handling. It does not sound like a lot, but with 185 million blood samples and 690 million tubes per year it is a lot in Germany! The deviations are not quite as problematic for the simple “complete blood count”, but they are for the ever-increasing precision medicine. It increasingly treats patients with individually tailored therapies and medications- this requires an exact diagnosis beforehand. Slight undetected changes in the blood sample due to environmental influences or improper transport/handling between taking the sample and laboratory arrival can be extremely problematic.
"Sample check-in" immediately after blood drawning
Smart4Diagnostics GmbH has developed the first fully digitized and automated quality monitoring system for human blood samples between the patient and the laboratory. After taking blood, doctors register their blood sample tubes in what is known as "Sample check-in" and receive information on the critical sample processing steps (such as special storage temperatures) and real-time feedback. The device detects incorrect sample containers, incorrect labeling, critical underfilling and the completeness of the order at the point of sampling, while the patient is still present.
Smart4Diagnostics has also developed a technical sensor for all types of transport containers that continuously monitors all quality characteristics of the samples such as time, temperature, vibration, acceleration and movement on the way between patient and laboratory.
Every single blood sample receives a digital individual fingerprint
The data collected from both systems is aggregated in real time into a digital fingerprint for each individual blood sample, which can be fully integrated into target systems (e.g. laboratory) for quality evaluation. This digital fingerprint is a quantum leap for patient safety and a new quality feature for analytics.
The EU therefore chose Smart4Diagnostics as one of the most innovative companies in Europe: As part of the invitation to tender for the new "EIC Accelerator Pilot" funding programme. At the end of October 2019, the Munich-based company came third among 1,852 participating companies from all over Europe.
The EIC Accelerator Pilot is the funding instrument for the most innovative small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Europe. It is part of the European Innovation Council (EIC) pilot and successor to the "KMU-Instruments Phase 2" funding. The programme is open-ended (bottom-up) and supports SMEs with growth potential in developing concrete and high-risk innovations for market maturity. Since October 2019, there has also been the option to apply for equity capital in combination with funding. The funding is between 0.5 and 2.5 million euros and the equity capital can amount to up to 15 million euros, with the EU always participating as a minority shareholder.
"For us, the inclusion in the EIC Accelerator is both an award and an incentive. An award for the highest possible level of innovation and incentive to make our "Digital Human Sample Fingerprint" the new standard for handling human blood samples in Europe. We have found a competent and agile partner with the Bavarian Research Alliance, whose support for us surpasses in all phases." says Dr. Heyn, managing director of Smart4Diagnostics.
- Funding check and personal advice on EU funding opportunities
- Intensive application support in tandem between the unit for SME advisory services and the department for Health Research & Biotechnology
- Pitch training for an interview with the funding body in Brussels
- Long-term support in the framework of the EU Business Acceleration Service as key account management