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At the beginning of every year, the Digital Health Accelerator Program of the Berlin Institute of Health at Charité (BIH) puts its mission of “translating research into health” into direct practice by welcoming a select number of projects from a competitive pool of Charité/BIH healthcare professionals and clinical researchers into its solution development program. Demo Day is the capstone event of the accelerator calendar, showcasing the result of months of intense work by the program’s stage 1 teams.

“Innovation in digital health promises to fundamentally advance prevention and diagnosis, to support therapy, and to increase the efficiency of care delivery due to the inherent scalability of software-based solutions,” said Charité CEO Professor Dr. Heyo K. Kroemer in his opening remarks. “Digital innovation is one of the most important topics in the coming years.”

In her impulse talk, Dr. Johanna Ludwig, trauma surgeon at BG Klinikum Unfallkrankenhaus Berlin and digital health entrepreneur, echoed this assessment, highlighting how innovative digital health solutions can improve patient safety and processes, facilitate data transfer, drive personalized care, and help attract and retain healthcare professionals.

Tjaša Zajc, digital health expert, founder and host of the Faces of Digital Health podcast, and patient advocate, rounded off the kick-off with her talk on technology, trust, and patients, succinctly summarizing that, “What patients want most is not to be patients.”

Wide Array of Digital Technologies to Transform Genetics, Gynecology, Neurology, and More

Through succinct pitches, the nine Charité/BIH teams in the BIH DHA cohort 2024 then showcased their digital health innovations and how those might help transform Germany’s healthcare system and beyond.

These solutions span a wide breadth of medical specialties and clinical research domains.

From genetics, a genome interpretation platform for patient care and clinical research. From gynecology, a digital aid after sexual assault for victims, healthcare professionals, and authorities, and AI-based organoid solution for advancing therapeutic options during pregnancy.

From neurology, a digital patient and therapy development platform for inherited neuromuscular disease, a solution for training-free personalization of adaptive deep brain stimulation, and a digital analysis pipeline to support the pipeline for CNS drug development.

From radiology, a tool for personalized and automated radiology report correction and a solution to reduce invasive prostate cancer diagnosis when not needed. And from urology, a clinical decision support tool for advancing postoperative urogenital care and complication management.

These digital health solutions are rooted in a deep understanding of the medical need, are built by clinical end-users and shaped by stakeholder and user-feedback, and are developed directly in the context of their potential use. For more information, read about all projects on the DHA website.

What’s next for the DHA?

In her concluding remarks, Dr. Doris Meder, the Acting Administrative Director of the BIH, spoke on the mission of the BIH and future plans for its Digital Health Accelerator Program with its two-pronged approach: “In the region, the BIH is inviting research institutions with complementary research profiles and talent pools, for instance in engineering and business, to collaborate even closer with us in joint projects in the BIH DHA Program. On a federal level, we endeavor to support additional medical centers to help them set up Digital Health Accelerator programs tailored to their specific settings, strategic objectives, and medical focus areas.”

The evening was capped off with networking and conversations with representatives of Charité/BIH, politics, and industry as well as entrepreneurs, investors, and ecosystem partners.

About the BIH Digital Health Accelerator Program

The BIH Digital Health Accelerator (DHA) at Charité BIH Innovation funds, guides and supports Charité/BIH clinicians and researchers at all stages of project readiness to turn their concepts into digital health solutions for launch via spin-off or licensing. Supported projects develop software as a medical device or health technology solutions based on, e.g., 3D bio-/printing, AI/machine learning, augmented/virtual reality, sensors, and software. Solution classes include clinical decision support systems, in-silico and in-vitro diagnostics, digital therapeutics, digital industry solutions, and patient-centered applications. With a proven track record of over 50 projects, 10 spin-offs, and one exit to date, the BIH DHA program offers funding of up to 1M Euro per project, protected time, expert mentoring, access to talent, industry and investor networks, and a dedicated BIH Digital Labs co-working space to help innovation teams find their momentum and accelerate the development of their digital health solutions to benefit patients, healthcare systems, and society at large. Learn more at dha.bihealth.org.