Digital health will revolutionize the healthcare system for the better. This innovative sector is at the core of the strategy adopted by health insurer CSS and is one of the main areas on which the EPFL Innovation Park focuses in its mission to effectively support start-ups in the region. These two institutions have now joined forces to create a financial support program known as the Future of Health Grant.
The program aims to boost the development of a range of new digital health solutions, including the creation of connected devices, remote and online treatments, new forms of prevention, and health information and advice. There are numerous benefits, notably shorter time frames, improved diagnostic accuracy, personalization of medicine, and lower costs.
The Future of Health Grant complements the approach to innovation initiated by CSS with the creation of the CSS Health Lab (2015) in collaboration with ETH Zurich and the University of St. Gallen and the launch of the SwissHealth Ventures investment fund (2020). "With the Future of Health Grant programme, CSS is reinforcing its strong roots in French-speaking Switzerland and its willingness to actively support innovation in digital health for the benefit of the insured persons and the entire Swiss healthcare system," says Philomena Colatrella, CEO of CSS.
From the point of view of the EPFL Innovation Park, "The creation of a digital health hub on campus will bring additional momentum to an ecosystem in French-speaking Switzerland that is already highly effective. This future digital health competence centre, and the associated network, will thus facilitate the emergence of new disruptive solutions," notes Jean-Philippe Lallement, CEO of the EFPL Innovation Park.
Call for digital health projects launched on June 15th
The Future of Health Grant is aimed at start-ups that have reached the stage between completion of laboratory research and the Series A round of funding. The support on offer takes many forms including a financial component of up to CHF 50,000 per project for one year, accompanied by a program of coaching by entrepreneurs and mentoring by healthcare and life science experts. The aim of this support is to transform innovative ideas into products and services that sustainably meet the expectations of patients and healthcare providers. All projects and start-ups in the field of digital health from all over Switzerland can submit their application until August 15th, 2022. The program aims to support up to 17 start-ups every year.
The names of the selected start-ups will be announced in September.
In the meantime, the Future of Health Grant will expand its cooperation activities to include health partners from French-speaking Switzerland and beyond. Details of this call for projects can be found at www.future-of-health.org