Winter School „Digital Healthcare Entrepreneurship”

Winter School „Digital Healthcare Entrepreneurship”

Students from eight European universities develop business concepts for digital healthcare

From 19 to 23 February 2024, around 30 students from eight universities from the European university alliances Eucor and EPICUR worked on digital solutions and business models for problems in the healthcare sector as part of a winter school on "Digital Healthcare Entrepreneurship". Digitalisation offers a wide range of opportunities for the further development and improvement of healthcare ranging from electronic medical records and digital consultation hours to apps to support medication and therapy. However, in order to actually utilise the potential, clever entrepreneurial concepts are needed to implement digital healthcare products profitably and in accordance with the applicable legal requirements.

Different perspectives, different disciplines, one common goal

Sascha Weimar, research associate at the Institute for Entrepreneurship, Technology Management, and Innovation (EnTechnon) at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and main organiser of the Winter School, which was held in cooperation with the Universities of Basel and Strasbourg, presented the students with a challenging task. In newly formed, international and interdisciplinary teams, they were to identify pressing current problems in healthcare, design digital solutions and develop a suitable business concept.

A course programme between theory and practice

The Winter School focused on a varied mix of theoretical input, practical project work and experience reports from experts. Collaboration in intercultural teams was covered, as were entrepreneurship methods and the legal framework that applies to digital health solutions. Angélie Pham, Team Lead Digital Health & Biocampus at the Innovation Office of the University of Basel, and Rahel Martjan, research associate at KIT's EnTechnon, provided the participants with state of art methods from the field of entrepreneurship in their presentations. In his presentation, Professor Pablo Sinues from the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Basel gave an impressive account of his practical experience as a researcher who has translated some of his research findings into a start-up with a functioning business model.

From mental health to dental hygiene: students develop innovative solutions

The highlight of the week was the final pitch by the student teams. In seven minutes, they had to present to the teaching team and the other participants the health problem they have been dealing with, the solutions they have developed and how they would bring this solution to the market with the help of a coherent business model. The problems presented and the digital solutions were as diverse as the student teams themselves. Presentations included topics such as chronic abdominal pain, mental health and approaches to aftercare for heart attack patients along with tools to improve oral hygiene and a model for digitally supported speech therapy after strokes. The Winter School “Digital Healthcare Entrepreneurship” was an exciting and enriching experience for all participants. To round off the week, the winning team also received brand new KIT coffee cups filled with sweets.

Winter School „Digital Healthcare Entrepreneurship”

The Winter School "Digital Healthcare Entrepreneurship" took place within the framework of the European University Networks Eucor and EPICUR and was financially supported by Erasmus+, the European programme for education, training, youth and sport, and Movetia, the Swiss Agency for Exchange and Mobility. Erasmus+ is funded by the European Commission and Movetia by the Swiss Confederation. The Winter School was open to students from all member universities of both programmes.

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