You are here

10 medical technologies ‘made in Catalonia’ that would have triumphed at 4YFN

The BioRegion of Catalonia would have had a huge turnout at the 4YFN start-up event, part of the Mobile World Congress, which ended up being canceled. Let’s look at some of the technology that you would have been able to discover at the event.

AddToAny buttons: 
21.02.2020

NURIA PELÁEZ 

The BioRegion of Catalonia, the Catalan healthcare and life sciences ecosystem, has approximately 250 medical technology companies with a joint turnover of more than €1.5 billion and over 5,700 professionals on staff, according to Biocat data.

Medical technology was going to play a key role at this year’s 4YFN, the start-up event at the Mobile World Congress (MWC), which for the first time in 2020 was going to have a space set aside exclusively for the healthcare sector: the Health & Wellness Hub. Biocat, along with Barcelona Tech City, CataloniaBio & HealthTech and ACCIÓ, would have had their own space in this area. Some of the activities have been held as part of Tech Spirit Barcelona, but the cancellation has stopped many companies from presenting their latest news to the international public. Here are some of the medical technology companies from the BioRegion of Catalonia that would have stood out at this event:

1. ABLE: the exoskeleton that lets people walk again

ABLE Human Motion is developing robotic exoskeletons to improve quality of life for people with disabilities. The company is developing the first lightweight exoskeleton that is easy to use and affordable, for people with paralysis of their lower limbs, allowing them to walk again naturally and intuitively. ABLE is one of the companies accelerated through the CRAASH Barcelona program promoted by Biocat in collaboration with CIMIT (Boston), which is part of the EIT Health bootcamps program. CRAASH Barcelona has currently closed the call for projects for its 3rd edition.

2. Adan Medical: the ‘defibrillator’ for people with severe allergies

Adan Medical Innovation was set up in Barcelona and Silicon Valley, and is working to improve quality of life for patients with severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis), who have to carry an adrenaline shot at all times, and to reduce the number of deaths caused by these allergies, which are normally in young people and could be avoided. The company was going to present its Smart Box at 4YFN. This box is intended for use in public spaces and holds adrenaline shots, so they will be accessible in places where patients could have an allergic reaction for the first time or be caught without their own injection, for example in schools. In addition to saving lives, the project aims to raise awareness of severe allergies.

3. Aortyx: biodegradable grafts to repair blood vessels

Aortyx is developing a new generation of endovascular devices to treat vascular diseases. The company has developed biodegradable, bioadhesive prostheses with mechanical properties similar to healthy vessels, which encourages wound healing and endothelial regeneration. The patch is put into the damaged blood vessel using a minimally invasive endovascular catheter.

4. Biel Glasses: smart glasses for low vision

Biel Glasses is developing smart glasses that allow people with low vision to get around on their own, without help from other people. The glasses use 3D vision and artificial intelligence algorithms to detect obstacles and, through mixed reality, show them to the user in a way they can perceive with their low vision. Co-founder and CEO Jaume Puig started the project because his own son, Biel, has low vision. The glasses aim to make people more self-sufficient in their daily lives, minimizing the dependence and social isolation they can experience. Biel Glasses is one of the companies accelerated through the CRAASH Barcelona program promoted by Biocat, which has currently closed the call for projects for its 3rd edition.

5. Fuelium: smart batteries for medical devices

Fuelium is developing and marketing single-use batteries for diagnostic devices. Their technology makes it possible to manufacture batteries with the same processes used in lateral flow tests (such as pregnancy tests). The battery is activated when its paper core gets wet. With a diagnostic device, this can be triggered by the sample being analyzed.

6. iBreve: analyzing respiratory patterns to reduce stress

iBreve is developing solutions based on prevention and promoting a healthy lifestyle. The company was founded by two former Google employees with one goal: to build a world without stress-related diseases. The new, wearable iBreve technology analyzes breathing patterns in real time, for use with apps on the market for reducing stress, remote monitoring and managing chronic diseases. iBreve was one of the projects chosen to participate in the 1st edition of CRAASH Barcelona.

7. MJN Neuroserveis: a guardian angel for epileptics

David Blánquez, a computer engineer, decided years ago that technology had to be able to help his daughter Marina, who has had refractory epilepsy for the past 16 years. Doctors had devices that register seizures when they happen, in a hospital setting, but he was looking for a way to anticipate attacks when not in the hospital. He founded MJN Neuroserveis, where he is developing a hearing-aid-like device that detects brain waves through the ear canal and connects to a mobile app, which indicates the probability of a seizure at any given time. When it goes above a level personalized for each patient, the device warns the user so they can stop what they are doing and take safety measures. The device is currently being tested in various clinical trials and validation testing.

8. Mowoot: automated massage to combat chronic constipation

MOWOOT has developed a medical device that automates abdominal massage to treat chronic constipation, based on a need company founders detected during their clinical immersion as part of Biocat’s d·HEALTH Barcelona program. The result in a non-invasive, non-pharmacological solution without side effects that improves quality of life for patients with chronic constipation from drugs, multiple sclerosis, spinal injuries or other conditions. The device, clinically proven and certified, is already on the market and the company is raising funds to speed internationalization.

9. Newborn Solutions: super-fast tests for neonatal meningitis

Newborn Solutions has created a device to detect meningitis in newborns non-invasively and in just three seconds. The company, accelerated by IQS Next Tech, has developed a prototype that rests on top of the baby’s head and uses ultrasound to determine the concentration of white blood cells, which is an indicator of this dangerous infection.

10. Smiletronix: your dentist on your phone

Smiletronix is a device that offers users a regular, affordable dental check-up from home, using the Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence. The device goes in the user’s mouth for 10 seconds. It takes a picture of the user’s teeth and gums and sends a report to a mobile app, where the user can comment on it remotely with a dentist or make an appointment with a specialist. Smiletronix is one of the companies accelerated through the CRAASH Barcelona program promoted by Biocat, which has currently closed the call for projects for its 3rd edition.