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As we’re nearing two years since the outbreak of the pandemic, researchers have seen Covid-19 as an opportunity to provide solutions to the challenges posed by the pandemic. Thus, several of the students from Ignite·Health Barcelona program first edition have funneled their efforts into detecting unmet clinical needs in Covid-19, pneumology and intensive care units (ICUs) and posing solutions that help combat the pandemic. Some of them help remotely monitor the symptoms of the virus so that patients can be independent of a respirator or assist nursing care in patients with a tracheotomy who are in a prone position.

Other participants have chosen to focus on the fields of cardiology, pediatrics, nephrology and dentistry. These students have found gaps in the early detection of heart attacks in high-risk patients, catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI), planning surgery to avoid possible thrombi, the lack of planning for clinical deterioration in hospitalized pediatric patients with congenital illnesses and complications caused by bone grafts. A total of 13 different projects have been developed during the four months of training in the program promoted by Biocat in conjunction with EIT Health. 

The program ended on 16 December with a face-to-face gathering at Tech Barcelona where students were able to get advice on bringing their projects to fruition. Jaume Argerich, professor of Entrepreneurship at the University of Barcelona and director of Corporate Development at Ficosa, spoke about funding strategies to create healthcare companies, while Àuria Albacete, the program’s project manager, and Joan Grasas, the head of Entrepreneurship at EIT Health, presented the next steps in turning their idea into a business. 

5 tips to reach funding agreements

During his talk, Argerich shared some tips for reaching agreements with investors and presented four factors to bear in mind when embarking on negotiations for the first time: 

  1. Knowing what is being offered: a subsidy or a loan
  2. How much is being offered
  3. The type of flexibility in the use of the funds or any restrictions
  4. The ease of using them
  5. Their reputation

The expert encouraged the teams to move their projects forward since the sector is currently at the right time. “The pandemic has spurred the ecosystem, especially digital health, and led it to grow exponentially, so more and more investors are going for it.” 

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