In early 2022, the Novo Nordisk Foundation granted DKK 128 million for establishing the BETA.HEALTH innovation platform. As a result, an increasing number of Danish clinicians are now taking action to develop new solutions to address the capacity challenges facing Denmark’s healthcare system. On June 1st , a new application round opens.
BETA.HEALTH was launched in February 2022 as a 5-year pilot project run by Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen and Aarhus University Hospital in collaboration with Odense University Hospital and Aalborg University Hospital. Backed by a grant from the Novo Nordisk Foundation, the two hospitals identified 28 projects from hospitals all over Denmark during the first year. The 28 projects have been awarded grants totalling DKK 12,750,000. All these projects are expected to offer new or improved treatments and clinical solutions to benefit patients and healthcare personnel.
Novel technology can ensure correct radiation dose
One project that has received a grant is DoseTracker produced by the Departments of Oncology and Clinical Medicine at Aarhus University Hospital. A research team of oncologists led by Thomas Ravkilde and Per Rugaard Poulsen has developed DoseTracker – a technology that enables a shorter course of treatment for many types of cancer, thereby reducing the overall consumption of resources and freeing more personnel for other important tasks.
“We have developed the world’s first real-time radiation dose calculator, and the technology solves a major challenge in treating people with cancer by helping to ensure that they receive neither an overdose nor an underdose of radiation. In addition, the technology can reduce the risk of the healthy tissue being irradiated unnecessarily by continuously presenting the treatment personnel with information about how the radiation is delivered during the treatment,” says Thomas Ravkilde.
Artificial intelligence increases patient safety
Another project is WARD24|7, an artificial intelligence–based clinical support system comprising small patient monitoring devices and a mobile device that sends raw data to a larger cloud-based computer. Innovative machine-learning algorithms continuously determine the smallest signs that the disease is worsening and alert personnel directly on their smartphones.
The system sorts out irrelevant fluctuation to avoid unnecessarily alerting personnel so that they can focus on other tasks when the patient is okay.
BETA.HEALTH awarded a grant of DKK 1 million for the project, and this will enable Eske Kvanner Aasvang, Clinical Professor at Rigshospitalet, Christian S. Meyhoff, Clinical Professor at Bispebjerg and Frederiksberg Hospital and the rest of the research group behind WARD 24|7 to begin the process of scaling up internationally. They expect to be able to distribute the product to Denmark’s hospitals in 2023.
“The system is smart, saves resources and improves patient safety. We focus on getting it out to as many patients as possible – also beyond Denmark’s borders, so that we can make the greatest possible difference,” Professor Eske Kvanner says.
According to Diana Riknagel, Head of Innovation & International Affairs at Aarhus University Hospital, the first year of BETA.HEALTH has exceeded all expectations:
“Already in 2023 we have received more applications than in 2022, which testifies to the many innovation projects at Denmark’s hospitals that are ready to be developed, implemented and scaled up – and thereby helping to reduce capacity challenges in the healthcare system,” she says.
This is backed up by Henning Langberg, Chief Innovation Officer at the Rigshospitalet Innovations Centre:
“The healthcare system is facing immense challenges, and we need to act now. We must accelerate those solutions that have potential to improve the conditions for both patients and personnel. However, clinicians are first and foremost experts when it comes to treatment, rather than launching new products. But BETA.HEALTH can help with that, as it has been the case with WARD24|7,” Henning Langberg says.
BETA.HEALTH has completed the first round of applications for 2023, and soon many more clinicians will be informed that they are receiving a grant from BETA.HEALTH, thus getting one step closer to their clinical solution being implemented in Denmark’s hospitals. The next round of applications opens on 1 June. Read more here.
Read more at: BETA.HEALTH (betahealth.dk)
About the Novo Nordisk Foundation
Established in Denmark in 1924, the Novo Nordisk Foundation is an enterprise foundation with philanthropic objectives. The vision of the Foundation is to improve people’s health and the sustainability of society and the planet. The Foundation’s mission is to progress research and innovation in the prevention and treatment of cardiometabolic and infectious diseases as well as to advance knowledge and solutions to support a green transformation of society.
Read more at www.novonordiskfonden.dk/en.