Healthcare technology

Biomedical/pharma, Healthcare technology, Infectious disease, Personal/public health, Public health, Women’s health

While a vast majority of women experience vaginal yeast infections, research has fallen short in providing an effective treatment approach. However, hope has emerged recently with the development of new model systems that allow exploration of the complex vaginal environment. Organ-on-chip models enable researchers to examine the interactions between human cells and microbes in a more accurate manner, offering the potential for the development of new therapies.
Innovative Smart Contact Lens Developer Awarded €2.5M in Funding for Groundbreaking Ocular Health Technology
In December 2023, Azalea Vision announced the first test of their smart contact lens on a real person. This demonstration showcased the first functional prototype of their smart lens, known as the ALMA lens, which was developed by the company to address ocular disorders characterized by the inability to effectively filter light.
In a significant milestone, Azalea Vision, pioneering start-up on a mission to revolutionize the treatment of ocular disorders, announces the successful demonstration of ALMA Lens, the first functional prototype of the Azalea smart contact lens’ platform.
Even though endometriosis impacts millions of women globally, the condition remains poorly understood and researched, leading to delayed diagnosis and lack of effective treatment. Encouragingly, there are promising recent developments in the field coming from Belgium. Professor Hugo Vankelecom’s research group at KU Leuven uses advanced cellular models, known as organoids, to delve into the disease and expedite the drug discovery process. The Danish BioInnovation Institute now offers the team an incubation program to pave the way towards industrial success.
The AIPLANT project aims to reduce complications from dental implant surgery using AI-based preoperative planning. The project is a collaboration between the Centre for Dentomaxillofacial Imaging at UZ Leuven, AI startup Relu, and Xentro Dental. 
AstroCardia has developed a heart-on-a-chip to study cardiovascular aging… in space! Trials will begin in 2025 aboard the International Space Station (ISS). The MEDVIA project was made possible thanks to the combined expertise of the five Belgian partners: Space Applications Services, the Belgian Nuclear Research Center (SCK CEN), QbD Group, BIO INX, and Antleron.
Belgian Prof. Jan Rabaey has spent the past 35 years conducting pioneering tech research at the University of California at Berkeley. His groundbreaking electronics work has been used in a range of modern devices, including the iPad, brain-computer interfaces, and wireless sensor nodes used for the Internet of Things. The ongoing theme of his work has been miniaturization and connection, which he is now using to link technology and people like never before.
Biodevice-CRO is a MEDVIA project uniting three very different, but complementary, Flemish companies: ICsense, Comate, and Antleron. This unique partnership aims to provide life science actors with customizable, modular bioprocess solutions through a collaborative Contract Research Organization (CRO) model. These smart solutions – the biodevice based on an integrated chip, biofluidic cartridge, and functional device – will enable fast-track development of personalized medicines and improved diagnostics.
Byteflies is on a mission to make virtual care available to all. The Belgian company has developed a platform for remote patient monitoring solutions, to save precious time for healthcare providers, reduce hospitalization costs, and boost the quality of life for patients. The aim is to aid the transition from fragmented to connected healthcare, enabling a continuum of care through virtual solutions.
CoMoveIT is a striking example of how visionary ideas can be turned into life-changing innovations once the right technology becomes available. We spoke with CoMoveIT’s CTO, Sotirios Gakopoulos, about the Belgian company’s unique solution to improve the mobility of patients with complex movement disorders, like cerebral palsy.
Flash radiation has the potential to become a revolution in radiation therapy. An incredibly promising cancer treatment that limits the damage to surrounding tissue, it is currently in the pre-clinical stage. MEDVIA-funded project eFlash2D is working to assure that dosing is ready when flash radiation enters clinical trials.
Coave Therapeutics is a French biotech developing gene therapies for neurodegenerative and ocular diseases. The company has developed a technology platform that can be used to redecorate the outer surface of viruses, creating gene therapy vectors that are better at accurately delivering healthy genes to the right target cells, including neurons in the deep brain tissue. By combining this vector technology with transgenes restoring natural cell cleaning pathways, the company has created a pipeline of therapies for both genetically and non-genetically defined neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s Disease, Multiple System Atrophy (MSA), and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought vaccines back into the drug development spotlight, and mRNA vaccines are stealing the show with sales of USD 54.4 billion in 2021 alone. Few know that the developers of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines actually drew upon years of experience attempting to develop cancer vaccines. This approach goes back several decades, and although the field has to date seen limited success, it has nevertheless witnessed a renewed interests in recent years. We examine the latest trends in cancer vaccine development, and where the opportunities lie for the future of the industry.