Innovation Sprint Blog

Sprint #2: The aftermath

Around one year after the Sprint #1 workshop, we have kept our promise to organize in Brussels the second part of the series (Sprint #2), this time focusing on a very crucial topic, namely “Innovation uptake in eHealth with patient-centeredness and gamification. Regulatory challenges and opportunities“.

The workshop was held on 7th November 2018 with the scope to brainstorm the status of the regulatory and ethical scenario in the context of eHealth and expose the state of the art of three EU H2020 eHealth projects (COUCH, GOAL, vCare) discussing the process-to-market implications especially at the light of the Regulatory framework in the clinical research and uptake in the healthcare scenario.

The workshop was opened by Sofoklis Kyriazakos, the CEO of at Innovation Sprint, who welcomed the audience and set the goals of the day. The audience was consisting of speakers and attendees from many countries from diverse sectors, including medical industry, regulation, policy making, research, academia and SMEs. Following the welcome message, a keynote speech was given by Gianlugi Arialdi, CEO of the Brussels Life Sciences Incubator, who presented BLSI structure and activities that embrace eHealth startups in Brussels.


The first lecture was given by Ingrid Klingmann, President at the European Forum for Good Clinical Practice in Brussels, with the title “eHealth, Innovation and Patients’ Centredness”. Ingrid stressed the importance of patient centredness in clinical trials, however ensuring Goof Clinical Practice. The following lecture was given by Eric Klasen, Vice President Regulatory Affairs in Medtronic International Trading in Tolochenaz , who talked about “Innovation and (EU) Regulation: the Medical Device case”. Eric has given a focus on the 2020 regulation about medical devices; the challenges and the status of play.


After the first 2 lectures, Emilio VandelliManaging Director of Arithmos Srl in Verona, talked about “eHealth Innovation and Clinical Research”. In his presentation he presented the trends in clinical research and how Arithmos and is addressing them.

Following this presentation, Christina KyriakopoulouDirectorate General for Research and Technological Development in the European Commission (Brussels), presented in her talk Horizon Europe the current and future Health related priorities and calls.

Having completed the above lectures and presentations, the workshop attempted to “crash test” the 3 EC projects (workshop co-organizers) about their status and the possible barriers they will have to break with regards to regulations in their exploitation activities. This was moderated by Alfredo Cesario, the Chief Scientific Officer in Innovation Sprint. In this context, Harm op den Akker, Senior Researcher in RRD in Enschede and coordinator of the COUCH project described the novelties and the next steps that involve advanced technologies on argumentation framework to realize mutli-avatar approach for virtual coaching. Furhtermore, Aristodemos Pnevmatikatis, Associate Professor in Athens Information Technology and coordinator of the GOAL project, presented the status and the final activities of the project, which is at the final stage and is executing commercialization activities in the area of gamification for behavioral change of elderlies.


Alfredo briefly presented vCare activities, which are focused on clinical pathways for virtual coaching in rehabilitation. Having concluded the 3 project presentations the morning speakers, Ingrid Klingmann, Eric Klasen and Emilio Vandelli, were raising questions to the presenters, in a constructive way for all to understand how critical is to address the regulatory challenges before the start of the exploitation, as this can even be a show stopper in R&D activities.

The last session included 3 speakers – one per project- that presented achievements, as well as best practices and lessons learned in EC projects. Lucia Pannese – CEO of IMAGINARY in Milan talked about “Savings and better QoL: Gamifying Rehab“ with her experience in R&D and commercialization activities in serious games.

Andrew Pomazanskyi, Senior Project Manager in NUROGAMES in Köln, described similar lessons learned with Lucia in his presentation “Problems of exploiting eHealth solutions from R&D projects“.

Finally, Marc Lange, Secretary General of EHTEL, presented the expected transition of vCare from R&D into the practice in “Virtual Rehabilitation Coach: a journey from the proof of concept to routine care“, Marc Lange.


The workshop was concluded by Sofoklis Kyriazakos, who explained that the outcomes of the workshop will be summarized in a White Paper and all partners should contribute, aiming to create impact for this critical point of regulation in R&D.


Sprint #2 : Innovation uptake in eHealth with patient-centeredness and gamification. Regulatory challenges and opportunities.

Scope of the meeting: Brainstorm the status of the regulatory and ethical scenario in the context of eHealth and expose the state of the art of three EU H2020 eHealth projects discussing the process-to-market implications especially at the light of the Regulatory framework in the clinical research and uptake in the healthcare scenario.

Date and Time:
Wednesday 7 November 2018
09:30 – 17:00

Get Your Free Passes

Innovation Sprint Sprl
at Brussels Life Sciences Incubator (BLSI) – Clos Chapelle-aux-Champs 30 – 1200 Brussels, Belgium

Organising Secretariat:
Alfredo Cesario & Sofoklis Kyriazakos
Innovation Sprint Sprl


09:00 – 09:30 Arrival at BLSI – Welcome Coffee

09:30 – 09:45 Welcome address and tune in Sofoklis Kyriazakos, CEO at Innovation Sprint Sprl

09:45 – 10:00 Lecture I: “eHealth, Innovation and Patients’ Centredness”, Ingrid Klingmann – President at the European Forum for Good Clinical Practice, Brussels (BE)

10:00 – 10:15 Lecture II: “Innovation and (EU) Regulation: the Medical Device case”, Eric Klasen – Vice President Regulatory Affairs, Medtronic International Trading, Tolochenaz (CH)

10:15 – 10:30 Pitch I: “eHealth Innovation and Clinical Research”, Emilio Vandelli – Managing Director, Arithmos, Verona (IT)

10:30 – 10:45 Pitch II: “eHealth Innovation and real life Hospital uptake”, Giovanni Arcuri – Chief of Health Technology at Fondazione Policlinico Gemelli IRCCS, Rome (IT)

10:45 – 11:00 Pitch III: “Where Ethics stands in the eHealth uptake process”, Pietro Refolo – Professor of Bioethics at Catholic University, Rome, (IT)

11:00 – 11:30 Coffee Break

11:30 – 12:00 Pitch IV: “Horizon Europe”, Christina Kyriakopoulou – Directorate General for Research and Technological Development – European Commission, Brussels

12:00 – 13:00 Round Table

Moderators: Alfredo Cesario (Innovation Sprint Sprl), Christina Kyriakopoulou (DG Research & Innovation, European Commission, Brussels)

Presenter I (10’) “The H2020 COUCH project: status”, Harm op den Akker, University of Twente (NL)

Presenter II (10’) “The H2020 GOAL project: status”, Aristodemos Pnevmatikatis, Athens Information Technology, Athens (GR)

Presenter III (10′) “The H2020 vCare project: status


Ingrid Klingmann, President at EFGCP
Eric Klasen, VP at Medtronic
Emilio Vandelli, Managing Director at Arithmos
Pietro Refolo, Bioerthicist at UCSC
Giovanni Arcuri, Clinical Engineer at FPG-IRCCS

13:00 – 14:00 Lunch

14:00 – 14:20 “Savings and better QoL: Gamifying Rehab“, Lucia Pannese – CEO IMAGINARY, Milan (IT)

14:20 – 14:40 “Problems of exploiting eHealth solutions from R&D projects“, Andrew Pomazanskyi, NUROGAMES GmbH, Köln (DE)

14:40 – 15:00 – “Virtual Rehabilitation Coach: a journey from the proof of concept to routine care“, Marc Lange, EHTEL (BE)

15:00 – 15:30 Coffee Break

15:30 – 16:00 – “Motivating a healthier lifestyle – the technology viewpoint“, Aristodemos Pnevmatikakis, Athens Information Technology, Athens (GR)

16:00 – 16:30 General Discussion and Wrap Up

Moderator: Christina Kyriakopoulou, DG Research & Innovation, the European Commission

Sprinting in Lifesciences: 10 findings & next steps

It’s been 2 years since Innovation Sprint is incorporated, aiming to shake the healthcare industry. Our starting point was the multidisciplinary skill-set that was brought by the partners, covering ICT, medical, clinical knowledge and the deep understanding of the needs that the healthcare sector has. Despite our people-centric profile, we are a product oriented company and we are acting as a real lean startup. How do we define our lean startup strategy? We are focusing our efforts on the creation of a competitive offering in an uncertain environment with a continuous pivoting and the application of an agile methodology of our MVPs evaluation and strategy refinement.
Last year we reached the first big milestone, which was to start having revenues, clients and building a promising track record. What have we learned during this process? We summarize our 10 strongest findings, in a way to contribute to future entrepreneurs with the best practices so far:

  1. The Healthcare sector is a promising domain that is very regulated;
  2. The products need to be patient-oriented, but offering services directly to patients is a mission impossible;
  3. The Healthcare sector should be addressed as a self-sustained ecosystem, where you need to satisfy needs of all stakeholders (patients, physicians, health system, payers, etc);
  4. Technologies are great, but still patients and traditional healthcare service-providers are very reluctant to use them;
  5. User engagement and technology acceptance should be the starting point of all product development and participatory design is a must;
  6. Business Model Innovation is mandatory to break the entry barriers and cross the chasm;
  7. The lifecycle of a sale is a very long and needs patience and an agile behavior to make it happen;
  8. The competition is very tough, therefore, proper attention is required to balance between synergies and identifying niche markets;
  9. Once you go for a pilot, you really have 1 shot;
  10. Offering should focus primarily on one thing: “Provide a better health”.


Some of the above findings were reached as a natural evolution of Innovation Sprint; some others were painful for us to understand. Having reached this point, we are eager to move forward towards our second big milestone, which is to scale by offering an integrated solution capable of addressing several niche markets.

We will keep you updated with our findings in this second part of our journey!

Meet our new team member Konstantina

Innovation Sprint is very happy to welcome the new member of the team, Konstantina Kostopoulou as Chief Digital Officer. Konstantina has expertise in UX & UI, Digital Marketing and Online Sales combined with skills in leadership, strategy and creative problem solving.

She has a Master’s in Architecture from Glasgow University, UK and a MSc from Columbia University, NY. Worked as an Architect and later as a PM in large Real Estate Developments. While working, she received an MBA from the National Technical University of Athens in Technoeconomics merging her creative background with Digital Technologies and Business Management. Since 2011 she works in the Online space, building Digital Experiences as the Creative and Marketing Director and eCommerce Consultant at Converge ICT.

Konstantina is a Creative Technologist in nature and loving filling the gaps between customers, design, product, and technology. As the CDO of Innovation Sprint she will be responsible for the Development of iSprint’s Suite of Products in the disrupting digital health landscapes contributing in the digital transformation vision of the company and Team.

Welcome on-board Konstantina and get ready to sprint a marathon!!

News digest – November 2017

ActionableHealth360 – Technologies and practices for Big Data analytics and data monetization

Innovation Sprint is presenting these days a new release of ActionableHealth360 toolkit that supports the migration of data marts into a private data cloud, and allows you to maximize your data through the marketplace infrastructure.ActionableHealth360 realizes a digital transformation, while addressing the challenges of data processing and sharing, healthcare organizations are confronted with every day. This toolkit improves this way, healthcare quality, effectiveness and affordability, reducing costs by optimizing processes and providing actionable Big Data analytics for efficient decision making.It does so through the implementation of a private data cloud based on the definition of the strategy, the identification of data sources, the analysis and definition of processes, and the management and migration of data and data marts from data-warehouses to a private cloud infrastructure. The latter, will support advanced reporting and business insights, and provide datasets needed to offer SaaS solutions in the form of both Web and Mobile apps.For what concerns monetization strategies, ActionableHealth360 allows data providers (e.g. pharmaceutical companies) to securely upload their data through a flexible API. At the same time, consultants and agencies can use easy tools and develop dynamic reports that exploit rich datasets and make them available for subscriptions. Further relevant stakeholders in the market, are data consumers – including Healthcare providers, Policy makers, Insurance companies, NHS, and so forth –, who would pay a monthly subscription for basic information, and an additional fee to use the report generators. Obviously, the income from subscribers is split among the data providers and developers based on a meritocracy model. The vision of ActionableHealth360 marketplace is to contribute to a data-rich healthcare future, enabling medical care to be proactive rather than reactive, and reward data providers for their contribution.At Innovation Sprint, we believe that ActionableHealth360 is an invaluable asset for data-driven organizations that aim to offer better healthcare services, enhanced therapies through innovative technologies, digital disruption, and opportunities for increased revenues.If you are interested in a demonstration of the private data cloud features, and/or own open-data on healthcare and want to be part of the ActionableHealth360 marketplace, please do not hesitate to contact


Sharing the most disruptive in eHealth

After joining the kickoff of the European funded project vCare – developing a tool to accompany patients in rehabilitation at home, avoiding cure disruption – on 6th and 7th of September in Dresden, and organizing our September workshop “Shaking up the eHealth Industry in the New Digital Era” in Brussels – where we met representatives of the European Commission, of universities around Europe, from Greece to Denmark, passing by research institutes like Roessingh Research and Development (NL), and National Belgian bodies such as Lifetech.Brussels (find the content of the workshop at: -, our team did not stop looking and creating occasions to meet, share and improve.

Between 19th and 24th of October, we were in Athens, where innovators met at the eHealth Forum, a conference on digital health that saw the participation of researchers, industrial stakeholders, professionals of the sector, from all over Europe.

And on 2nd and 3rd of November, we met our partners in Enschede (NL) to launch the European funded project Council of Coaches, which will see for the coming three years, professionals and researchers from several countries, pursuing the development of a tool for personalized assistance to conduct a healthy life and aging healthily.Suitcase ready, next stop: Budapest!


Meet Innovation Sprint Founders at the ICT Proposers’ Day

As always, the team of Innovation Sprint is present where ideas, people, innovators meet up to share, learn, grow. On the 9th and 10th of November in Budapest, Hungary, it will be the two founders, Sofoklis Kyriazakos and Alfredo Cesario , to join a round of ICT researchers, innovators, SMEs, government actors and industrial stakeholders at the ICT Proposers’ Day.The networking occasion will particularly focus on the Horizon2020 Work Programme for 2018-20, on the fields of Information & Communication Technologies and Future and Emerging Technologies (FET).With its main Policies highlighting the relevance of topics such as research and innovation for health, the use of technologies for healthy aging, and digital solutions for health, as tools to cope with the demographic trends of the older and older European Continent, this event represents a thrilling occasion for Innovation Sprint, ready to launch its first digital solution for ehealth – CloudCare2U.The event will provide the participants with information on how to submit a proposal to answer a Horizon2020 call, the SME instrument, IP rights, and trends for the period after 2020. It will give the opportunity to interact with subjects active in the same field and to find project partners, also through an online platform.Sofoklis Kyriazakos and Alfredo Cesario will be there to meet you and talk innovation.


Staying active: a challenge for people as well as for eHealth apps

Staying active is a common suggestion doctors would give us all. Recently this concern has expanded its range to involve physical, mental, and also digital activity. Indeed, the Spanish Institute of Statistics published a study on the use of mobile apps, underlining figures and consequences on public health and the field of eHealth and mHealth.One first fact, is that about 90% of surfers uses a mobile device to move around the web; the second fact, is that while there are more than 165.000 mobile health related apps, most of them seem to rest unused. Indeed, the difference between the amount of existing apps and that of active ones, is appalling: 36 cover half of the total of apps in use.One major problem, seems to be the lack of an organic communication strategy so to inform users on how such apps could help them improving their life style and health. With this regard, a first step has been taken with the creation of an app that includes a list of all apps that have been accredited by the Agency of Sanitary Health on the basis of 4 criteria: quality of information, design, respect for privacy and confidentiality, and offered services (source: Spanish case should serve as input for more reflexions, since this represents a major issue for public health and eHealth. Failing to consider and fill the gap between technology and services, on the one side, and the people, on the other side, would indeed make the first useless. We need learn and speak the language of the patients and people who do not “speak technology”, and “see” health as they “see” it, and build the golden bridge between needs and digital solutions.


Meet Gabriella @ Innovation Sprint

At the end of last summer, Innovation Sprint saw the family growing with Gabriella Russo joining the team as Project Officer. Gabriella is a sociologist of Conflict and Security who focused on the use of communication and media in critical scenarios. She mixes a background of studies in economics and international relations, and experience in advocacy and project management, with a passion for science and technology that passed from pervading her spare time, to being her field of work.Gabriella made research on human security, a newly spread concept dear to the United Nations and to Conflict and Security schools, which underlines the relevance of people’s sense of confidence and safety in diverse dimensions of people lives – e.g. food security, school security, economic security, health security, and so forth – in order to have real security, and stabilize a context.


Why eHealth then?

I do not consider this an extreme change of field. At Innovation Sprint we are developing digital products that aim at offering eHealth solutions based on personal specific data, so to be more effective. Such digital solutions can help guarantee a better health for anybody, decreasing health related costs as well. In other words, we are working for health security! Other similarities between conflict and security on the one hand, and technology and science on the other hand, can be found in their pivoting on the constant stimuli to human potentials, which both critical conditions and innovation bring to mankind. Most probably, it is such kind of challenges that sparks my interest in such fields and makes me perceive them so connected. Last but not the least, working in the medical and technological fields has always been my dream, and going to work eager to discover, develop, and find out what the new day brings me, makes production and growth sure, and, why not, cheerful nerd jokes too.

What is your contribution in this field?

As a matter of facts, I am using all my background in communication in complex scenarios, advocacy, and project management. Indeed, I researched factors impacting on people’s perceptions and choices, based on their information. And currently, I am supporting the implementation of a few projects and the definition of a communication strategy that would bridge the gap between people on one side, and technology and digital services on the other side. Many things are obvious for tech and med professionals and nerds, but the truth is that if we want to deliver services to any person, regardless of type and level of education (tech or not), economic status, and so forth, we need focus on those human and environmental factors impacting on perceptions and communication, in order to put ourselves in “the patients/users shoe” speak their language, and understand their feedback. So to activate a virtuous circle where we understand their point of view and needs, improve our services, and make us understood, make eHealth understood. For what is not understood, is not trusted. And this is just the beginning.

Why a startup?

A startup represents a Pandora’s vase, but of opportunities! Opportunity to learn an incredible number of things, of all sort. Opportunity to learn through constant work “elbow to elbow” with great professionals and humans. Mentors. Opportunity to bring your contribution and see it considered, in other words, to help shape something and be all but just a number in an employee list. They asked me if I were afraid of such a career switch (leaving missions in the jungle and similar), and of working in a startup, where everything needs be managed from scratch. A bit yes. But it is the things that scary us, that challenge us, to provide us with chances for improvement, and I have never enough with what I know and can (I started to run long distances because I wanted to beat myself!). Besides, I work with visionary creative people, who allow and support my visionary insanity. So speaking of health, in my opinion doctors should prescribe to everybody an experience in a startup! Come and visit us in our offices located in a stimulating research park in Brussels, or meet us in the many conferences and meeting we are joining around Europe.

Quick news

  • Our September guests’ work in eHealth: The findings and the way forward.
  • Job openings: we are hiring software developers. Click here to find out more.
  • Looking for an internship in software development? We offer internships from January 2018, for more info, contact us at:


R&D growth: Innovation Sprint, more and more fast&curious


Brussels, 23 October 2017

While finalizing the launch of CloudCare2UInnovation Sprint has been working to expand its R&D efforts. In the beginning of September, the company has started to work on the implementation of 2 new European projects jointly with the industry, research institutes and universities involved in eHealth around Europe. The implementation of the two projects, the Council of Coaches (COUCH) and Virtual Coaching Activities for Rehabilitation in Ederly (vCare), will not only expand the range of activities of the company, but also provide tools for future expansions of CloudCare2U in terms of functions and targets.

The wider picture

The product: CloudCare2U

CloudCare2U is the cloud eHealth “Platform of Tomorrow” for patients with chronic diseases and frailty conditions, rooting on another successful EU funded Project, eWALL. Central to this product is the improvement of the quality of health care services and patients’ experience, by enhancing the personalisation of health care services, so to efficiently respond to specific needs and conditions. The platform thus, gives the patients a tool that allows them to stay in touch with health specialists, ready to respond to inputs and data, in order to support the patients.

The projects: Council of Coaches and vCare

CloudCare2U offers in other words, personalized health care services by exploiting cloud, IoT and BigData.

And like two more pieces of the big picture, on the one hand, the Council of Coaches, coordinated by the University of Twente (NL), will provide further future contribution by using smart artificial intelligence to help conducting a healthy life and preventing health issues later in life. To do so, it provides its users with a team of “Couches” who specialize in diverse areas, and motivate and give healthy hints through computers, telephones and tablets, to their “patients” who are all but passive in this interaction, contributing this way to personalize the service and improve the experience.

On the other hand, vCare, led by the University of Dresden (DE), searches for best uses of data so to design personalized transitions of patients from rehabilitation to home, and grant continuity of care and monitoring, and test of future technologies. The project will pursue this by having a virtual coach assist patients based on personalized needs and data.


The eclectic team is constantly involved in an attentive exploration of the arena, to meet and share expertise, lessons and trends with other specialists and potential future partners, such as last week at the eHealth Forum held in Athens (GR), and in mid-November at the Innovators’ Pitch, which will take place in Budapest (HU).


Sprint #1 – the findings and the way forward

On September 19th, Innovation Sprint organized its first workshop with title Sprint #1: Shaking up the eHealth Industry in the New Digital Era aiming to start the discussion about an actionable Digital Transformation and bridge the gap in the following pairs: a) R&D – market, b) regulation – innovation, c) technology – need, d) academia – industry.

The workshop took place in the Brussels Life Science Incubator, where Innovation Sprint is located. Sofoklis Kyriazakos, CEO of Innovation Sprint, welcomed the audience that included people from Belgium, several European countries and the US. He briefly presented the start of the journey of the company into the eHealth “universe”, the main products of the company, namely CloudCare2U and Actionable Health 360 and invited the keynote speakers to address the workshop attendees.

First keynote speaker was Horst Kraemmer from DG CONNECT, who presented aspects of the Health and Care in the Digital Single Market. Horst emphasized the priority for Prevention and presented the status and the things to do. According to OECD/EU) and the “Health at a Glance: Europe 2016”, the deaths from major non-communicable diseases count 3.4 million potentially productive life years lost and 115bn € in potential economic loss. Based on a report from the Special Eurobarometer 460 on “Attitudes towards the impact of digitisation and automation on daily life” (2017), a majority (52%) of citizens would like to have online access to their medical or health records, while on the same time only 9% of hospitals in Europe allow citizens some access online to their own patient records, and most of those only give partial access, according to the European Hospital Survey – Benchmarking Deployment of eHealth Services (PwC). A study from the Special Eurobarometer 460 on “Attitudes towards the impact of digitisation and automation on daily life” (2017) shows that overall, seven in ten respondents (70%) would be willing to share their health and personal wellbeing data. Furthermore, according to the Special Eurobarometer 460 on “Attitudes towards the impact of digitisation and automation on daily life” (2017), only 18% of citizens have used health and care services provided online in the last 12 months. Horst presented his considerations about the Valley of Death, where on the one hand side there are plenty of solutions and SMEs that develop products for the Health market with positive results, however no scaling into wide adoption is happening. At the concluding part of the presentation, the barriers and success factors that are observed in the European Union were presented and the EC policy approach to making this a success, which includes the public consultation on Health and Care for the Digital Single Market.

The second keynote was Ntin Naik, Global Vice President from Frost & Sullivan (US) who presented the Convergence of Blockchain with AI and IoMT set to re-architect the Healthcare sector. Ntin presented the Frost & Sullivan’s 2017 Healthcare CEO Survey addressing the growth objective, the customer orientation , the competition, the innovation and the business model for the healthcare sector, emphasizing that  Leading healthcare companies are investing in tech-enabled solutions with the end goal of “Digital Transformation”. A focal point in this keynote presentation was the Blockchain technology and the possibility to be the missing puzzle for digital transformation journey in the healthcare industry. In this direction, the convergence potential of emerging technologies, e.g. AI and IoMT, were presented, as well as the ways that precision medicine can be implemented. Further considerations about the application of Blockchain in Precision Medicine and the Differentiation of the Hype from Reality were discussed. The presentation was concluded with the presentation of the healthcare challenges of the Blockchain implementation.

Following the keynote speeches, the first session of the day “Digital transformation in the Healthcare industry” was introduced by Alfredo Cesario, CSO-BIO of Innovation Sprint. Alfredo talked about P4 digital medicine and the enabling technological tools. He presented the novel phenotypes in individual patients with severe co-morbidities of chronic diseases and compared them with traditional phenotypes and presented how «integrative» approaches on precise phenotypes can support heath promotion and P4 personalized medicine.


The first presentation of Session 1, was from Prof. Ramjee Prasad from Aarhus University, who talked about the new digital era and the impact in the global economy. Ramjee briefly mentioned the recent technological advancements and introduced novel concept, like the Human Bond Communication and Knowledge Home and 7 Senses that take the technology to a new dimension.

Camille Mommer was the next speaker and she presented the activities of, the single point of entry to support health innovation in Brussels. Among the objectives of is to speed up the accessibility to innovative solutions, to set up a local governance on eHealth, to engage and bring the commitment of public authorities, to make industry (supply) and care institutions (demand) talk together and to align public funding with real needs. is running business-coaching services for individuals and startups and has 2 acceleration programs, namely MedTech and eHealth Accelerator., it is managing the Health 2.0 Brussels chapter, the Enterprise Europe Network and ECHAlliance in Belgium and coordinates the Connect2 project that aims to foster interoperability across the healthcare sector in Brussels Capital Region.

Gianluca Arialdi, CEO of the Brussels Life Science Incubator (BLSI), was the next speaker and presented how BLSI supports young entrepreneurs in creating innovative businesses in the life sciences and health sector. BLSI is supported by Université Catholique de Louvain and Brussels Capital Region and has its focus on e-Health, Medical devices and Biotechnologies. BLSI is co-located with Cliniques Saint-Luc, which create an environment for additional synergies for clinical tests, R&D projects and industrial PhDs.

The last presentation of Session 1, was by Guillaume Gustin, Université Catholique de Louvain with the topic of Empowerment of diabetic patients through mHealth technologies and education. Guillaume presented the challenges of diabetes disease, as well as the importance and complexity of BGL monitoring. He then introduced Eglé app that can support patient empowerment through the development of a scalable platform of self-management tools, designed to improve medical care and foster communication between the patient, the family and HCPs. The app performs an HbA1c estimation and provides numerous self-monitoring widgets, e.g. glycaemia, physical activity, etc. Eglé app provides an insulin bolus assistant, which has been informally validated by experts.

Session 2 of the program, was about Coaching systems and applications, chaired by Hermie Hermens, CSO-eHealth of Innovation Sprint. Hermie started the session with a presentation on Next generation monitoring and coaching systems and highlighted the strong relationship between behavior and Health and the need for artificial personal coaching systems. The presentation included 3 generations of coaching systems, with emphasis on next generation systems that will be smarter, enabled by rapid changes in technology, based on data driven modeling and mining and towards more persuasive user interactions.

Vincenzo Valentini, from Fondazione Policlinico Gemelli, has continued with a presentation about an innovative e-coaching solutions in cancer. Vincenzo introduced his presentation with statistics from Gemelli Hospital, highlighting the number of total patients treatments, i.e. 42,814 per year. Further to that he explained how a clinical decision in influenced by the evidence, the physician factors and the constraints and he presented the Edmonton Symptom Assessment Scale. He then presented the Valeo+ app, Valuation Endorsed by Oncology Patinet and he concluded with the FORECAST cloud platform concept. FOREACST is a coaching system for stress management of cancer patients aiming to increase their wellbeing at home.

Martin Serrano, from the Insight Centre for Data Analytics, presented the smart technologies for better, independent, assisted health services ecosystem. Martin started with facts around ageing in Europe to highlight the challenges ahead. According to the  European Commission study “Population Aging in Europe: Facts, Implications, and Policies” (2014), “The ageing of Europe, also known as the greying of Europe, is a demographic phenomenon in Europe characterized by a decrease in fertility, a decrease in mortality rate, and a higher life expectancy Among European populations. Europe is ageing and by 2060 one in three Europeans will be over 65, while the ratio of Working people to the “inactive” (retired) is Shifting from 4 to 1 today to 2 to 1 by 2060, according to the Innovation for Active and Healthy Ageing (2015). He then presented an Internet of “Healthcare” Things vision from eHealth to cHealth and beyond and the ACTIVAGE digital health landscape.

Harm op den Akker from RRD presented the Council of Coaches project that recently started and aims to design, develop and evaluate a Virtual Coaching System targeted at older adults that are undergoing life changing events that have a potential negative impact on physical, cognitive, mental, and/or social well-being. Council of Coaches introduces a new coaching paradigm where the virtual coach is manifested in a group of virtual characters that each represents a different knowledge domain of the coach.

The concluding presentation of Session 2 was on “GOAL: Gamification for healthy life”, by Aristodemos Pnevmatikakis from Athens Information Technology. GOAL is a H2020 funded project that aims to help people, especially the elderly, to stay motivated into leading socially engaged, physically and cognitively active lifestyles. GOAL provide games and apps that gamify aspects of life by involving peers and families organized in circles, by quantifying achievements by a virtual currency, exchangeable for benefits in apps, and favours from circles.

Session 3 of the workshop was on IoT and Big Data and was chaired by Paolo Morelli, CSO- Head of Clinical Research in Innovation Sprint. Paolo presented the role of IoT in Clinical Trials and started with the need from regulatory perspective, the reaching of measurements of patients’ life and the easier reaching of patients to support clinical study recruitment. He then presented the challenges and the approach of applying IoT in clinical trials; an approach supported by CloudCare2U and Symphony EDC systems.

Subsequently, John Soldatos from Athens Information Technology gave a presentation on Evolving IoT with Smart Objects. John started with presentation of the IoT development phases highlighting the current one, which is based on smart objects. The IoT Cloud Convergence was then discussed as well as solutions in the forms of IaaS, PaaS and SaaS. IoT platform interoperability was presented, as well as flagship projects, like OpenIoT and FIESTA. The presentation continued with the IoT reference architectures and the rise of smart objects. The topic of Blockchain was also addressed and the example of a factory automation based on edge-computing and ledger services of the FAR-EDGE project. The presentation concluded with the emphasis on security and the new initiative of the H2020 SecureIoT project.

The final presentation of the workshop was by Christina Kyriakopoulou, European Commission DG RTD, on “Big Data perspectives in EU Health collaborative research”. Christina presented Big Data perspectives in various Programs of the EC with emphasis on collaborative research around health topics.

The major outcomes of the workshop can be summarized as follows: a) There is clearly a need for a Digital Transformation in the Healthcare sector; b) Emerging technologies and infrastructures can contribute to the Digital Transformation; c) Healthcare is open for disruptive technologies and business models, including Blockchain; d) the European Commission facilitates Health and Care in the Digital Single Market with various tools; e) Mobile apps and cloud platforms should focus more on the patient and address the technology acceptance aspects and f) there are many ongoing project initiatives that generate value and can achieve a high impact in Europe and the world.

Innovation Sprint will host Sprint #2 workshop in 2018 with updates on Digital Transformation for the Healthcare sector.

For more information, please contact us here.


Sprint #1: Shaking up the eHealth Industry in the New Digital Era

Sprint #1: Shaking up the eHealth Industry in the New Digital Era

Innovation Sprint workshop, 19th September 2017

Clos Chapelle-aux-Champs 30 bte 1.30.30, 1200 Bruxelles


Healthcare sector is one of the main pillars of the economy at a global level that involves patients, physicians, National Health Systems, insurance companies, pharmaceuticals, vendors, researchers and providers, representing a good portion of the GDP of any Government and attracts billion dollar investments every year. The technology and Internet evolution have contributed significantly to the creation of eHealth within the Healthcare sector that aims to improve citizens’ health and well-being. Nevertheless, the barriers to entry in this highly regulated business sector are huge and therefore integrated eHealth solutions fail to reach high levels of penetration. In Innovation Sprint, we consider this rather as a big challenge and we align our efforts to address the existing market efficiently and bring up unknown needs to disrupt the healthcare industry. The Sprint #1 workshop presents products, ideas, disruptive concepts and includes panel discussions with major stakeholders of the industry. The outcome of the workshop will be a Special Issue on “Shaking up the eHealth Industry in the New Digital Era” in the Journal of Continuous and Disruptive Innovation.




Welcome and keynotes (Chair: Sofoklis Kyriazakos)

  • “iSprint: The start of the journey in the eHealth universe and the challenges ahead”, Sofoklis Kyriazakos, Innovation Sprint, CEO (BE)
  • “Health and Care in the Digital Single Market”, Horst Kraemer, European Commission – DG CONNECT (BE)
  • “Convergence of Blockchain with AI and IoMT set to re-architect the Healthcare sector”, Ntin Naik, Frost & Sullivan, Global Vice President (US)


Session 1: Digital transformation in the Healthcare industry (Chair: Alfredo Cesario)

  • “Hands on P4 Digital Medicine”, Alfredo Cesario, Innovation Sprint, CSO-BIO (BE)
  • “The new digital era and the impact in the global economy”, Ramjee Prasad, Aarhus University, Director of CGC Global (DK)
  • “How lifetech contributes to shake up the eHealth industry”, Camille Mommer, (BE)
  • “The role of BLSI in the Belgian eHealth sector”, Gianluigi Arialdi, Brussels Life Science Incubator (BE)
  • “Empowerment of diabetic patients through mHealth technologies and education”, Guillaume Gustin, Université Catholique de Louvain (BE)


Session 2: Coaching systems and applications (Chair: Hermie Hermens)

  • “Next generation monitoring and coaching systems”, Hermie Hermens, Innovation Sprint, CSO-eHealth (BE)
  • “Innovative e-coaching solutions in Cancer”, Vincenzo Valentini, Fondazione Policlinico Gemelli, UCSC (IT)
  • “Smart Technology for Better, Independent, Assisted Health Services Ecosystem”, Martin Serrano, The Insight Centre for Data Analytics (IE)
  • “Council of Coaches – A Novel Holistic Behavior Change Coaching Approach”, Harm op den Akker, Roessingh Research and Development – RRD (NL)
  • “GOAL: Gamification for healthy life”, Aristodemos Pnevmatikakis, Athens Information Technology (GR)


Session 3: IoT and Big Data (Chair: Paolo Morelli)

  • “The role of IoT in Clinical Trials”, Paolo Morelli, Innovation Sprint, CSO- Head of Clinical Research (BE)
  • “Innovative Medicines Initiative Big Data and Digital Health”, Magda Gunn, Innovative Medicines Initiative – IMI (BE)
  • “Evolving IoT with Smart Objects”, John Soldatos, Athens Information Technology (GR)
  • “Big Data perspectives in EU Health collaborative research”, Christina Kyriakopoulou, European Commission DG RTD (BE)



Digital Transformation and Exploitation of Big Data for the Pharma Industry

“What is exactly a data-driven pharmaceutical company and what does it take to be become one?”

This has been a crucial question for the past few years and will remain crucial, as long as clinical and research data is not actionable enough to increase efficiency in the Pharma industry. Most pharmaceutical companies are in the process of validating solutions and services, while on the same time there is a growing demand for monetization of Big Data outcomes of clinical and research studies.

In Innovation Sprint, we believe that becoming a data-driven company will assist your offering for better healthcare services, enhanced therapies through innovative technologies, transformation of digital disruption to opportunities and increased revenues. This is WHY a pharmaceutical company should go through a digital transformation. If WHY defines the vision, the next challenge is to define HOW this can be achieved. Our strong recommendation for achieving this challenge is to start by implementing your own private data cloud and integrate legacy data, data sets from 3rd party sources and clinical data.

In ActionableHealth360, a service toolkit for Big Data health analytics of Innovation Sprint, we implement a private data cloud in the following steps: defining the strategy; identifying  data sources; analyzing & defining processes; managing data; deploying a data warehouse and performing continuous Big Data health analytics. The data warehouse will obviously support advanced reporting and business insights, as well as making available data sets needed to offer SaaS solutions in the form of Web or Mobile apps. In this way, ActionableHealth360 is realizing a digital transformation, while addressing the challenges of National Health Systems, improving the effectiveness and quality of our healthcare, reducing costs by optimizing processes and providing actionable Big Data analytics for efficient decisions making.


“Now that I am a data-driven pharmaceutical company, how can I have additional revenues from my data?”

This is now the Holy Grail for all companies that went through the process of digital transformation and are owners of Big Data. However, before describing the Holy Grail, let us focus on the term “Big Data”. Innovation Sprint describes Big Data in the Healthcare sector based on 4+1 Vs, namely Volume, Variety, Velocity, Veracity and Value. For the Volume, we should be dealing with data of a petabyte level or more. The Variety should involve health related measurements, images, EHRs, etc., while Velocity should involve at least 1,000 new users per day. For Veracity the focus in on the quality and integrity of datasets, while the Value includes all actionable outcomes described above.


Owners of such Big Data have the chance to validate the concept of ActionableHealth360 Marketplace. This is the cloud version of ActionableHealth360 suite that allows pharmaceutical companies to connect their private data cloud through a flexible API and upload anonymous data in a safe environment that complies with GDPR directive (data providers). On the same time, consultants and agencies are able to develop with easy tools dynamic reports that exploit rich datasets and make them available for subscription (developers). The other stakeholders of the marketplace are the data consumers (subscribers). This category includes Healthcare providers, Policy makers, Insurance companies, NHS, etc., who pay a monthly subscription for basic information and additional amounts to use the report generators. Obviously, the income from subscribers is split among the data providers and developers based on a meritocracy model. The vision of ActionableHealth360 marketplace is to contribute to a data-rich healthcare future, enabling medical care to be proactive rather than reactive and reward data providers for their contribution.


Meet the architects of the concept: Sofoklis Kyriazakos (CEO), Alfredo Cesario (CSO-BIO), Hermie Hermens (CSO-eHealth) and Paolo Morelli (CSO-Head of Clinical Research).


If you are owner of open-data related to the healthcare sector and you want to be part of the ActionableHealth360 marketplace, or you wish to obtain more information, you can contact

Books for Innovators!

booksAfter finishing with my (long) studies, there was a long period that I hadn’t read any book. I limited my reading material to business- and research-related documents, newspapers and magazines.

Then suddenly, like turning a switch, I decided to start reading books to help me address the business challenges and a stressful lifestyle. I realized when flying a lot, reading books is a perfect way to upgrade a boring flight into a personal development session.

After searching for some time and with the help of Amazon recommendations I have shortlisted bellow  my favorite books that I strongly recommend to all and especially those in the tech business, focusing on innovation with an entrepreneurial drive.




  1. Leadership
    1. John C. Maxwell, The 5 Levels of Leadership: Proven Steps to Maximize Your Potential
    2. John C. Maxwell, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You (10th Anniversary Edition)
    3. Huntsman, Jon, Winners Never Cheat: Even in Difficult Times: Even in Hard Times


  1. Personal development
    1. Covey, Stephen R., The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change
    2. Covey, Stephen R., First Things First
    3. Ferrazzi, Keith, Never Eat Alone, Expanded and Updated: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time
    4. Yvon Chouinard, Let My People Go Surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman


  1. Startups & Innovation management
    1. Ries, Eric, The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses
    2. Thiel, Peter, Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future
    3. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne, Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make Competition Irrelevant
    4. Christensen, Clayton, The Innovator’s Dilemma: The Revolutionary Book That Will Change the Way You Do Business
    5. Rubin, Kenneth S., Essential Scrum: A Practical Guide to the Most Popular Agile Process 


  1. Marketing
    1. Robert B. Cialdini, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, Revised Edition
    2. Godin, Seth, All Marketers Are Liars: The Underground Classic That Explains How Marketing Really Works–and Why Authen ticity Is the Best Marketing of All
    3. Godin, Seth, Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us
    4. Godin, Seth, Purple Cow, New Edition: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable–Includes new bonus chapter


  1. Biographies & Enterprises

    1. Vance, Ashlee, Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future
    2. Isaacson, Walter, Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography
    3. Tony Hsieh, Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose
    4. Schmidt, Eric, How Google Works
    5. Stone, Brad, The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon
    6. Branson, Sir Richard, The Virgin Way: How to Listen, Learn, Laugh and Lead