The four finalist projects in the 2023 Watch Medtech Challenge have just been revealed. Precitec, Werth, GrindoSonic and Permapack will be developing their ideas over the coming months before pitching them in a bid to win first prize next summer. The aim? “To enable our exhibitors to diversify their operations with the medical sector, which has high barriers to entry, not least because of the regulations,” explains EPHJ Director Alexandre Catton. “With assistance from Fondation Inartis, they’ll take their ideas forward, trying to overcome as many of these hurdles as possible in order to reduce the risk associated with their projects. This challenge is also an excellent way of demonstrating the cross-sectoral nature of expertise – sometimes thanks to a touch of serendipity.”
Precitec has developed EyeTracker, an eye-tracking solution for laser-assisted eye surgery that takes account of involuntary and uncontrollable movements of the patient’s eye. The aim of the new development would be to use this technology in functional MRI to correct the effect of diaphragm movement, due particularly to breathing. One of the major constraints of MRI is that the body being imaged has to be perfectly static, otherwise artefacts can appear in the images.
For Werth, the goal will be to enable three-dimensional characterisation of cellular systems, in particular organoids, using its X-ray computed tomography systems. The system is non-invasive and non-destructive, and would make it possible to monitor the growth of organoids, for example.
GrindoSonic is a leader in non-destructive testing (NDT) based on the impulse excitation technique (IET). Impulse excitation is an NDT technique used to measure the elastic modulus, damping coefficient and other mechanical properties of materials. It involves hitting a sample with a small hammer and measuring the resulting vibrations using a transducer. The system could operate without direct impact (on the skin). Such a system could be used to classify bone fractures, particularly greenstick fractures.
Finally, Permapack, a world leader in adhesives and sealants, will be looking at how its water-soluble adhesives could be used to keep the edges of a wound together to help a doctor put in stitches, or to hold a wound in place. Water-soluble adhesives are suitable for protecting surfaces and harden in just a few seconds. After being heated in hot water, the adhesive dissolves completely or can be easily removed.