Thirteen projects which have digital tools and Artificial Intelligence at the heart of their innovative approaches will deliver new solutions to protect healthcare workers, quickly detect and prevent the spread of COVID-19, and improve intensive care – all to contribute to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic emphasized the need for high-quality data, digital technologies and Artificial Intelligence analytics tools. These technologies have been a key part of the EU’s response to this sudden and severe health threat.

To strengthen the public health preparedness and response and accelerate the deployment and market uptake of mature digital health technologies for better prevention and optimised treatment, the Commission launched a Call for Expression of Interest under the H2020 Societal Challenge 1 addressing COVID-19.

Within the next 24 months, the following selected projects, with a total funding of € 55.2 million, will deliver solutions in four complementary areas, with planned first prototypes being available in the coming 6 to 12 months.

  • Using telemedicine to assist intensive care against COVID-19

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    ICU4Covid - Cyber-Physical Intensive Care Medical System for COVID-19

    Today, only 47% of hospitals have the recommended coverage of intensive care specialists and they are unevenly distributed between centres and periphery. The Cyber-Physical System for Telemedicine and Intensive Care (CPS4TIC) enables existing or new ICU structures to transform and operate as one ICU Hub with one central ICU and connected ICUs in peripheral hospitals.

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    ENVISION - Intelligent plug-&-play digital tool for real-time surveillance of COVID-19 patients & smart decision-making in ICUs

    ENVISION aims at advancing an innovative digital tool, Sandman.MD, a real-time and plug-and-play monitoring app, to an intelligent decision-support system for monitoring, prediction and treatment of COVID-19 patients in ICUs – the Sandman.ICU – reaching Technology Readiness Level 9 and ready for CE marking by the end of the project. The app has been successfully introduced by several hospitals in Germany for use during the perioperative period and will be integrated into an AI-driven data analytics suite with predictive modelling tools and enhanced with a smart alert functionality.

  • Deliver new devices and tools for faster, cheaper and easier diagnosis of COVID-19

  • IRIS-COV - Market Release of a Portable Device for COVID-19 at the Point-of-Care; a Global Diagnostics Approach

    IRIS-COV aims for the implementation of an existing and patented device and methodology based on isothermal LAMP amplification and real time quantitative colorimetric detection which has been proven to be able to detect SARS-CoV-2 in patients’ samples. The main objectives are immediate deployment of the device following clinical validation and fast track certification. Arrangements for the large-scale production of the device and reagents will take place in parallel, followed by the provision of a full medical certification for COVID-19 and flu detection directly in crude samples and at the point-of-care. Scaling up the deployment of the two certified products together with global sharing of the project results are important deliverables of the project for the current and future epidemics.

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    COVIRNA - A diagnostic test to improve surveillance and care of COVID-19 patients

    COVIRNA aims at deploying a prognostic system based on cardiovascular biomarkers of COVID-19 clinical outcomes combined with digital tools and artificial intelligence analytics. Complementary expertise of 15 EU partners from the healthcare sector, academia, association and industry will allow for conducting a large retrospective study on existing cohorts of COVID-19 patients. The project will quickly deliver a minimally-invasive, simple yet robust and affordable prognosis tool that can be used in the context of the current COVID-19 crisis as well as in further major health issues.

  • CorDial-S - Portable and fast surface plasmon resonance point-of-care test for COVID-19

    CorDial-S proposes a rapid, selective and inexpensive solution by combining several technologies such as the use of COVID-19 specific nanobodies (VHH), magnetic nanoparticles with high magnetic strength and a VHH modified interfaces, all integrated in a hand-held surface plasmon resonance based point-of-care test for the screening of the presence/absence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in nasal and salvia samples.

  • VASCOVID - Portable platform for the assessment of microvascular health in covid-19 patients at the intensive care

    VASCOVID will deploy a portable, non-invasive and real-time health monitoring platform which combines two bio-photonics technologies, time-resolved near-infrared spectroscopy and diffuse correlation spectroscopy. The platform will be adapted to meet the needs of a typical ICU dealing with COVID-19 and other patients requiring ventilation, as well as to leverage large-scale testing of new treatment procedures and therapies aimed to address microvascular impairment and to reduce extubation failure on ICU patients weaning out of mechanical ventilation life-support.

  • Using telemedicine and AI to diagnose and monitor patients safely and to reduce the burden of health systems

  • PyXy.AI - Telehealth-ready AI-powered multi-parametric system for surveillance of COVID-19 and cardio-pulmonary chronic patients

    This consortium presents a computerized auscultation device – the PyXy – which provides expert-level lung and heart check-up. The PyXy brings breakthrough capabilities in terms of sound and infrasound analysis, body temperature, blood oxygen levels, heart rate and respiratory cycle, all analyzed by artificial intelligence (AI) for accurate diagnostic data. The device recently showed very promising results in relation to managing COVID-19 disease.

  • ESSENCE - Empathic platform to personally monitor, stimulate, enrich, and assist elders and children in their environment

    ESSENCE aims at transforming the lessons learnt from the COVID-19 in a huge opportunity that exploits technology toward a deep evolution of the services targeting vulnerable populations: non- or pre-frail seniors, and children of the first years of primary school. To contribute to the public health response in the context of the ongoing epidemic, and preparedness for future emergencies, it aims at boosting the creation of a new model of home-based care that relies on stimulation, remote monitoring, tele-assistance, and connection between users, families, and professionals.

  • icovid - AI-based chest CT analysis enabling rapid COVID diagnosis and prognosis

    The icovid project aims to improve the software making it of greater value as the clinical needs evolve, validating it in renowned academic centers and deploying it at large-scale across Europe. icolung is expected to have a significant societal impact by increasing confidence when making a CT diagnosis and providing accurate quantification of disease and prognostic information in patients with suspected COVID-19 disease.

  • Protecting health care workers through new technologies

  • PORSAV - Controlling viral aerosols in COVID-19 and beyond

    Protecting healthcare staff and preserving key clinical practice is a key WHO priority area for the immediate term in the COVID-19 pandemic, and also after peak crisis in the new practice landscape with population prevalence. Surgery is a key therapy for emergency patients and for cancer care and cardiac disease among others. It also is the hallmark aerosolising intervention, risking viral transmission to many staff, not only during the procedure itself, but also during other interventional procedures including bedside episodic procedures such as intubation for ventilation or nasogastric tube drainage. PORSAV will characterise the nature of these gas leaks using specialized imaging technology, develop vacuum devices to entrain and filter such leaks, validate the effectiveness of the devices clinically, complete CE mark certification and deploy to surgery centres worldwide.

  • CleanAir - Lab to Fab development of air decontamination system for protecting health practitioners against COVID-19

    The CleanAir project relates to the application of an innovative and novel geometrically extended electrode design to be integrated in air ionizers. CleanAir's aim is to develop the technology to a market-ready and CE mark certified device for series production for protecting health practitioners and their patients against COVID-19 infections, which will be preferentially developed for the use in dental treatment rooms, for medical doctors offices and for patients rooms in a hospital.

  • Supporting and fostering the uptake of innovative tools and technologies developed by small companies

  • INNO4COV-19 - Boosting Innovation for COVID-19 Diagnostic, Prevention and Surveillance

    Europe needs to reinforce its technological leadership and rebuild an industrial sector capable to protect our citizen’s safety and well-being, and INNO4COV-19 will help in catalyzing the change. Accelerated uptake of innovative technologies to tackle COVID-19 is most needed. In order to give an efficient and fast answer to this challenging situation, INNO4COV-19 aims at building an Innovation Hub for the addressed technologies.

  • COVID-X - COVID eXponential Programme

    COVID-X will bridge the collaboration divide between eHealth solution providers -with emphasis on lean startups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)-, and the healthcare professional system to fight COVID-19. The purpose is to boost an end-to-end agile validation programme of cutting-edge technology in three real-world clinical scenarios, located in Italy, Spain and Sweden.