Meet your local EIT Health Alumni representative:
Rebecca Bejhed is a Doctor of Engineering Science and CEO at TADA medical AB, Stockholm, Sweden. She is a representative of the EIT Health alumni network in Scandinavia since June 2019.
Which EIT Health activity did you participate in?
I took part in the Clinical Innovation Fellowships (CIF) in 2015-2016. This program is a joint initiative of RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, The Royal Institute of Technology Karolinska Institutet and EIT Health. The goal of the program is to improve healthcare by identifying clinical needs, and it follows the Stanford Biodesign Process: you work in interdisciplinary teams, and each team is placed at a specific health care department in order to observe and interact with healthcare professionals and patients during everyday clinical practice.
My team was placed at the paediatric oncology clinic at Uppsala university hospital. We were four participants: one with a background in medicine, a designer, a project leader, and myself with a background in technology. We found that the most frequent invasive medical procedure is not safe: around 80% of in-hospital patients receive intravenous (IV) therapy. On average, over 10% of these are prematurely interrupted by a dislodged IV tube, harming patients and exposing nurses for spillage of blood and potentially hazardous medicines. One of the most affected patient groups is children; an accident rate as high as 36% has been reported in this group.
During our time at the program, we created a solution to this problem, which is now a patent-protected safety device called ReLink®. We founded TADA Medical as a spin-off from the CIF-programme, and our original team has been reinforced with additional members.
How has EIT Health contributed to your innovative journey?
We received the Headstart funding for this project in 2017 and we participated in European Health Catapult in 2018. This is a training and competition program where start-ups get training in business model and planning, investment negotiation and pitch training, and where you get access to a European network, which is valuable. We have also participated in EIT Health matchmaking events in Paris and Berlin.
What is the main benefit of being part of EIT Health?
It is always a positive experience to meet people within this network! Even at competitions, like Headstart, when we should be opponents, people help and support each other.
Why would you encourage people to join the alumni network?
I strongly recommend everyone who has been involved in any EIT Health activity to go to the alumni website and register to join. That way you will always be up to date on events and you get access to a network of brilliant people spread out over Europe.