Bax & Company joins EU’s €60M TEF-Health initiative to drive AI innovations to market

To establish Europe as a frontrunner in Artificial Intelligence (AI), the European Union is investing €220m in world-class Testing and Experimentation Facilities (TEFs). Bax & Company will assist the TEF-Health team in supporting SMEs to transform their AI healthcare solutions into market-ready services.

Technological advances in AI and robotics are progressing at a staggering rate, with significant implications for various sectors, including healthcare. However, ensuring the safety and efficacy of new medical devices and procedures is paramount before their integration into clinical practice. Within the European Union, where AI and robotics are set to revolutionise healthcare, stringent quality standards must be met. Despite this, there is a lack of testing infrastructure to establish standards, validate innovations, and certify new products.

As part of the Digital Europe Programme’s efforts to align AI advances with EU values and security standards, the European Union has established TEFs in strategic areas, including TEF-Health, focusing specifically on healthcare innovations.

TEFs, instrumental in implementing the AI Act – the world’s first comprehensive AI law – offer crucial infrastructure for AI developers to conduct rigorous testing and validation processes. These facilities provide a network of physical and virtual sites to advance AI solutions from Technological Readiness Level (TRL) 6 to 8.

Widespread use of these comprehensive testing and evaluation tools will not only expedite market entry for innovative AI and robotics technologies but will also significantly enhance public trust in these advancements.

– Professor Petra Ritter, Coordinator of TEF-Health

Source: Berlin Institute of Health

Funded by the Digital Europe Programme and seven Member States, TEF-Health began in January 2023 with a €60 million budget. The five-year initiative, involving more than 50 partners, aims to enhance the effectiveness, resilience, and sustainability of EU healthcare systems – reducing healthcare delivery inequalities within the EU, and ensuring compliance with legal, ethical, quality, and interoperability standards.

Charité (Germany) leads TEF-Health, supported by country nodes from Germany, France, Sweden, Belgium, Portugal, Slovakia, and Italy, along with associated nodes in Finland and Czechia, and pan-EU structures like EBRAINS AISBL, EIT Health, and the EHDS2 Pilot initiative.

Bax & Company has joined the project to support HUmani – CHU Charleroi-Chimay (Charleroi, Belgium), who play a pivotal role in guiding TEF-Health partners in providing physical facilities. Humani will oversee the hospital platforms, living labs, and laboratory testing facilities, as well as facilitate access to clinical settings and gather feedback from healthcare professionals.

Our Healthcare Innovation team will ensure researchers are ready to offer services to SMEs, clinicians, and industry, in collaboration with HUmani’s leaders Prof. Karim Zouaoui (Director of the Scientific Research Department) and Dr. Christophe Dugast (Director of Clinical Research).

Although TEF-Health is accessible to all health technology providers, it focuses on four case domains – neurotech, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and intensive care services – identified based on global emerging trends and their potential for overcoming financial barriers.

Each of the 7 country nodes serves as a physical access point to the network, aiding technology providers in these domains to find the most suitable collaboration opportunities. Within the Belgium node (led by Multitel), HUmani is actively involved in intensive care efforts. The expanding market for intensive care equipment and digitalisation underscores the necessity for enhanced clinical information systems, improved data monitoring, and the seamless integration of telemedicine and biosensors. Bax & Company will also work closely with partners in the Belgium node to streamline the integration of intensive care technology providers into the consortium for testing their solutions.

Get in touch with our Healthcare Innovation team

If you want to know more about how we’re supporting the TEF-Health initiative or how we’re ensuring the sustainability of European healthcare systems, get in touch!

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