3 innovative approaches in the fight against cardiovascular disease in Europe

For Valentine’s Day, EIT Health Scandinavia showcase three innovative approaches in the fight against cardiovascular disease in Europe.

EIT Health’s mission is to enable European citizens to lead longer, healthier lives, and it actively supports the development of innovations that aim to improve cardiac health.  The variety of projects it supports encompass everything from preventative measures to aid cardiovascular disease management, projects dedicated to the promotion of healthy living to keep hearts healthy, and solutions that can be used to detect disease and help diagnosed patients to manage their condition.

We find new ways of addressing the growing challenge of CVD by collaborating with healthcare’s leading players to design and develop innovative solutions, programmes, and initiatives, as well as creating and scaling the most promising new companies, all working together to fight this pressing health burden.

EIT Health believes innovation is the answer to some of the challenges posed by CVD, and strives to support transformational solutions to aid optimal prevention, treatment and management” Jan-Philipp Beck, CEO of EIT Health 

From a connected home cooking appliance technology, which uses artificial intelligence (AI) to inspire healthy eating, to a mobile app that detects irregular heartbeats and helps prevent strokes, here are three EIT Health innovations, helping European citizens to reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease.


“We bring together the brightest minds from the worlds of business, research and education to accelerate cutting-edge advancements, putting innovation in the hands of those who may benefit.”

1. The app that is helping to prevent stroke: FibriCheck

FibriCheck is the world’s first medically-certified mobile app designed to prevent stroke.

Co-founded by Bieke Van Gorp and Lars Grieten in Belgium, FibriCheck can help prevent stroke by detecting atrial fibrillation and other heart rhythm disorders using only a smartphone or smartwatch.

Simply by placing a finger on the smartphone’s camera, the app measures a person’s heart rhythm for one minute and gives them a detailed report and immediate actionable results, reviewed by FibriCheck’s team of medical experts. Users can then track their heart rhythm history and look back on how it has changed.

FibriCheck was the first app to ever receive a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval and designation as a diagnostic device, which reveals its potentially life-saving impact. It can now be used by clinicians around the world thanks to this as well as its European Conformity (CE) medical approval. Over 130,000 people have so far been screened using the app.

FibriCheck received crucial early stage financial support from EIT Health including training, and access to its vast network in order to increase their potential to bring their innovative solution to the market.

2.The smart kitchen assistant: Cook2Health

Cook2Health uses connected home cooking appliances to record and analyse what a person eats, and inform them about their nutritional intake. It supports healthier eating with a personalised coaching system in the form of an AI lifestyle assistant.

With dietary factors being the chief contributor to the risk of CVD, Cook2Health was developed to influence citizens to make healthier decisions. The long-term social contribution would be to modify dietary habits of many people across Europe, thereby decreasing risk of disease and fostering healthier senior years.

The project is currently running a clinical trial of the system’s long-term health benefits in order to bring their solution to market. The randomised control clinical trial, amongst 160 healthy volunteers, aims to demonstrate the health benefits of a personalised dietary coaching solution. Managed by Groupe SEB, a leader in small household appliances, Université Grenoble Alpes (France), Aberystwyth University (UK) and Universitat of Barcelona (Spain), the aim is to produce a nutritional profile that the participant can use to track and improve their diet.

Supported by EIT Health, the EU-backed network brought together the different partners including University of Barcelona, Université Grenoble-Alpes and Aberystwyth University to bring the innovation to life.

3.The first cardiac implant to treat strokes: AuriGen Medical

Irish company AuriGen Medical has developed the first cardiac implant to treat both the stroke and arrhythmia risk associated with persistent atrial fibrillation.

AuriGen Medical employs single-use sensors and software algorithms to give doctors feedback on the quality of an ablation cardiac treatment that corrects certain types of abnormal heart rhythms. This results in potentially increasing the treatment success rates and reducing procedure times.

The award-winning cardiac implant was part of the EIT Health-supported fellowship programme BioInnovate Ireland and has since secured significant funding, which will be used to advance product development in preparation for the first human trials of the device in 2020.

The device could provide significant savings to healthcare providers, reducing the need for repeat ablations. Roughly eight million patients across Europe4 are affected by persistent irregular heartbeat and AuriGen Medical believes its device could help the majority of patients



  1. European Cardiovascular Disease Statistics, European Heart Network, http://www.ehnheart.org/cvd-statistics.html ,2017
  2. European Health Network. European Cardiovascular Disease Statistics 2017. Available from: http://www.ehnheart.org/cvd-statistics/cvd-statistics-2017.html
  3. CVD Statistics, http://www.ehnheart.org/cvd-statistics.html
  4. European Society of Cardiology, https://medicalxpress.com/news/2019-06-atrial-fibrillation-affect-million-over-65s.html

Did you know? 

  • 45% of all deaths in Europe are caused by CVD
  • 80% of premature heart disease and stroke is preventable
  • Dietary factors make the largest contribution to the risk of CVD mortality