The Future of Health.

The Future of Health.

by Maria Raimundo* | originally published in Observador

The transformation of digital health has highlighted the need for the entire industry and medical practice entities to operate and keep patients at the center. Patient centralization has influenced national guidelines and policies in several countries and organizations, including the US, UK, EU, and the World Health Organization (WHO). The concept of patient-centered care adopts a conscious perspective of the patient. As an example, the importance of the patient’s interactions with service providers and institutions. When the patient interacts with the healthcare system, he/she interacts with various stakeholders throughout the process. However, healthcare has taken unexpected directions, including placing patient-centeredness in larger circumstances that are transforming 21st-century medicine.

The healthcare system is part of an ecosystem, a larger concept where several patient-centered entities act. Players, such as Big Tech companies or innovators of Digital Health solutions, were not previously included in the traditional healthcare system. Besides patients interacting with the healthcare system, system stakeholders also interact with each other to maintain well-being and patient-centered care. This new collaborative health paradigm is building a new multipolar ecosystem. It includes hospitals and other primary care centers, medical industry companies, universities, patient associations, startups and SMEs, foundations and NGOs, among other governmental and regional institutions. Here, collaboration is joining capacities, interests, and knowledge between all these entities present in the ecosystem, to create innovative initiatives for change, and go far beyond the doctor-patient relationship.

Within this new ecosystem, everyone shares information, engagement, and responsibility. Consequently, both knowledge and technology are converging and crossing boundaries between entities. Therefore, there is a need for all stakeholders to join together and form consortia to explore possible synergies. The goal is to 1) cooperate in delivering services, professional training plans, innovation, and research; and 2) reflect on how health is organized and oriented towards innovation. These goals are not only common to the healthcare system, but also to the digital health strategy to be adopted. Entities need to discuss and define healthcare innovation requirements, interest in participating in pilot projects and help with its implementation efforts. Collaboration is key for entities to implement innovative, sustainable and effective initiatives beyond pilot projects. Only then will healthcare transformation needs be met, of today and for the future. It is, therefore, necessary to consider the value that each entity brings, propose improvements according to each one’s needs, and ultimately face the solution as an ecosystem.

We need a digital healthcare transformation that respects the entities involved, that is bold enough to collaboratively assess what is needed, what didn’t work, what is an exaggeration, and what brings value. Where entities align the change needed to improve the quality, availability, and value of care. What needs to stop? What is worth replacing or needs to happen in the vast landscape of digital healthcare evolution? Hospitals or government institutions are just two parts of this ecosystem. The key to the success of a sustainable future healthcare transformation is also in the remaining stakeholders. Where can companies, associations, startups and SMEs, foundations, among others, provide value, suggest improvements and contribute to the development and implementation of new solutions?! The solution is collaborative!


* Maria Raimundo, 31 years old, is a Biomedical Engineer with a master’s degree in Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management within Life Sciences. She currently works at Beta-i, a collaborative innovation consultancy, as Senior Account Manager, promoting Digital Health innovation throughout the healthcare ecosystem. While attending the PhD program at MIT Portugal, Maria focused on the challenges of using and sharing genetic data. Her interests in eHealth, personalized medicine, genetics, nutrition and innovation led her to the United Nations, MIT, as well as professional experience in startups.

A Techcare journey – Tonic App

A Techcare journey – Tonic App

Two years ago, Tonic App was among the 11 startups selected for the bootcamp of Techcare

On the verge of launching a new edition of the program, we wanted to remind how their journey went and how they are now. 

Tonic App was very young at the time of their application to Techcare (they had launched in March 2017). Still, once selected, they decided to bring the whole team to the Bootcamp: the perfect opportunity for all of them to better understand and to know how to work with the pharmaceutical industry.



Trying to narrow down an experience like this, we talked to the founder Daniela Seixas, to get some conclusions and outputs of Tonic App regarding the program:


Human approach is the core

In the end (well, in the beginning too), it’s all about human connection. The intense environment created in a moment like the bootcamp, is set to foster communication. Whether you’re a startup or a program partner, you will be speaking to one another, as you are all there with the same purpose.


Your access is 360º 

Following the previous point, we can say that the fast access a startup can have to a company like this is indeed the biggest plus. Tonic App claims for this to be the greatest advantage of taking such an opportunity – in a short period of time they could reach to Novartis stakeholders, in a 360º vision, way faster than in other approaches. 


People are the best, but they’re also the biggest challenge

Reaching to the partners is what you want and need, but it can also be your biggest struggle. As a small structure they were, Tonic App team found itself managing more than its internal resources, “the other side”.  This means adapting your team to redouble their efforts into dealing and managing processes and expectations of other teams (in this case, Novatis’ one) in an organizational struggle that is also a major learning. Then, a natural conclusion rises: 


Corporates and Startups have different timings

And this is a learning for both intervenients. Timings for approvals, results, decisions, are intrinsically different and both parts need to adapt, as to manage expectations. Typically, Startups are going fast, eager to respond and to receive feedback. Corporates on the other hand, follow more structured processes that will contrast to the startup way of living. Expectations need to be managed, for both, but learning from it will only bring benefits. 


Culture is very important 

And Novartis gets five stars from Tonic App on this. The startup has defined Novartis’ culture as extremely open, proactive and innovative. It represents some risk, of course, as being open to change always is. But it is definitely a plus to work with a company that opens its doors on innovation, and Techcare has proven it. 


Life has changed

And keeps changing. Tonic App is nowadays a medical device thanks to Novartis, as it is also a requisite for them to continue working together. The team has grown, and Daniela says that, personally, it has been a very good experience, as more opportunities have risen. They have several ongoing projects with Novartis and new opportunities for internationalization are appearing. 


They would do it again

Yes, Daniela says they would definitely do it again. It is indeed rewarding for a program like Techcare to get this kind of feedback from an Alumni. But it is even more important that Techcare have been able to deliver results and pilots between participant startups and Novartis, continuing to foster commercial relationships between them. 

Applications for Techcare are now open and we’re eager to know what this edition will present.

What do Healthtech, Insurtech and Fintech have in common?

The answer is: a major call for innovation.


You can even have add up a pinch of Sustaintech and there you go: the fourth edition of Protechting is on the making.

After three previous successful editions, Protechting is back to promote the collaboration between startups and established corporations. It has now two different tracks to boost startups growth, according to their maturity: a Piloting track and a new Pre-Acceleration track, with a spotlight at sustainable and socially impacting solutions. 

Healthtech, Insurtech and Fintech startups

Protechting 4.0 – applications open

Healthtech, Insurtech and Fintech startups – If you are eager to pilot your solution or to speed up your growth, here are the Partners who are making it happen:


As the largest insurance group in Portugal, with over 200 years of existence and an international presence, Fidelidade consists of a group of companies in the insurance and health sectors, including also a combination of services, that as a whole, protect the future of families, companies and Country. If Protection is your thing, this is the partner for you.

Fidelidade is here from the very first edition of Protechting (Jesus, it has been a few years now) noticing how startups have been bringing innovation and a new look into these areas. Shout out to the brave winners of the first edition of the program: EctoSense LifeSymb and CleenBeen.

Hospital da Luz Learning Health

Inside Luz Saúde Group, Hospital da Luz Learning Health is dedicated to the advanced training of professionals, translational research and innovation, in healthcare provision and management.

As the improvement of knowledge, technologies and advanced practices in healthcare are what makes their DNA, you can already see that innovation is part of the job and therefore the right partner to collaborate – “Healthteching” speaking.

Hauck & Aufhäuser

Hauck & Aufhäuser presents itself as the Fintech partner for Protechting. Adding not only knowledge and expertise into the area, it adds also to the international focus of the program, since it is a private german bank, with a 220-year history. 

This is actually the most recent partner of the program, joining for the previous edition in 2018 – in fact here is their own testimony entering Proteching.


Fosun was founded in 1992 and is a family-focused multinational company listed on the main board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (00656.HK) since 2007. With its roots in China, and through technology and innovation, Fosun’s mission is to create customer-to-maker (C2M) ecosystems in health, happiness and wealth. The group embraces all the other partners of the program. 

Actually, the presence of Fosun in Protechting is what can be taking you to China: The three best solutions of the piloting track will get the chance to participate in a roadshow in China with access to some of the largest global investors. 

Since it is always better to hear from someone who’s actually made it, here is A Startup Story From The Roadshow To China.

Wrapping up here, it goes without saying that Protechting is powered by Beta-i, so if you feel like you could use some more info or just wish to chat, you can reach us at

Applications for Protechting are now open – you can apply here

Why Corporate Innovation Needs Anthropologists? 

Why Corporate Innovation Needs Anthropologists? 

The question “Why Corporate Innovations Needs Anthropologists” has been gaining relevance lately because of two “instances” – academy and corporate world. Application of anthropology and ethnographic practices as a useful and relevant mark for data collection and analysis within academia and beyond – in business, industry and policy making -, so it starts to be a focus of important reflections and discussions in both sides.

Nevertheless, application of proper anthropological practice and ethnography is asking for in-depth discussions and critical reflection between both sides. The first major steps have been taken with the advent of “Why the World needs Anthropologists?”, whose sixth edition took place in Lisbon on the past October, subjected to the theme “Designing the Future”.

The event organized by the EASA Applied Anthropology Network had Beta-I – an innovation platform – as one of its main sponsors. Here, Beta-I anthropologists shared how they use applied ethnography in order to unlock the potential for innovation within different corporate contexts.

The synergies within the event have shown that the debate cannot be confined to a single annual event. It is imperative to follow up on these question in order to make the subject more tangible and applicable – to turn ethnographic methodologies into visible, appealing and understandable results!

Now, Beta-I and EASA Applied Anthropology Network present a step forward in the direction of strengthening their partnership with a new chapter of collaboration: locally organized satellite events “Why the World Needs Anthropologists?”. The main objective of this collaboration is to demystify the importance of applied anthropology, quality research and thick data within different settings and diverse fields – industry, business, policy-making and society.

Why corporate innovation needs anthropology – Health Edition

In the first edition of “Why corporate innovation needs anthropology – Health Edition” the session will feature the following guests:

  • Miguel Crato, Portuguese Hemophilia Association;
  • Cristina Ventura, Public Policy Manager of Roche Pharmaceuticals;
  • Isabel Lourinho, Psychologist and project coordinator/researcher for Beta-i;
  • Ana Isabel Afonso, Anthropologist, assistant professor (FCSH)

The moderation will be in charge of Laura Korčulanin (EASA AAN), Helene Veiga (EASA AAN) and Alisson Avila (Beta-i).

The “Why corporate innovation needs anthropology – Health Edition” will take place on 13th March at Ler Devagar (LXFactory) bookstore and is scheduled to start at 5:00 p.m.

“Why corporate innovation needs anthropology – Health Edition” has the invaluable support of CRIA (Centro em Rede de Investigação em Antropologia) and APA (Associação Portuguesa de Antropologia) as media partners and Esporão and Ler Devagar as logistics partners.

techcare: Meet the 11 startups reimagining the future of healthcare

techcare: Meet the 11 startups reimagining the future of healthcare

techcare, a program developed by Novartis in partnership with Deloitte Digital and Beta-i, started its Bootcamp this week with 11 ambitious startups willing to make a difference in the health ecosystem.

Until November 17 all startups have the opportunity to develop their proposals and work towards new tech solutions alongside Novartis professionals and affiliated healthcare experts.

For Cristina Campos, general-director of Novartis Portugal, the selection phase of the program was “extraordinary”, underlining that this initiative is “the right way to cooperate in the creation of solutions for the health sector”.

And the selected startups to reach this goal are:

Alcove an #loT digital care service which monitors, enables and provides emergency response to help older and disabled adults remain independent in their own homes;

Amiko is an upgrading respiratory care with Quantified Medicine;

Biotechspert is able to quickly connect anyone to a key opinion leader or expert access every sector of the life sciences;

Care Across is a web platform which is a universal meeting point for cancer patients and caregivers, providing them with reliable information, psychological
support, medical guidance and access to interactive tools. helps pharma deliver better educational content to doctors;

LibHeros connects patients with health professionals, promoting and optimizing the organization of care for patients at home as well as the journeys of professionals;

MedicSen is a smart diabetes management: chatbot app + predictive A.I. + Needle-free smart patch (insulin).

NeuroPsycad which provides clinicians (neurologists, psychiatrists, and neuroradiologists) with patient personalized reports helping them make early and accurate diagnoses of various neuropsychiatric disorders;

Promptly is an online platform to collect and analyze scientifically standardized data regarding healthcare outcomes reported by patients, allowing them to know, keep track and compare their outcomes with the standard of care;

TonicApp, a software platform to increase productivity of medical doctors;

UpHill develops SaaS to manage and analyze healthcare workforce learning and training.