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A smart blood pressure monitor, a VR trip through the own body, a game about healthy living and a smart toothbrush full of sensors. These four ideas are competing for the Slimmer Leven 2017 Award which will be awarded to the winning care innovation on May 16th. In the run-up to the final the teams get several workshops to improve their idea: pitch trainings, business model courses and a dinner with experts from the field of work.

E52 joins for dinner.

“I’m very curious about the ideas, I hope the students can surprise us”Ellen Janssen, Hartstichting

The tables are well set in the restaurant of Summa Horeca on the Sterrenlaan in Eindhoven, the teams are the first to take a seat, followed by the experts who give the students tips. One of those experts is Ellen Janssens of the Heart foundation. She joins the team Pressure Point, the smart blood pressure monitor. “I’m very curious about the ideas, I hope the students can surprise us as heart foundation. And I also hope I can give them something that will take them further.”

Next to her is Maria Scholten, one of the six team members at Pressure Point. Scholten hasn’t taken one bite of the appetizer in front of her, she enthuses over the idea: “Many people aren’t aware of the risks of heart and vascular disease, that worries us. As an example, we take our fathers. They are 30+ and they might be at higher risk of ailments while not knowing anything about it. With Pressure Point, we want to make users aware of the consequences of an excessive blood pressure.”

Scholten takes a bite, Bloeme Groenewold continues with the story, she is the only one who’s studying at the Design Academy. All other participants are from the Summa College, Fontys or the TU/e.  Groenewold: “We’re not completely sure yet what the next step will be. Do we want people with excessive blood pressure to go to the doctor? Or do we want to rent out the meters to municipalities to give them, through anonymous data, an idea of the health level of residents in a particular district?” Before Groenewold can continue her story, she’s interrupted: “Know your numbers, that is a campaign of the heart foundation. It fits perfectly with this. We could have a good collaboration.” Business cards go back and forth over the table.

In the meantime, Paul Bergsma from Lunetgroep  has joined for the main course. On the one side of the table there is a discussion about awareness campaigns and stimulate people into action. “This has three components: firstly, you want to show them that there is a certain urgency, when that’s embedded, you get a bit of awareness”, to strengthen his last point, Bergsma pauses for a moment before he continues: “and finally, also the hardest step, you want to influence the behaviour of people. So that they will start living more healthily or go to the doctor.” The team members are listening attentively.

On the other side of the table, they are discussing the commercial side of the story. “What is your business model? Your idealism is great, but you can’t live off that.” Frans Stavers is speaking. He has been active in the field of care innovations for over 20 years, he’s very enthusiastic about sharing his knowledge with students. He puts some chips in his mouth, chews a few times and quickly swallows them: “Focus, that’s what you need. I myself strongly support the business model canvas. When you apply that a clear focus comes out.  That is extremely important in this phase.”

Next to him sits Marcel de Pender of Slimmerleven 2020, he has an idea for the business model of the team: “Dutch companies want to become better employers, which is something that has come from America. By putting up a sort of monitoring model, where employers use your device, there could be money to be made with it.”

Not only the bellies have been well filled after this dinner, the heads have also been stuffed; ideas, advices and here and there a follow-up appointment. On to the finals on May 16th.