Nuria Pastor, a graduate in Psychology with a master's degree in Neuroscience, and Unai Sánchez, a computer engineer with a master's degree in Advanced Computing, are the founders of the startup HumanITcare. This is a telemedicine platform for chronic and infectious disease patients based on artificial intelligence that improves medical monitoring, optimises health services provided to citizens 24 hours a day, avoids unnecessary travel and reduces healthcare costs by up to 40%, among other benefits.
For this reason, HumanITcare was one of the 20 winning entrepreneurship projects of the Santander X Tomorrow Challenge, a global challenge launched by Banco Santander in 2020 to promote innovative solutions to address the problems caused by the COVID-19 crisis. Nuria and Unai won the prize in the Re-Launch category, which included 550 other projects that were also aimed at boosting the reopening and readjustment of businesses in the context of the pandemic and promoting new opportunities and market demands.
The jury's choice is not surprising because, thanks to the innovative system implemented by these entrepreneurs, HumanITcare provides real-time data to health professionals through a range of devices (blood pressure or heart rate monitors, pulse oximeters, smart scales, wearables, etc.). At the same time, it makes it easier for patients to access remote medical care at a time when telematic healthcare makes more sense than ever.
“The platform allows hospitals to remotely manage care, monitor data and treat patients with COVID-19 from home, thereby reducing the risk of transmission”.Nuria Pastor, co-founder of HumanITcare, winning project of the Santander X Tomorrow Challenge (2020) in the Re-Launch category
“I realised that there was a gap in information about patient visits, which was not helping to improve treatments, so I set out to find a solution that would allow real-time information to be obtained from users' records in order to improve their monitoring”.
With this entrepreneurial purpose in mind, she started looking for a software expert interested in contributing to the welfare of the population. She found Unai, who was waiting for an innovation proposal that appealed to him. This is how HumanITcare was created, a project driven by a passion to make a positive impact on society.
“To us, the most important thing is knowing that we are developing something that really has an impact on how patients are treated. That’s why we decided to donate the platform to hospitals, because we believe that patient health always comes first. Of course, it was worth it and now we have a lot of new hospitals waiting to use it”.
An altruistic gesture that says a lot about these entrepreneurs; especially when their early days were not easy.
“Starting something from scratch is never easy. Creating a startup requires a lot of commitment to your project. That’s why we are especially grateful to all the people and institutions who helped us at the beginning, who believed in the project and encouraged us not to give up”.
Those who supported the project include: Xavier Verdaguer, CEO of the Imagining Creativity Center, who showed them how to network; the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), a European Union institution that allowed them to validate the product in hospitals, and Banco Santander, which awarded them in the Santander X Tomorrow Challenge 2020 with a financial prize that helped them to launch their business project. In addition to the prize, they also received mentoring, a roadshow to access more funding and media coverage of their proposal.
Although HumanITcare is already consolidated, Nuria and Unai continue to dedicate all their potential to improving and expanding their services, which have the backing of prestigious institutions such as the European Institute of Technology and the European Commission.
“We work hard every day to make it easy for patients to use our apps and, in doing so, they can take comfort in knowing that if something goes wrong, their doctors will be alerted. What's more, providing doctors with the right information at the right time is something we strive for”.
As a result, their major achievement is that, in less than two years, they have managed to bring 15 employees into the company, serve more than 3,000 users and work with more than 30 hospitals in Europe. Through their initiative, they demonstrate that social commitment and economic profit are not incompatible and they invite other entrepreneurs to contribute to the creation of a better society in any field.
Following the success of the Santander X Tomorrow Challenge 2020, with more than 2,250 projects registered, Banco Santander is now launching, in collaboration with the Oxentia Foundation, the Santander X Environmental Challenge, a global challenge aimed at entrepreneurs with innovative ideas to build a more sustainable future.
With prizes worth 120,000 euros, mentoring programmes and campaigns to publicise the winning proposals, Santander X Environmental Challenge aims to highlight solutions that fight climate change and have a positive impact on the environment. Projects or companies wishing to take part in this new challenge can sign up for one of these two categories:
Are you an entrepreneur with solutions that fight climate change and have a positive impact on the environment? Sign up for the global Santander X Environmental Challenge and seize the opportunity!