SensUs interviews: Ursula Mühle

EIT Health is a Knowledge and Innovation Community established by EIT. They promote healthy living, support active ageing and improve healthcare for citizens. We spoke with Dr. Ursula Mühle, Director of Education, about healthcare technology and about SensUs. 


Can you tell something about yourself? Who are you and what is your role in EIT Health?

I am Ursula Mühle and I work as Director of Education for EIT Health. EIT Health is one of the largest initiatives in healthcare innovation worldwide. We collaborate with approximately 150 leading partner organisations in the mission to create novel healthcare products and services and accelerate start-ups and trainings to support the European citizen towards better health. As my title says, I am responsible for overseeing and sparking the Education Portfolio of our partners. This includes training for students, entrepreneurs, professionals and citizens. I am very happy to have SensUs as part of our portfolio to combine novel teaching methodologies with innovations in healthcare.


How is EIT Health involved in healthcare technology innovation?  

EIT Health is the dynamic, integrated network for talent, innovation and entrepreneurship, empowering citizens to lead healthier and more productive lives. Our mission is to accelerate innovation and entrepreneurship for active ageing and healthy living. As the Director of Education, I lead and am responsible for developing EIT Health CAMPUS. Our goal is to educate for better health. Through innovative education programmes, we empower Europe’s top talents, leaders and citizens with new opportunities and resources to create novel solutions and achieve transformations in healthcare that make healthy lives a reality for all.


What do you think of the SensUs concept and vision?

We decided to let SensUs become part of our EIT Health CAMPUS portfolio in 2017 already. The EIT Health CAMPUS Training for Students projects focuses on stimulating students to improve their knowledge, skills and attitudes in a way that enhances their health-related innovation and entrepreneurial capabilities. SensUs contributes very nicely to this aim by using innovative learning approaches combined with a competition where students have a unique training experience with goal-oriented multidisciplinary teamwork and in health innovations.


What is your long term expectation of SensUs?

For the next three years, EIT Health CAMPUS aims to expand its support for innovation within education itself by using innovative education models, methods and formats. Based on the successes of previous student competitions such as SensUs, we would like to see SensUs become part of an international EIT Health network of international competitions for teams of students.


The theme of SensUs 2018 is “Measuring antibiotics for better healthcare”. What is your opinion about this theme and its relevance?

In my opinion this theme is highly relevant. According to the World Health Organization, antibiotic resistance is rising to dangerously high levels in all parts of the world. New resistance mechanisms are emerging and spreading globally, threatening our ability to treat common infectious diseases. A growing list of infections, some of them which have almost been eliminated, such as tuberculosis, are becoming harder or even impossible to treat as antibiotics become less effective. Within EIT Health we have taken up this challenge already at several places, and within the EIT Health CAMPUS portfolio there will also be a PhD School being developed to train students from all scientific disciplines addressing the problems of infections and anti-microbial resistance. The aim is to develop implementations and interventions of new and better antibiotics, diagnostic methods, rational economic models for drug development, political incentives and to increase overall awareness of the use of antibiotics and spread of pathogens.

EIT Health recently launched a call for applications for its wild card initiative, to build innovative solutions that tackle the growing problem of antibiotic resistance, both in terms of raising awareness and enabling new processes and methodologies across EU healthcare.


Do you have an advice for the student teams and for the SensUs organization?  

Believe in your own ideas and always be open to your team-members, as this can lift you up massively. Develop an entrepreneurial mindset: try out new things, enjoy the unexpected and always have a big mission in mind. Then you can change the world!

Ursula Mühle