Castor EDC, a Dutch Health-Tech startup, has received over €1.1 million from the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 fund – a prestigious program which stimulates European research and innovation with a total budget of €80 billion.
The Amsterdam-based startup Castor EDC is one of the few Dutch enterprises that received a significant amount of subsidy through the Horizon 2020 SME Instrument project. With this impulse, Castor EDC is one step closer to achieving its mission: making big data available globally for analyses of medical research.
Castor EDC was founded in 2012 by Dr. Derk Arts who started the company after noticing that in medical research, everyone seems to be using self-made Excel sheets. In the evening hours, he single-handedly wrote a program that made it easy for him to collect and process data for his own research.
Castor EDC will use the fresh capital to design and create a self-learning system based on Artificial Intelligence (AI). This system will aid and facilitate researchers by introducing them to researchers who work on similar projects and help them do better research. They can exchange protocols and standardize questionnaires, making the research data ‘FAIR’: Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable. Thus, Castor EDC will create a network of researchers, making international data exchange and collaboration possible, without any effort from the researchers.
The mission of Castor EDC is to accelerate medical research through technology by unlocking researcher’s full potential.
The founder Derk Arts stated: “We make his or her life as a researcher easier: by using Castor EDC they can effortlessly collect and share high quality data. Our system warns the researcher if someone else has already researched, or is researching, a similar topic. Furthermore, they’ll be able to share and publish their own data or research years before it will become available in medical journals. As a result, we will be making new medical insights accessible within seconds, instead of in several years.”
Castor EDC believes that technology is the only solution to the ‘reproducibility-crisis’ within biomedical research. With the help of technology, Casto EDC aims to connect and reward researchers for sharing standardized data.
To date, Castor EDC helped 9,000 users collect online data for more than 2,000 medical studies. Researchers can get started right away, without elaborate training or technical skills. They can easily capture data online, e-mail patient questionnaires, import data, and make computations and calculations. All data is stored in compliance with ISO27001, HIPAA and NHS regulations in the US, UK or the Netherlands.