With the return of eHealth Venture Summit in 2016, four promising companies were seen battling it out for the winning position. The startups pitched for 7 minutes in front of leading industry experts and funding specialists. Health care sector has witnessed rapid advancements with the emergence of wearable devices and apps to monitor health data. Digital programs have replaced traditional health plans to solve problems like early detection of diabetes, online doctor appointment booking and inducing healthy lifestyles using games.
Market access for digital health in Germany
Jorg Land, CEO of Sonormed GmbH, a Hamburg-based startup says that Innovation in digital health care will be focusing on three major areas – Service, infrastructure like Electronic medical records, and leveraging previous two technologies to provide attention and treatment. We need to make use of big data and machine learning techniques for diagnostics and mobile phones for treatment.
70.7 million Germans have health insurance, and health insurance companies have 72.7% market share in health care. Thus, health insurance companies will be investing heavily in digital health. However, different regulations and conflict of interests make investments challenging in the digital health market.
Audiology is one of the first grossing markets in health care sector. 1/5th of the German population are affected by hearing loss. This market offers high margins, and only six big companies are ruling this domain. Sonmored GmbH targeted the patients suffering from Tinnitus. 3.5 Million People are affected in Germany by this chronic disease. They used the concept of targeting stimulus through filtered music to lower the perceived noise in auditory cortex.
Larger entities having high revenues and cutting edge research scientists might have a competitive advantage over the startups in the digital health because of better market knowledge, technology, and sales.
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XBird using artificial intelligence to revolutionize diabetes treatment
One of the major challenge plaguing health care sector is the early detection of diseases. Mobile phones can be used to collect highly precise data and detect micro movements.
XBird is designed to help diabetic patients navigate towards better healthy lifestyle. Employing the latest know-how in data science and machine learning, their technology captures data streams from the built-in sensors of smartphones and wearables and analyzes these to detect critical health events before they occur. It helps the diabetic patients to monitor their blood glucose and insulin levels by identifying your sleeping patterns, food habits and the calories burnt. They provide software development kits (SDK) to solve problems in different domains and for different use cases and do not make end user applications.
Symptoma: A medical web tool to help crowd diagnose their illness
Misdiagnosing a patient’s serious health condition can lead to serious consequences and can have a detrimental effect on his/her health. 1 out of 7 diagnosis is a misdiagnosis, and 1.5 Million lives are lost each year due to misdiagnosis.
Pharmaceutical companies have been using highly inefficient and inaccurate symptoms trackers since the 1970s. SYMPTOMA is a search engine for diseases in which a physician can enter symptoms along with birth year and sex to receive a list of matching differential diagnosis, weighted by their probability according to their database. They are planning to integrate hospital records, EEG and ECG data to make the diagnosis highly accurate.
The team has been working tirelessly to make the website available to more than 500 Million visitors. The company has been operating at a profit consistently and has also attracted acquisition offers.
Doctolib takes online doctor appointment booking across Europe
French startup Doctolib is the leading platform to book doctor appointments online in France and Germany. They started with a simple mission of connecting all patients and physicians. The company has grown manifold and now has 14,000 practitioners of all specialties, and have a footfall of 5.2 million visitors per month. Their platform has managed more than 30 million appointments per year and is planning to expand to other countries in Europe.
Simon Kruger, CEO, and co-founder of Doctolib Germany believe that online appointments booking will prove to be a turning point in health care industry. 8 Billion Doctor appointments are made every year in Europe and 1/3rd of the time is spent on the administrative tasks. 64% of the patients have expressed their interest in booking appointments online in 2015. Thus, an online booking platform can help reduce random glitches and time taken to get an appointment with a doctor.
This digital platform provides24/7 booking services on all devices and real-time booking system. They also provide customization and optimization services for different organizations.
Therabytes inducing a healthy lifestyle among people
Therabytes is a Munich based, software and games developer founded in 2015. Gamification is the application of game mechanics and design elements within non-game sectors to understand and motivate users, for skill development, user engagement through competition, collaboration and social interaction. Walk the Stars is aimed at a games-oriented audience, which is mainly male and aged 20-49 years. The game is played on a smartwatch where people get to experience different universes in distant space, and everything is fueled by the users’ steps and workouts. So, this game encourages people to get out of their bed. Health care innovation is a solution to many problems like rising health care costs and detection of chronic diseases. It is a 3 Trillion USD* market approaching 20% of the GDP in the US alone. Entrepreneurs around the globe are burning the midnight oil to fund this next wave of transformative digital health companies that provide quality health care.
|Technologies||Medical Problems||Research Areas|
|Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Data Mining, Gamification, Filtered music, Smartwatches||Diabetes, Obesity, Chronic diseases, Tinnitus.||Games in behavioral neuroscience, AI in early detection of diabetes.|
Min-Sung Sean Kim, Venture Capitalist, Allianz Gruppe, Bereich Digital Health, Berlin, Germany
Andreas Wüpper, Fresenius Medical Care Ventures GmbH, Bad Homburg, Germany
Dr. Martin Pfister, High-Tech Gründerfonds, Bonn, Germany
Prof. Dr. Andreas Kribben, University Hospital Essen, Germany
Jörg Land, Sonormed GmbH, Hamburg
Startups and CEO’s:
XBird, Berlin, Germany (Sebastian Sujka)
Symptoma – better diagnosis, Attersee, Austria (JammanAttiki)
Doctolib, Paris, France(Simon Kruger)
TheraBytes, Munich, Germany(Thorsten Feldmann)
Jörg Land, Sonormed GmbH, Hamburg
Date Uploaded: 27th November 2016
Video code: 16R202
Image credit: www.istockphoto.com