In a recent interview with Tobias Günther, we explored the topic of work-life balance and how he has handled stress while starting up his own company. When asked whether the founder of a startup is even able to strike a healthy balance between work and other aspects of life, he answered, “You definitely can. And, maybe more importantly: you have to! The alternative of constantly overstraining yourself is simply not sustainable.” On the other side of this equation you’ll find ambitious entrepreneurs in the fields of medicine and healthtech working to keep improving human health in a wide range of areas. Their inventions are making a contribution toward empowering people to lead healthy lives that are worth living. We recently reported on monikit, the team planning to launch the first smartwatch for epileptics in 2020. BABYBE medical is working on a high-tech cushion that supports the development of premature babies in incubators.
But how do entrepreneurs actually take care of their own health in the high-pressure environment of a startup? And what does healthtech have to offer a group that has been shown to carry a very high stress load? We decided to get to the bottom of these questions and went looking for answers among the healthtech startups that are part of our network. Feedback from Soma Analytics, AmbiGate, and SimyLife helped us paint a better picture of the state of healthtech and entrepreneurship.
Diagnosis: dementia. Approximately 1.5 million people in Germany live with the disease. Circa two thirds of these individuals are cared for in their homes by family members or professional caregivers. And the numbers are growing. Due to demographic changes, this problem will be ubiquitous in Germany in the future. The goal must be to maintain the quality of life for people who have been diagnosed with dementia or similar ailments and who accordingly need in-home care or hospitalization. Precisely this is where IT applications in the Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) sector can be helpful.
Digitalization has arrived in the midst of our society and has penetrated into nearly every aspect of daily life. Information and communication technology (ICT) improves the efficiency and effectiveness of processes and has accordingly become an indispensable and essential component in the healthcare sector. This is also why, in the HealthTech category of the CODE_n16 CONTEST, CODE_n is searching for young companies that develop innovative solutions for the healthcare market.
What is AAL?
AAL spans a broad spectrum of IT-supported applications such as home automation, sensor technology and telemonitoring. The common goals of these applications are to optimally support caregivers, family members and care recipients in their daily activities, and to reduce the workload for everyone involved. Networking, technical monitoring, electronic data and automated documentation improve work processes for physicians, emergency personnel and caregivers. These applications also facilitate the exchange of data between individuals employed in different professions. The number of people who need care is expected to increase, so the AAL sector is becoming progressively more significant and attracting ever-greater investments in research and development.
AAL in practice: the I-CARE research project
AWO Karlsruhe will present its new I-CARE research project at the AAL convention, which is organized by Karlsruher Messe- und Kongress-GmbH (KMK). A technical system will be developed for tablet PCs in the context of the I-CARE project: this system records the personal needs and competencies of dementia patients and uses these data as a basis for making contents available to the affected individuals, their family members and their professional caregivers. More…
CODE_n CONTEST finalist Hindsait has built an AI platform, which can extract clinical information from patient charts, enables machine learning from established guidelines and rules, and facilitates predictive scoring to enable consistent clinical decision-making. Hindsait has revolutionized the Prior Authorization process. We’ve talked to CEO Pinaki Dasgupta, who has told us more about the uniqueness of his innovation, the HealthTech sector and the vision for his startup.
What is Hindsait all about? How did you come up with the idea?
Pinaki: Hindsait is a leading Artificial Intelligence platform for better healthcare. Hindsait’s SaaS platform applies artificial intelligence to large healthcare datasets, helping payors and providers improve patient health at a much lower cost.
The word Hindsait was coined as a portmanteau of Hindsight and AI. As the name suggests, the simple idea behind Hindsait is to garner machine-enabled insights from historical clinical records that drives consistent decision-making eliminating human errors and biases.
“Digital Disruption“ – that’s the motto of this year’s CODE_n CONTEST. What makes your solution innovative, what makes it disruptive?
Pinaki: Unlike traditional business intelligence or predictive analytics companies, Hindsait’s uniqueness lies in its ability to string together an array of cognitive computing/AI technologies that has proven to prevent unnecessary health services, while demonstrating 5X+ Return on Investment (ROI).
Hindsait’s award winning AI SaaS platform’s Natural Language Processing (NLP) extracts context-sensitive clinical concepts from EMR, clinician’s notes- those are unstructured free texts. Its Machine Learning and Predictive Analytics technology enables learning from established guidelines, clinical necessity criteria, protocols and business rules that enables clinicians to make error-free, consistent clinical decisions. The SaaS platform is hosted on a secured HIPAA complaint Google Cloud Platform.
The Hindsait Team
AmbiGate, a spin-off of the university of Tubingen, is specialized in 3D sensor solutions. The team, compromising 3 founders and 6 professors, wants to disrupt the physical therapy market through a combination of innovative AI and sensor-motoric algorithms, 3D sensors, and a highly motivating treatment approach called ExerGame. The startup is also a CODE_n CONTEST finalist in the HealthTech cluster. We talked to Caroline Dabels, founder and CMO of AmbiGate, to find out more.
What is AmbiGate all about? How did you come up with the idea?
Caroline: AmbiGate develops innovative motion sensing solutions. Awarded by the federal ministry of economics was our product eReha – a video game-based exercise therapy for domestic and business environment, developed by AmbiGate. It can be used preventively, parallel to physiotherapy and for corporate healthcare programs. As an ExerGame, the system provides medical exercises in a virtual environment. A 3D sensor analyses the patient’s executions and locates false movements in real time. During the workout, innovative disease-specific parameters are measured and sent to the physiotherapist for a dynamic therapy adaptation and progress.
AmbiGate’s highly motivating treatment approach called ExerGame.
The wearables market is set to grow exponentially and has the potential to transform how healthcare services are provided. Wearable devices will soon generate large volumes of medical grade data, but without analysis and insight from health experts, they won’t reach their full potential. That is why our CODE_n CONTEST finalist WearHealth is on a mission to enable personalized mobile preventive health care by bringing together medical wearable technology, artificial intelligence, and health experts. Co-founder and CEO Esteban Bayro Kaiser tells us how this can be achieved:
What is WearHealth all about? How did you come up with the idea?
Esteban: WearHealth is the AI-driven platform that learns from health experts and data from wearables to empower Personal Health Assistance.
We are a research spin-off from the Institute for Artificial Intelligence at the University Bremen and have years of experience in dealing with data from wearables and machine learning. Due to the increasing shortage in global health workforce and avoidable healthcare costs that are attributed to non-adherence, there is a high demand for new solutions in the area of mobile health. At WearHealth we are building a context-aware personal health assistant (PHA) that is able to learn from health experts and data from wearables.
The first version of the PHA is able to recognize gestures such as pill-intake, eating and smoking with the help of commercially available wearables to support patients with medication adherence. We are working together with our customers the re- and health insurances and pharmaceutical industry to bring this solution to the market. More…
Albeit most technological advancements are yet to be integrated into real world applications, uptake in the healthcare segment has been quite impressive. Newer techniques of detecting pathogens, treating diseases and preventing infections have been invented, tested and applied, and the WHO organization has a five-year increase in the global life expectancy over the past fifteen years to show for it.
The institution of smartphones close to a decade ago, evolution of health apps as a result and discovery of health-tracking devices over the last five years have been at the centre of this feat, and a projected progression in the foreseeable future may even upstage the milestone.
Perhaps the most stirring characteristic of the current state of health technology is how it has been structured to chime in perfectly with modern lifestyle and pursuits. In such a busy world, nobody would choose the stopwatch-and-calculator option when a fitness tracker can record, store and display the amount of calories burnt over a morning jog. Quick, unmonitored and effective is what the 21st century calls for and that’s what science is providing. More…
Your startup in the field of HealthTech is making a true difference for our everyday life! When digitalization merges into the health sector, we witness life-changing discoveries. Every advance in this sector is a victory – from improved diagnostics, to innovative prosthetics or profitable data management. Medical technologies revolutionize step by step the treatment and prevention of diseases. Therefore, health is one of the most important fields where technology needs to be applied: In 2015 medical technology was again the field where the most patent applications (12 474) were filed and with a growth of 11% it was also one of the fastest growing sectors.
When entering the CODE_n CONTEST in 2015, the Hamburg-based startup Connected-Health.Eu had exactly one goal: to improve the connection between doctors and patients. The young company based around Johannes Jacubeit (Ph.D.) has come a long way since then, constantly improving the idea behind their product: finding a modern way to transfer a patient’s health data (medical records, radiographs, …) into the doctor’s office – via smartphone – securely and conveniently. For our CODE_n Alumni catch-up series, we had a quick chat with Gabriel Adorf, Designer at Connected-Health.Eu about the latest developments.
Following on from your time as a CODE_n Finalist, what have been Connected-Health.Eu’s greatest achievements?
Gabriel: We have succeeded in building a running beta version of our hardware and are testing it in 20 doctor’s offices in Hamburg. Corresponding to that we have successfully launched an iOS and an Android App. We have raised a seven digit seed investment in 12/2015 from High-Tech-Gründerfonds, Innovationsstarter Fonds of the city of Hamburg, and a group of private investors. (Editors note: You can find all the information in the respective press release.)
What lessons have you learned or failures you’ve experienced and how have you coped with them?
Gabriel: We talked to an investor too long, that eventually just jumped the ship after three months of negotiations. We should have canceled the deal way earlier. We coped with it by having better investors now who really believe in the product as well as the team.
What were your biggest takeaways from your time at CODE_n?
Gabriel: We learned how important it is to get everybody from the team out of the office from time to time to speak to customers and to people who never heard a thing about the product. It helps you in every position in the company to know how to explain everything in a few sentences and to know all the common questions about the product. More…