Digital Health Champions: Bringing Automated Healthcare Into Peoples’ Homes
No one will deny that taking care of one’s health is important. Healthcare comes in many shapes and sizes and digitization will bring on many more options. The founders of Medipee believe in the potential of automation and thus have developed a prototype which collects health data instead of flushing it down the toilet. We talked to two of the founders about the vision of the company and career opportunities in digital health.
What does Medipee do?
Can you please tell us a bit about what you do?
Medipee is a startup in the field of medical technology that is revolutionizing healthcare and bringing it directly to people’s homes. Lots of medical information such as sugar levels, blood in urine or nitrite (a breakdown product of bacteria) may be obtained from urine. With our device, this information is available in a hygienic and easy manner.
What attracted you to digital health and what was your pathway into the field?
In terms of digital health, there is still a lot of ground to cover. The majority still happens in traditional ways. That offers a lot of potential – digitization may lever healthcare to a whole new level.
What triggered the idea to develop an automated urine testing device?
The idea came about through a case of illness in the family of one of the founders. An unnecessary surgery could have been avoided by regular urine examination. This first led to considerations and research on how a regular monitoring of health parameters, and above all, a meaningful prevention method could be implemented. Thus, the idea for Medipee was created: a regular urine examination by a simple plug, n ‘Play device.
What drives you to continually advance your company?
The desire to make a valuable and important contribution to public health and personal healthcare. In addition, the huge, unaddressed market is very motivating.
What do you consider your biggest success so far?
The foundation of the company and the completion of our prototype.
Are there specific milestones ahead you are working towards?
At the moment, we are developing our prototype into a market-ready product.
How can one support you?
By supporting us via the Crowd Investment Platform Companisto, Word-of-Mouth, Network (Partnerships). And we are always looking for good people!
On Digital Health In General
What development in digital health so far do you consider the most remarkable?
Digital patient monitoring, e.g. being able to continue living in your own home with a sound and proper digital supervision.
In your opinion, what is the biggest challenge in this field?
Acceptance from patients and doctors. To some extent also the reduction of bureaucracy in the implementation and approval of digital medical devices.
How do you judge the overall status and development of digital health? Do you see it advancing at a good pace or do you think things aren’t changing fast enough?
Currently, there are plenty of good approaches and, fortunately, many of them come from Germany (e.g. in the field of diabetes prevention, personal health apps, assisted ambient living and many more). That’s why it’s so important to give them a proper chance and to help them with their implementation. In addition to building know-how clusters, this has the potential to create a lot of jobs in the future.
What would you like to change in healthcare, medicine or digital health if you could?
For instance, the approval processes in a kind of “fast-lane” to significantly increase the speed of market entry for new products. This means when in doubt, to first trust that companies want to do things right instead of the other way around!
What do you think: how will digital health have changed our lives in 5, 10 and 25 years?
Digital health will most likely be omnipresent. Especially in the field of wearables and health self-management. There will also be a strong trend towards tailor-made (individual) solutions for customers.
Why is now the time to start working in digital health?
Because in the next 5-10 years, a lot of general ground setting will take place. To be a part of this is fantastic.
Career Opportunities in Digital Health
How do you judge the overall career opportunities in the field of digital health?
Excellent – there are endless opportunities for talented employees to get involved and drive their own ideas.
What characteristics and skill sets should someone bring to the table to have an impact on digital health?
Bright, motivated, not afraid to tear down a wall. Programming and electronics skills are also beneficial.
What advice would you give graduates who want to join the digital health industry or a digital health-start-up?
Be open-minded towards new things and don’t be afraid. Healthcare is changing. New fresh ideas and people are needed urgently.
Which three qualities should your ideal candidate have?
- Openness to all challenges
Is there anything else you would like to share? Any top tips on how to get started in digital health?
Just apply and try your luck!
Paul, Thorsten, thank you very much for these insights and your tips on how to start a digital health career!