The healthcare industry is still reeling under the massive blow dealt by the COVID-19 pandemic. One subset of the healthcare sector that has witnessed increased adoption in many countries during the lockdown. The reason behind its increased adoption seems to be that it helps people in ways that are cost-effective and compliant with social-distancing guidelines.
Besides, shareholders, providers, payers, regulators, and investors, almost everyone have signaled their support for these products. According to a report, the global digital therapeutics market is projected to reach $ 6.9B (approx €5.87B) by 2025 from $ 2.1B (approx €1.78B) in 2020, at a CAGR of 26.7% during the forecast period (2020–2025).
Digital therapeutics startup raises €17M
In a recent development, an Iceland-based health-tech startup Sidekick Health has raised $ 20M (approx €17.02M) in its Series A round of funding led by Wellington Partners and Asabys Partners, through its fund SAHII. Existing investors Novator and Frumtak Ventures also participated in this round.
The raised capital will be used for development and validation into new therapeutic areas, to accelerate product development to increase its lead in patient engagement and retention, and to further position itself as the preferred provider to expand pharmacotherapies, thus improving health outcomes.
Dr. Regina Hodits, managing partner at Wellington, and Josep LI. Sanfeliu, managing partner and co-founder of Asabys, will join the board of directors of Sidekick Health, on behalf of the new investors.
About Sidekick Health
Sidekick specialises in the creation of gamified digital therapeutic solutions and programs for chronic and lifestyle disease management across multiple therapeutic areas, ranging from diabetes to ulcerative colitis and smoking cessation
It was founded in 2014 by two medical doctors, Dr. Tryggvi Thorgeirsson and Dr. Saemundur Oddsson. According to the company, the duo had worked for years treating patients with lifestyle-related illnesses.
Sidekick claims that a staggering 68% of all deaths are due to lifestyle-related illnesses and the two co-founders, frustrated with dealing with the consequences, realised that a new approach was needed to prevent and manage chronic illnesses.
Its platform combines an evidence-based clinical approach with behavioral economics and gamification to help global customers expand therapy reach. It claims that people’s lifestyle decisions are driven more by emotion than by logic, as per behavioural research. That’s why the company employs concepts from behavioral economics to engage the emotional part of the brain and trigger positive health behaviors.
Together with pharmaceutical companies and other organisations, Sidekick Health designs personalised lifestyle change programs that improve health outcomes and treatment adherence; connect clinical experts and patient communities; as well as deliver data insights into some of the world’s most pressing health challenges.
Its platform is CE-marked as a Class I Medical Device and is scalable to over 40 distinct chronic diseases, 13 of which are live in 2020.
Post COVID-19 affect
“The healthcare landscape has shifted significantly this year as a direct result of COVID-19,
accelerating the adoption and demand for digital health solutions. We have grown our customer base sharply in recent months, adding new partnerships with global pharmaceutical firms and leading US-based healthcare organisations,” says Sidekick CEO and co-founder Dr. Tryggvi Thorgeirsson.
According to the company, Sidekick’s platform has adopted to remotely triage and support people in home isolation, diagnosed with COVID-19. In addition to supporting COVID-19 patients, the remote patient monitoring solution of the wider Sidekick platform is now being used in Europe and the US, to support patients with other conditions.
Sidekick Health’s solution is available to patients in Sweden, Finland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Ireland, Switzerland, and Austria.
Image credit: Sidekick Health