Photo courtesy of Carnegie, see link to original below.

NOME-company MediTuner wins “The Entrepreneur of the future”

Telemedicine startup and NOME company MediTuner won the competition “The Entrepreneur of the future”, a collaboration between SvD and Carnegie, for their e-health solution targeting asthma. Now they’re getting ready to go international.

This fall, nine startups participated in the renowned competition “The Entrepreneur of the year”, a collaboration between SvD and Carnegie. A competition that has been connecting companies and capital for five years. Only one startup could take home the title. At the finals in late November, five finalists presented in front of 100 investors. With 50 percent of the votes from the audience, the e-health startup and NOME company MediTuner won.

MediTuner is a self-management tool, the first tool globally that measures the patient’s current asthma level and instantly provides the patient with an individual treatment recommendation on what medication is optimal on that particular day. The two founders, Henrik Ljungberg, and Björn Nordlund are both associated with Karolinska University Hospital, have Ph.D.’sin asthma and more than 15 years of clinical experience. They saw a need to improve the care for the larger and growing group of chronically ill patients.

“With digital tools, patients can manage their own asthma to a large degree, and at the same time the healthcare can more efficiently meet and treat patients,” says Eric Alhanko, CEO of MediTuner.

Patients want to be more in control

The tool, AsthmaTuner, is involving the patients more in their own treatment, a trend the founders think we’ll see a lot more of in the future:

“Just like many other industries have changed as a consequence of digitalization letting the customers do a greater part of the services (e.g. digital banking, travel booking etc.) also daily management of chronic diseases will be an area of patient empowerment. A well-treated asthma patient cost the society just a fraction of a badly treated asthma patient, and therefore there are also economic incentives to ensure that patients are provided with the tools that can help them in their daily treatment decisions,” says Eric Alhanko.

Then how do they make sure, that the patient feels secure and comfortable taking a bigger responsibility for their own care?

“The patients want to be more involved and feel that they are in control, as they know that they can feel better just by getting to know their disease better. Our tools help patients understand the variability of the disease and ensure that they are always optimally treated. Today, many patients are over or undertreated, and it is up to the patients between the doctor visits to decide what medication to use that day. Our digital tools provide the patients with objective feedback on the current asthma level and also show the correct treatment. Our clinical studies show, for example, that children using AsthmaTuner can attend more days in school, which of course is very comforting for both children and parents,” says Eric Alhanko.

NOME mentors bring value to the board

MediTuner joined NOME quite recently but already the group of mentors assigned to the company has turned out to be a great forum to discuss important business decisions with, says Eric Alhanko:

“Our mentors come from different backgrounds, and all have relevant experience that they bring to the table that complete the knowledge and experience in our current management group and board.”

With 2019 fast approaching, MediTuner is getting ready to prove the business model and set their footprints in the Swedish market in the first half of the new year.

“During the second half of 2019 we will start our internationalization in selected European countries as a starting point,” says Eric Alhanko.

A quick rundown of MediTuner:

MediTuner makes it easier for asthma patients to measure and get recommendations for medicines directly from home.

The patient downloads the app for free, asks their healthcare provider for a spirometer and a treatment plan.

Then the patient can evaluate their asthma anytime and anywhere and get a current treatment recommendation directly to their phone.

The data is saved and sent to the healthcare provider, and the patient can jointly discuss the data over phone or video. The solution, AsthmaTuner, is CE-marked.

The picture of the winners was kindly provided by Carnegie and the original can be found on their webpage, see link below.