Sidekick Health

Munich, May 2024

Sidekick Health develops Zanadio: digital therapeutics for obesity patients to live healthier lives with. One of the first DIGAs in Germany. Their pioneering innovation secured them the second-place spot in the 12th MEDICA Start-up COMPETITION at MEDICA 2023.

Our discussion with the Sidekick Health team offered invaluable insights. Let’s explore their journey to success in more detail.

  1. HOW DID IT ALL START?

aidhere GmbH was founded in Hamburg, Germany, in July 2019 by Henrik Emmert, Dr. Tobias Lorenz and Dr. Nora Mehl, and specializes in the development of digital therapeutics that are based on the latest insights in behavioral psychology and current developments in AI research. Henrik Emmert worked as a consultant in the healthcare sector at BCG and discovered huge gaps in patient care, especially in the area of obesity therapy. He partnered with Dr. Nora Mehl, a psychologist who worked at the University of Leipzig and was researching obesity, and Dr. Tobias Lorenz with experience in Tech and founding startups. Together they decided to work on digital therapeutics products to close gaps in patient care, and launched the digital obesity therapy zanadio as their first product and one of the first prescribable digital therapeutics (PDT) in Germany (DiGA) in October 2020. In August 2023, aidhere was acquired by Sidekick Health, a global provider of digital therapeutics headquartered in Iceland.

  1. WHAT ARE THE KEY MILESTONES YOU HAVE REACHED SO FAR?

For our PDT business in Germany (formerly aidhere), our first key milestone was the preliminary DiGA listing of zanadio in October 2020, followed by the permanent listing in August 2022. Having more than 2.000 prescriptions per month makes zanadio the most prescribed PDT, which is also a huge success and milestone for us. This year in August, aidhere was acquired by Sidekick Health, which was a huge milestone and important step towards a great future as an even stronger company.

About Sidekick: Sidekick has strategic partnerships with global pharma companies including Eli Lilly, Pfizer and others, and also partners with the largest payer in the US. Sidekick has offices in Hamburg, Berlin, Reykjavik, and the US, and currently has live partnerships in Europe and the US. Sidekick provides a uniquely wide range of digital health programs (including oncology, cardiovascular, metabolic, inflammatory, and other chronic conditions), engaging and empowering people to make positive changes, and improve their health outcomes and quality of life. Sidekick’s unique ability to combine multiple programs into one enables multi-chronic care to support the growing number of people living with multiple chronic conditions.

  1. WHAT WERE THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES YOU HAVE FACED?

Our biggest challenge is the German healthcare system that is really resistant to change; it is a long and uphill battle, but so worth fighting. One thing we would never change in our approach is the focus on our patients and their needs. What could have been beneficial is to have had a medical doctor as a co-founder who could have contributed the HCP perspective. It is also very important to find alliances/partners, such as those provided by the SVDGV, an industry association where you will find like-minded founders who are willing to improve the system.

  1. WHAT IS COMING IN THE NEAR FUTURE?

As of now, zanadio is only available in the German market, butwe aim to make it available in other EU markets in the near future. Further PDT with a focus on cardiometabolic conditions are in development. We are currently preparing our study for diaxilo, a PDT for patients with type 2 diabetes who would like to avoid the prescription of insulin by sustainably lowering their HbA1c levels through healthy lifestyle changes.

5. DESCRIBE YOUR JOURNEY IN THE INNOVATION WORLD CUP®

It was a great honor to have been selected as one of the Top 12 companies of 280 applicants. We were very grateful for the opportunity to present our first product zanadio to an expert jury and an eager audience at the Connected Health Care Forum. We were very impressed by the diversity of the participating start-ups in terms of geographic origin, the addressed issues, and the proposed solutions. Winning second place confirmed to us that industry experts see the potential of PDTs in general as well as zanadio specifically to close gaps in the current healthcare system and positively affect the health and well-being of many more patients.

  1. YOUR THREE TIPS FOR UP-COMING STARTUPS

1. Don’t hesitate to apply, just do it
2. Clearly present the value your solution adds to the healthcare system
3. If available: Present the positive outcomes you already achieved so far

We value the compelling insights you have ve shared and look forward to seeing your future endeavors and the impressive progress you will achieve!

Visit Sidekick Health and explore their digital solutions for a healthy future.

The 13th MEDICA Start-up COMPETITION is already open for submissions. Participation is free of charge with chances to present at MEDICA 2024. More information & free submission: http://www.medica-tradefair.com/mac2

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