Back pains are cured with exercise therapy, but rehabilitation can be difficult, hard and dangerous without qualified help. A small group of entrepreneurs has developed the smartphone app “Injurymap” for rehabilitation that is low on pain and risk but high on motivation. By Jes Andersen.
Tall order for new product
Reducing risk and increasing motivation is a tall order for a product. The crucial steps in the development process began after the company moved into SUND Hub, which is an incubator programme for students and health professionals anchored at the University of Copenhagen. Ulrik Borch, one of the founders behind the rehabilitation assistant, explains.
In SUND Hub we met researchers and health professionals who helped us evolve our product. We became a part of an entrepreneurial environment where all companies work with health products. The atmosphere is open and helpful. We tell each other about customers, about fairs, we even help competitors write grant-applications”: Ulrik Borch, co-founder, Injurymap.
Smartphone to replace therapist
Injurymap is an alternative to exercising with a therapist. It supervises your training and the app tailors rehabilitation to the most common muscle and joint pains. Thanks to advanced software, so-called machine learning, the app can adapt to the individual patient and continuously adjust the exercise difficulty. If rehabilitation goes the wrong way, Injurymap even sends the patient to the doctor.
“Injurymap is CE-marked as medical equipment, and we are now working to distribute it to GPs and rehabilitation providers – municipalities, regions, hospitals and health insurance providers, for example. We provide an app that enables their patients to take care of themselves without a therapist. For the patient it lowers cost and increases flexibility”, Borch states.
No sale without a doctors guarantee
Injurymap originated as a discussion of an idea between three friends, Sebastian Schock and Mathias Bang, both University of Copenhagen graduates, and Ulrik Borch, a Copenhagen Business School alumni. The three intended to develop an app for diagnosis. In August 2016, they got office space at SUND Hub and the project took off. In collaboration with the two rheumatologists Finn Johannsen and Pierre Schydlowsky they developed training programmes with over 100 different exercises that are combined and presented in the app. The two doctors also assure that the exercises follow best practice in the field. This has been crucial to start selling the app, according to Ulrik Borch.
“Healthcare is a difficult market. There are a lot of stakeholders in the healthcare system, and they expect products to be thoroughly made and credible. Thanks to Finn, Pierre, and the network available to us through SUND Hub, we have been able to create an app that doctors and patients received well. If everything goes according to plan, our product will even be independently tested this autumn”, Says Borch.
Advice on customer needs from municipal neighbours
Perhaps SUND Hub will also open its doors to the first customers. The innovation incubator is located in the heart of Copenhagen Science City, in a building where the neighbors count the Copenhagen Municipality’s Department of Welfare Innovation. For the small entrepreneurial business, it has been of great value to be able to talk to someone who knows the needs of the patients in depth, and Injurymap hopes to stay in the neighborhood when they have to leave SUND Hub.
Dreams of extending cooperative colocation
To gain access to the SUND Hub office space and business development support, companies must write a motivated application. They are housed for three months at a time, and the maximum stay is one year. This means that the team behind Injurymap is required to find a new roof over the head by August 2017. They would prefer to stay close to the SUND Hub community, but if that proves impossible, they hope to create an office community with some of the other companies that are growing out of the university’s innovation environment.
The rehabilitation app is available for both iPhone and Android. For now it provides training programs for lower back pain, but by September exercises for rehabilitation of the shoulder, ankle and neck will be in place too.
How Injurymap works
Enter your diagnosis and personal details.
The app combines exercises for your rehabilitation program.
A video describes each exercise.
After each exercise, the app asks you to rank pain and strain.
This information allows the app to continuously adjust your workouts.
If your pain level changes negatively, the app recommends a trip to the doctor.
Injurymap is sold for 29 Danish kroner a month (€3.90).
Injurymap should be used only after a consultation with a doctor.
Read more about Injurymap here, where you can also see a short video about the product.