Health care app
Analyze your own pee sample with your smartphone
The Hamburg start-up Mobile Healthcare Solutions provides tips for wellness. Doctors are skeptical about remote diagnosis of urine samples.
Hamburg. Homework, closed sports studios and less everyday exercise have left mental and physical traces in many Germans: After two years of Pandemic almost two-thirds of Germans experience a deterioration in their health, as a recent study by health insurance company Pronova shows.
The business model for the hamburger fits in there Startups Mobile Healthcare Solutions (Brand Name: Casc) good on time: Because the company offers a mobile phone app that promises individual tips to improve well-being based on analysis of a urine sample, for example by changing your diet. To do this, the urine test strip is photographed with the smartphone camera, and the app then provides an understandable analysis based on the color pattern on the strip.
Start-ups use the principle of self-testing
“For the past two years, people have become accustomed to testing themselves – it’s playing into our hands, too,” says Lennart Hahn, one of the two founders of Mobile Healthcare Solutions. For half a year, the start-up has released the test kits with four strips for almost 25 euros under the brand name Casc. Nearly 20,000 customers have already been won, says co-founder Tobias Schütz: “Some have already requested 14 or 15 sets.”
They are also encouraged to do so by the app. Because the test results for twelve so-called biomarkers such as pH, vitamin C, water balance, calcium, nitrite and leukocytes are also summarized in a total score, the course of which is shown as a curve, and which can thus be “specifically improved”. According to Mobile Healthcare Solutions, those who follow the app’s “food and lifestyle recommendations” can achieve “more energy, better concentration, a stronger immune system and a better appearance”.
Casc so far without medical approval
In general, the start-up’s online presence talks a lot about well-being and well-being, but less about health. “Our test is not a substitute for a doctor’s visit,” Hahn explains. Slightly hidden on the website is the message: “This product is not suitable for diagnosing diseases, including determining the state of health, healing, alleviation, treatment or prevention of diseases or the conditions arising therefrom.”
There is a good reason for all this. The test was developed together with doctors, but the company in Hamburg has no medical approval for Casc. This is intended for the coming year. “We want to give customers even better opportunities to proactively do something for their health,” says Hahn about the background of the business idea.
Doctors warn of a high error rate
This could then include an indication of possible kidney damage, which is often not noticed at an early stage. However, self-tests like those from Casc are not without controversy among medical professionals – doctors often warn of a high error rate in the results shown, also due to misuse, and some important values can only be determined in a laboratory and not with a simple test strip.
Schütz and Hahn, both 26 years old, have known each other since their first grade in school, and the product name Casc actually goes back to their school days in Bad Bramstedt: they remembered that a biology teacher used a barrel to fade), in which the correct level of the various nutrients and minerals and a balance between them must be ensured.
Founder with extensive experience
“But we also write ‘Casc’ with a ‘c’ at the end, because it’s better suited for visualization,” says Hahn. He completed double studies at the stationery manufacturer Edding in Ahrensburg, but is in his own words an “entrepreneur” through his family.
His business partner Tobias Schütz studied economics in Hamburg and developed a board game in the first few semesters, of which he claims to have sold 15,000 units. He then set up the mobile home rental company Cultcamper and a pinball machine business for a Danish investor in Flensburg.
The two founders got the idea for the urine tests through their personal environment: numerous acquaintances who know them from the gym consume numerous supplements such as vitamins and minerals without being able to accurately assess their interactions. Many other providers have similar test strips in their range, which are usually much cheaper – they are available for less than 20 øre each. “But with these products, a user without medical knowledge can hardly judge what the results mean to him,” says Schütz.
The young Hamburg start-up will soon have a blood sample with which to tap at the fingertips. It should then be possible to determine additional values for vitamin D and iron via the app. “We are also working on a food intolerance test and an ovulation test to determine the most fertile days,” says Hahn. After all, most Casc customers in the target group of 25 to 39 year olds are women. “But our product is also used by men up to the late ’70s,” Schütz adds.
Casc should go to online pharmacies
In March, the young company raised a total of 1.3 million euros in a funding round. The main investor was the venture capital company TA Ventures, which invested in the Hamburg loan portal Finanzcheck and the Cologne fairtrade clothing supplier Armedangels. Other donors include former Zalando CEO Christoph Lange.
In addition to additional features in the test kits and the app, an expansion of sales is also planned in the next few months: While Casc so far – in line with the target group – has made the product known on social media and sold it. in its own online store, it will be developed through a collaboration with a pharmaceutical company, which will soon also be part of their range of online pharmacies.
In order to realize all this, they are looking for more employees: The start-up currently has seven employees, and by the end of the year there should be twelve to 15.
Updated: Mon, 05/09/2022, 05:55
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