Digital Health 100% human-centric – how iuvando is revolutionizing the oncological care landscape

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Digital Healthcare, the use of digital tools in the medical field, is intended to and can improve the efficiency of healthcare and make drugs more individual and effective. New technologies such as telemonitoring and self-monitoring, wearables and insertables, artificial intelligence and numerous networked devices promise faster, more efficient diagnosis and treatment. However, there are so many determinants influencing how these will actually affect patient autonomy and care processes, such as education, legal and regulatory frameworks and interoperability, that it is not clear how this technology will take hold. One-size-fit-all approaches will not be able to meet the different needs of patients. This makes a consumer-oriented healthcare system a new imperative.

iuvando Health as winner of the innovation initiative “Gemeinsam Innovation” of AbbVie Germany

HYVE has accompanied a start-up that understands and lives this imperative of human centricity. That puts the patient in the focus of every consideration and development. Recently, iuvando was awarded as winner of the EIT Health Headstart Award 2020, which is sponsored by the European Union. Only a few months earlier, iuvando took first place in the innovation initiative “Gemeinsam Innovation” of AbbVie Germany. In the start-up challenge “Gemeinsam Innovation”, an initiative for improving the oncological care landscape, designed by HYVE, selected founders were given the opportunity to present their innovative projects to a jury of health industry players and innovation experts. In an interview with HYVE’s Innovation Consultant Philipp Münich, Dr. Mridul Agrawal, founder of iuvando together with Dr. Benjamin Hanfstein, explains what human centritcity means in oncological care, the motivation behind iuvando and what makes iuvando so special. 

Founders of iuvando: Dr. Mridul Agrawal and Dr. Benjamin Hanfstein

A digital patient platform for strong patient empowerment

iuvando is a digital patient platform with the goal of informing people suffering from cancer about innovative forms of treatment in the context of clinical studies. Depending on their particular disease situation, cancer patients receive a personalized and custom-fit search report that summarizes currently available study therapies and can thus expand the therapeutic spectrum for both patient and treating physician.

Every year, a large number of new, promising drugs come to market in cancer medicine, but for many patients the approval of these drugs comes too late. The philosophy of iuvando is guided by the vision of making innovative therapies accessible to all cancer patients during clinical trials and thereby giving back a piece of initiative to the patient (“patient empowerment”).

More and more pharmaceutical companies are recognizing that digitization has an impact on all players in the healthcare system and requires the reach and involvement of patients, customers and users. Together with the HYVE Crowd, Janssen therefore discussed healthcare in 2030 – read more about this in our blog and white paper.

Matching without a Tinder-like app – iuvando understands the patient journey

During their clinical work as doctors in cancer medicine, the founders repeatedly experienced patients suffering from progressive disease after undergoing several established therapies. In the given circumstances, often the only therapeutic option lies in new, not yet approved cancer drugs. These drugs are offered within clinical trials at certain academic centers. At this stage of the disease, the main goal is to improve quality of life and increase life span. Many patients express their therapy wish in this situation, but are often unable to find suitable clinical trials because they or their treating physician simply do not know which trials are available nearby. With its patient-centric focus, iuvando addresses this gap.

iuvando in a nutshell

Democratizing healthcare through self-empowerment  

The user-focus is on patients with advanced cancer for whom standard therapy is no longer an option because they have already undergone it or have not been tolerated. With the help of a database and IT application, iuvando finds further treatment options for most of these patients within the framework of a clinical trial. A door opener.

Patients can contact iuvando directly via the Internet and receive a personalized search report that includes all suitable clinical trials matching their individual medical history and which are available nearby. 100% user-centric and with the patient at the center of attention. Patients then consult with their treating physician to determine whether participation in the clinical trial is possible and medically appropriate.

For iuvando, innovation is more than just using the latest technology

The future of health will not only be defined by the innovations we have set out to make, but will also be shaped by how we respond to and anticipate the challenges and consequences of each major advance. The more we know, the more “known unknowns” will be uncovered. The boundaries of the areas left for researchers to explore are constantly widening, while the potential applications of new technologies are increasing, as the start-up BHS and its expertise on human centricity in microsurgery shows.

iuvando brings the various stakeholders together in a new way, generating added value for all. The added value for patients and doctors lies in the expansion of therapeutic options. The added value for the study center and the general public lies in the acceleration of clinical research through faster recruitment of study patients. More effective cancer drugs can thus be identified more quickly and made available to all patients after approval.

As we explore new areas of healthcare, we need to ensure that every route leads back to patients. Large-scale changes driven by technological innovation are only as valuable as their impact on individual lives, which we are constantly trying to improve. If we use innovation wisely and embed a company’s “intrinsic purpose” in the common good, we can help more patients than ever before and create public value.

Dr. Mridul Agrawal, founder of iuvando

Innovation Day as the perfect place for networking and awareness

HYVE’s Innovation Consultant Philipp Münich got to know iuvando at the HYVE Innovation Day, a format that enables companies to meet at eye level with relevant start-ups in the industry and enables a joint enrichment of the industry in workshops.

iuvando and his 100% patient focus is so much in line with HYVE’s DNA of problem solving and needs assessment. On Innovation Day, we work together with various actors and stakeholders to find concrete solutions to a recognized, defined problem or an unresolved need. This is not only exciting, it also means that we delve deeply into sensitive issues; true to our corporate value “depth”. It is not enough for us to scratch the surface; in the workshop, we use moderation, formats and methods to enable a very comprehensive examination of a topic. Because we involve all stakeholders, the Innovation Days never only lead to approaches, but enable a joint enrichment of the industry at eye level and with an absolute user centricity.

Philipp Münich, HYVE Innovation Consultant

Contact us if you want to plan your own Innovation Day and start your human-centered project with us