The stomach ache starts after the late supper, shortly after 11 pm. Because the practice of his family doctor has long been closed and for the way to the emergency room because of an important customer appointment the next day is no time, Peter Jäger reaches for the smartphone and contacted the online platform TeleClinic. He describes his pain in a message. Not 15 minutes later, gastroenterologist Clara Feldmann reports to the patient. She calms him down via video call: An acute danger is excluded and the likelihood is high that the pain is gone after an hour. On the way to the customer the next morning, the newly arrived manager reaches a message from the specialist, who inquires after his well-being: “You can contact me at any time if there should be something else.”
Offers such as those of TeleClinic show that digitization is increasingly changing the medical and healthcare industry. And they can help to get a grip on full waiting rooms in doctors’ offices, overburdened emergency rooms and rising costs for patients.
“We offer access to first-class medical care irrespective of time and place. Patients can use a telemedicine consultation with experts from a wide variety of disciplines via telephone, video or chat – 24 hours a day, 365 days a year” says TeleClinic founder Katharina Jünger.
This was also made possible by the Open Telekom Cloud, where the startup hosted its patient data in the start-up phase. “A secure environment for our data was important to us from the beginning. The Open Telekom Cloud meets the requirements of the European DSGVO, the data is processed in Germany, which is why we chose this service. “With its digital service, TeleClinic not only facilitates doctor-patient communication but also reduces the costs for medical practices and medical centres.
According to a recent McKinsey study1, telemedicine counselling alone in Germany has a potential of around € 4.4 billion annually – driven by the interests of patients, statutory and private health insurers, doctors and pharmacies. “We want to take into account the needs of all parties involved and provide benefits for both sides” says Jünger.
For example, through partnerships with insurers or ideas such as the digital prescription, which, according to Health Minister Spahn, will soon be prescribed via telemedicine.2 The concept worked. Only three years after its founding, 44 employees ensured that more and more patients in Germany were getting digital Consultation – true to the motto’medical help always, everywhere and without long waiting times.
Medical image analysis by AI
Fast and error-free medical help should also be guaranteed in the approximately 100 million radiological examinations in Germany – despite time pressure. But most of the time is missing to assess the large amounts of data and create findings. The AI-based image analysis of FUSE-AI relieves physicians: “Our solutions help physicians to diagnose more quickly in less time because our AI technology pre-filters critical image areas,” explains founder Matthias Steffen”. This allows doctors to focus on these regions and spend less time evaluating unobtrusive imagery. To do this, we combine machine learning with medical science, for example. In the meantime, machine vision is more efficient and error-free than humans. ”
Data and software are bundled on the company’s own platform sherlog.ai, which is hosted centrally via the Open Telekom Cloud. “Here, we not only process large amounts of data but are also well-positioned for data protection and data security for sensitive medical information,” says Steffen.
An infrastructure that every startup can use as a member of the Telekom startup initiative TechBoost: “In addition to IT resources, we primarily provide founders with contacts in our network” says Matthias Schievelbusch, head of the program. “This offers startups enormous potential: Our business customers are waiting for digital innovations from founders – because good ideas make even better business happen.”
Genetic analysis from the cloud
Startups use secure cloud solutions not only for image diagnostics but also for medical diagnostics. The Waldsassen company BioVariance GmbH, for example, relies on scalable resources from the public cloud. The startup analyzes biomedical data in real time and uses gene analysis to predict whether and how a body responds to medication. After all, every one of the more than seven billion people in the world reacts differently to medicines. “Everyone should get exactly the drugs that suit them best. Genetic analysis shows the way” says Dr. Josef Scheiber, who founded BioVariance 2013. Because individualized medicine requires enormous IT resources, the startup uses the Open Telekom Cloud. “For the DNA investigations, we need a lot of computing power for a short time. The cloud makes such a service possible in the first place” says Scheiber. “If many DNA analyzes suddenly occur, we can scale the performance as we like”.
At BioVariance, 17 employees now combine medical know-how with data analysis and software. With success: Scheiber’s medical analysis service already uses large corporations today. “Our analyzes eliminate side effects, drugs work faster and more effectively,” says the founder. “Why? Our Big Data service will find the right medication in the right dose for each patient. “Doctors and pharmacists also use BioVariance’s service: Per app, they can better determine the optimal and individual dosage of pills and drops.
Also published on Medium.