Digital proximity as a treatment for loneliness

Katharina Kittelberger

Startup Stories

Loneliness has a strong negative impact on health, which is why this condition is considered a risk factor for those affected. The consequences of this are many and can be compared to those of smoking or obesity. The Flensburg-Handewitt-based health startup HowRyou was founded in 2021 and has the cure for loneliness: proximity. 

By means of intelligent, AI-supported healthcare platform in the cloud, our ecosystem startup supports the care and nursing of the future in combination with digital assistance systems and sensor technology. Through remote communication and interaction, HowRyou thus creates a new digital proximity. 

In an interview with 5-HT, Frederik C. Denis, Chief Commercial Officer, Proxy, goes into more detail about HowRyou's digital healthcare solution. 

Frederik C. Denis, Chief Commercial Officer, Proxy of the health care startupHowRyou

How would you explain your solution in three sentences to a professional colleague from the health sector?

"The HowRyou Cloud can centrally bundle data from a wide range of sensors in the environment of a person in need of care and process it using AI. Relatives and caregivers can call up the person's condition at any time via an app (the display is simplified using a traffic light system) and are proactively alerted in critical situations. A bidirectional contact is always possible thanks to a data protection-compliant video communication solution integrated into the system."

NEDINA enables audio & video communication and interaction with relatives, caregivers, medical staff or the HowRyou online community. Sensor technology in the environment of the senior or person in need of care records the objective situation on site. This data is transmitted to the HealthCare Cloud, which forms the technical basis of the entire solution. Artificial intelligence finally evaluates the data.

What problem motivated you to start the company?

"People in need of care and their relatives are often far away from each other or there is simply not enough time for regular visits. In addition to an uneasy feeling on the part of the relatives, this also increases the risk of loneliness and isolation on the part of the people in need of care, but also situations that endanger their health, such as the risk of a fall, often go undetected. Our motivation is to create a modern and smart solution to this problem that provides security and takes away loneliness - almost as if you were there yourself."

How do you convince a pharmaceutical company, a health insurance company or another potential client to set up a pilot project with you?

"Relatives can be shown that spatial distance or a lack of time does not necessarily have to go hand in hand with an uneasy feeling and concern about the condition of a loved one. HowRyou creates digital proximity through the possibility of barrier-free communication at any time and provides continuous information on the condition and well-being of the person in need of care. 

The individual human is always at the center of HowRyou's digital health solution

Inpatient facilities and outpatient care services can have the parameters collected by the sensor system automatically entered into their documentation software thanks to existing interfaces. This saves time and reduces the workload of staff. It is also possible to prioritize where support is urgently needed or where a video call might be sufficient, which enables more efficient planning of trips in the outpatient environment, for example. In an inpatient setting, the overall level of care can also be improved by sensors detecting certain situations earlier (pressure sore prevention, attempts to get out of bed, etc.) or proactively alerting staff to deviations in values so that they can respond accordingly and thus maintain the well-being of the person in need of care."

Who are your current customers (groups) and who do you want your potential customers to be?

"Our primary aim is to offer care recipients and their relatives a technical solution that enables barrier-free communication and at the same time provides security / the reassuring feeling of being informed at all times about the condition of a loved one and being proactively alerted in the "worst case scenario" (e.g. a fall or rapidly changing vital signs). This also makes it possible to remain in one's own four walls longer and more safely. 
For efficient and up-to-date care with integrated video communication, outpatient and inpatient care providers can also use our solution, especially since interfaces for automated documentation are available."

Where do you see yourself in 3 years and how can 5-HT support you?

"Our ambition is to become the leading platform for digital networking between relatives and patients in the care and senior citizen sector in the DACH region, in order to reduce the looming gap between the increasing number of people in need of care on the one hand and the shortage of skilled workers on the other with smart, digital solutions. 5-HT can actively support us on this path by networking with strategic partners and investors within the healthcare industry."

5-HT Digital Hub Newsletter

Want the latest tech and industry news, events, relevant info from the ecosystem and more?

Subscribe to 5-HT Newsletter now Subscribe to 5-HT Newsletter now

Become part of the 5-HT Digital Hub Chemistry & Health

Exchange ideas with innovative startups and future-oriented companies in our ecosystem. We look forward to meeting you!