Revolutionary health app for lipedema: The LipoCheck success story

Laura Diez

Startup Stories

In this exclusive interview, we speak to Helena Rapprich, Co-Founder and CEO of LipoCheck, which has developed a groundbreaking health app for women with lipedema. The certified app offers medical support from diagnosis to self-management and enables early detection and symptom management thanks to cutting-edge technology. Helena explains the motivation behind the start-up, the strategy to convince potential customers and her vision to further expand the health platform in the coming years.

How would you explain your solution in three sentences to a health professional? 
"We are developing a certified health app for one in 10 women with lipedema to provide them with ongoing medical support - from suspicion, through diagnosis and individualised treatment support, to self-management. With over 30 years of lipedema treatment experience and thousands of pieces of data, we enable early detection and symptom management through our Image Analytics Model. Integration of doctors and health insurance companies is possible via the LipoCheck platform."

What problem motivated you to found the company? 
"The medical need comes from the practice. My "doctor father" regularly reported to my sister and me about the significantly increasing first visit requests in his practice (in the meantime a waiting list of 2 years), the high level of suffering of the patients and the broad ignorance about the clinical picture. Together, this means that those affected receive no support, the clinical picture worsens, secondary and concomitant diseases develop, specialists are overworked and this costs the health system a lot of money. With our knowledge of the disease, our data and technical know-how, we knew we could give patients a better quality of life.

How do you convince a pharmaceutical company, a health insurance company or another potential client to set up a pilot project with you? 
"We aim to work closely with health insurance companies and reduce costs by 60%. Every 10th woman is affected by lipedema. If it is not diagnosed and treated in time, the condition worsens and some of those affected can no longer go to work. With the functions in the app, we enable early detection of lipedema and promote self-management in order to minimise secondary and concomitant diseases (psychological stress, orthopaedic complications, secondary lymphoedema, etc.), which cause great suffering and costs. We are the first point of contact and companion for those affected.

Lipoedema is currently subject to the subjective assessment of the examiner. As a result, a patient may receive different severity classifications and diagnoses from different doctors. This makes the diagnosis of lipedema not comprehensible and understandable for health insurance companies. With LipoCheck, we enable an objective and uniform diagnosis, so that misdiagnosis is minimised and there is no overdiagnosis. Through the LipoCheck platform, doctors are supported in the diagnosis and treatment and receive documentation of the course of the disease and a therapy success control."

Who are your current customers (groups) and who should be the potential customers? 
"The LipoCheck app is aimed at all women who can recognise an uncontrolled increase in fat, have suspected lipedema, have already been diagnosed or are undergoing treatment. Our goal is to be a medical support for those affected in all phases of life and health. The LipoCheck Dashboard is an offer for physicians in the specialities of phlebology, lymphology, ankle surgery and plastic surgery who treat lipoedema patients. The platform is initially available in DACH. Expansion to the USA and South America is planned."

Where do you see yourselves in 3 years and how can 5-HT support you?
"Our vision is to build the most sustainable health platform in the world. We believe in a system where patients, providers and payers no longer run away from each other but towards each other. The basis is that knowledge is shared and personalised health services become accessible to all, which is possible with technological development and data in a faster and more precise form. Any contact with health insurance companies is helpful."

 Helena Rapprich, Dr. med. Stefan Rapprich, Anina Langhans

 

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