Palithera uses therapy cards against dementia and Alzheimer's disease

Corinna Herrmann

Startup Stories

The Mainz-based startup develops medical products for the treatment of dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Their mission is to provide better care for dementia patients and more support for relatives. Their online store was launched in June 2024. In this interview, Dr. Adam Maciak, Medical Informatics CEO & CTO from Palithera, explains their innovative solution offering multi-sensory experiences.

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

"We breathe new life into the tried-and-tested therapy cards for dementia with multi-sensory experiences. In combination with the therapy cards, our talking picture audio pen enables a more extended interaction with the patient. Formative moments can now be experienced audio-visually and with guidance. Personalized content from the patient's life (e.g. old wedding photos) is also possible. This allows the patient to experience a more emotional, social, interactive and joyful memory in spoken form. By simply tapping the therapy card with the audio pen, it speaks one of many coded sentences, stories or stimulating questions."

What problem motivated you to start the company?

"We set up during a Covid lockdown. It was a particularly hard time for our older family members, as visits were no longer possible. This protection of the vulnerable population also had side effects: Social isolation, loneliness and the lack of emotional points of reference in the family. We both had small children and tried out using their toys to make memories and images speakable. We also succeeded with the first prototypes. We then decided to develop a holistic therapy for dementia. The road was long and instructive. But it was worth it to see people we love laugh, speak and come alive again."

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

"Our solution is simple, expandable and customizable. And cost-effective at the same time.

Pharmaceutical companies are interested in enriching their drug portfolio with digital offerings and extensions.

Insurance companies are interested in quality, patient care and cost coverage, and our speech image enables patients to engage in group and individual settings.

Care facilities are interested in social interactions and patient involvement in daily routines, but also in quickly mitigating negative or stressful situations.

In addition to managing the home environment, mobile care also strives to provide the patient with brief and important moments of positivity and security.

It is also very important that 1.3 million patients are cared for at home by relatives, and the trend is rising. In addition to providing therapy for their loved ones, we also enable these carers to switch off for half an hour, do something around the house and withdraw from the stress, strain and hard daily routine and have a little time for themselves."

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

"Our current target groups are family members as well as inpatient and mobile care for people with dementia. The first step is to relieve the burden on the families and caregivers involved. As our speech image scales in all languages, we will actually scale to the largest language groups in Europe in the second step."

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

"In 2027, 5-HT has helped us to treat dementia throughout Europe and to create a happier and more familiar environment for millions of families. The 5-HT network has helped us very well, very benevolently and very competently so far, so we are really looking forward to the next 3 years."

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