panthrs Smart Shirt enables digital oncological training therapy

Corinna Herrmann

Startup Stories

Exercise has been proven to be extremely effective in the fight against numerous widespread and severe diseases like cancer. It is a vital therapeutic component. Limited ressources, skills shortage and missing integration into care lead to it's healing powers being greatly underutilized. Increasing case numbers, sharply rising patient costs and ageing populations make scalable, digital solutions necessary. That's where panthr comes in: Digital exercise therapy - individualized, supervised and guided using motion capture and biofeedback. Alexander Krause, founder & CEO at panthr healthtech, explains their solution.

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

"panthr enables digital oncological training therapy to alleviate the numerous side effects of cancer therapy, improve quality of life and reduce mortality rates.
panthr consists of a smart shirt with integrated sensors for motion detection and direct biofeedback in haptic form plus an app for supervised, individualized and fully digital muscle-building training anywhere and at any time - like a personal trainer to wear."

panthr example shirt front and back

What problem motivated you to start the company?

"In addition to our passion for fitness and health, our motivation for founding the company was the realization that no drug in the world can compete with the beneficial effects of muscle-building training. This is particularly true in the case of cancer. More than 1000 clinical studies have now shown this. Unfortunately, the majority of those affected do not have access to regular sports therapy, which is so important. We want to close this gap with panthr.
We were also impressed by the solution in the form of an innovative Smart Tex wearable, as the team has extensive experience and a strong network in this area."

Team panthrTeam panthr

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

"Interest in panthr is already very high - not least because there is currently no solution on the market for monitored oncological training therapy at home. Our easy-to-use wearable - a smart shirt - with haptic feedback for intuitive training support for users is currently unique.
Our solution offers many advantages. Preventing or alleviating the side effects of cancer therapy can dramatically reduce the enormous costs of treatment. Not to mention the higher quality of life for those affected. Improved well-being and a demonstrably faster recovery avoid cost-intensive follow-up treatments and expensive rehabilitation measures. Not to be underestimated is the increased patient satisfaction with which health insurance companies can retain their policyholders. 
Pharmaceutical companies may find it interesting that regular muscle-building training significantly increases the effectiveness and tolerability of the medication administered. This leads to better patient acceptance, greater adherence to treatment and new market opportunities. The anonymized data we have collected on training therapy is also likely to be of interest. They can serve as a basis for evidence-based research and be helpful for the development of new drugs that are specifically tailored to the needs of those affected."

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

"Our main target customers are both statutory and private health insurance companies. However, pharmaceutical companies that develop oncology drugs are also potential customers.
In terms of insurers, we are initially starting on the German market, but we also want to become active internationally - first in the EU and later in America. Exorbitant treatment costs are incurred in the USA in particular, which we can significantly reduce with our solution.
In addition to payers, panthr is also likely to arouse interest among service providers - the shortage of specialists and increased cost pressure will also lead to the use of digital therapy support in rehabilitation centers and clinics in the medium term."

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

"In three years, we want to have gained a foothold in the German market and initially demonstrated the benefits of our solution in the field. But this is just the beginning - we have big plans, from expansion into other markets to further product features.
5-HT can help us in particular by opening up its network - to potential customers and investors, but also to start-ups and various experts. 5-HT can also support us with our public relations work."

You took part in the Bitkom Digital Health Conference (DHC) in November 2023. What is your impression of the event and what has your participation brought you (so far)?

"The Bitkom DHC was characterized by exciting presentations and panels. It was mainly attended by a specialist audience and many relevant representatives of potential customers or partners were present. There seemed to be a lot of interest in the startup pitches. We had some interesting conversations, but nothing concrete has come out of them yet. However, the event was a great opportunity to get to know other healthtech startups, exchange ideas and meet up with various acquaintances from the scene."

Alexander Krause from panthr at the Bitkom Digital Health Conference 2023Alexander Krause from panthr at the Bitkom Digital Health Conference 2023

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