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An Interview with the CEO and Co-founder of the Kaia Health App


By: Julia John-Scheder

An Interview with the CEO and Co-founder of the Kaia Health App

The German Center for Research and Innovation recently interviewed CEO and co-founder of Kaia, a software-based healthcare platform that offers an app-based digital therapy focused on chronic pain. Konstantin Mehl is no stranger to the startup world. After successfully building the food delivery app foodora and selling it in 2015, he started to work on Kaia, which led him to the evolving field of personalized medicine.

Please tell us about Kaia.

Kaia is a digital therapy against back pain. The app offers a holistic and customized therapy that only takes around 15 minutes per day. After using the app for 20 days, patients report a 42% pain decrease, a clinical study by Kaia just showed. The great thing is the app helps people take fewer pain killers and undergo fewer or no surgeries. We mainly sell our app to companies that offer it as a health benefit to their employees.

What are the major challenges you are currently facing, and what are some of the challenges you foresee?

Mind-body therapies for chronic pain will definitely take off in the distant future. One challenge is to convince doctors and therapists to actively encourage patients to use therapy apps. To prove that a digital therapy app can work in harmony with doctors and therapists, we received 5.2 million euros in research funding and we have a big insurance company on board as well as many other partners. We hope that this project shows the effectiveness of a collaboration between the offline and the online medical infrastructure.

Data security is a big factor in the digital health field. Do you anticipate resistance from the general public and how will you be able to overcome it?

Data security is a crucial topic, as we deal with sensitive patient data. However, with the right data security certificates, i.e. HIPAA compliance, there is little that we can do wrong. We focus a lot on keeping data safe and we don’t use cloud storage.

Where do you think personalized medicine will be in the next 5 years?

Five years from now everything that is not personalized medicine will not exist anymore. Insurance, companies and patients will longer be able to afford to pay for ineffective therapies. There will be big shift in the US towards outcome-based medicine which always includes a huge degree of personalization of the offered therapy.