Daman x Innovayt // Innobooster

Daman is a Danish SME, providing digital solutions to improve the quality of life of people living with complex high-cost chronic diseases. One significant and widespread chronic disease is rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune and inflammatory disease that mainly attacks the joints such as wrists and knees. Daman has a market-leading digital health solution, the RheumaBuddy app, helping patients with rheumatoid arthritis to track symptom intensity and mood orders as well as to engage with not only other patients but also healthcare professionals. In turn, enabling better medical outcomes and support systems.

More detailed, rheumatoid arthritis affects over 3 million people in Europe, consequently affecting their quality of life. In a joint with rheumatoid arthritis, the lining of the joint becomes inflamed, causing damage to joint tissue which in turn can result in long-lasting or chronic pain; unsteadiness (lack of balance); and deformity (misshapenness). The associated healthcare costs ascend to more than €24 billion per year. Diagnosing and treating rheumatoid arthritis relies on the patient’s biological condition and the quality of the face-to-face consultations which only occur 1 to 4 times per year. The diagnosis and treatment are based on a so-called probe-sense-respond learning process, an iterative process between the healthcare professional methodological and protocolled assessment, and the patient feedback response and self-evaluation. This process leads to medical prescriptions and patient behavioural changes. There is however a gap in the patient’s learning curve that can extend over time, this could be due to factors such as patients’ learning rate dependency, individual self-evaluation sensitivity, and long intervals between consultations. As a result, it is difficult for patients to provide healthcare professionals with sufficient and accurate information. Furthermore, the clinical process and the patient learning process tend to be decoupled, as well as further challenged by multiple clinical perspectives.

To tackle this gap, innovative solutions are needed. The fast development of digital healthcare tools can help in achieving a more efficient engagement between patients and healthcare professionals.

Daman will develop the RheumaBuddy My Voice, a digital tool integrating state of the art Information Technology (IT) with innovative social science, that supports the probe-sense-respond learning process. More precisely, it will consist of a digital patient empowerment programme that is aligned with current healthcare professional practice, to enable the best possible match between patient aspirations and available medicine. The aim is to connect the systematic analytical medical approach of healthcare, with patients’ own learning and coping process. In the funded Innobooster project, Daman will leverage from a virtual coach, based on Artificial Intelligence (AI) which is being developed in an Eurostars project, that supports users in generating ideas and planning strategies for systematic examination and evaluation of the patient’s actions and behaviour leading to a better adaptation to the medical condition. The outcome will be a faster track to an aligned coping and treatment plan, as well as better drug match and fewer drug switches. RheumaBuddy My Voice bridge between gutfeel (patient) and analytical medication (healthcare professionals) putting personal quality of life at the centre stage. RheumaBuddy My Voice will contribute to a radical improvement of patient-clinician dialog, and a more efficient go-to-market model for pharma to reach the right patients.

Innovayt coordinated the Innobooster proposal on behalf of Daman in 2021, securing a grant of approximately 780k DKK. Innobooster is a Danish funding programme, organised by Innovation Fund Denmark (originally titled Innovationsfonden) to support innovative SMEs through recruitment of academic/research personnel, procurement of R&D services, and other innovation activities.

Daman is a recurrent Innovayt client. For instance, in 2018, Innovayt assisted Daman on another Innobooster application that resulted in a 500k DKK grant. More recently, in 2020, Innovayt assisted Daman on another soft funding proposal for the Eurostars programme, organised by Eureka to support research intensive SMEs in implementing commercially driven R&D projects in international consortia, that resulted in a grant of €890k for the consortium whereof €300k for Daman.

Innovayt has been a professional partner in helping us to secure soft funding. I can highly recommend getting help from Innovayt in the application process as it takes a lot of time and effort to get it right.

– Andreas Dam, Founder and CEO of Daman

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