Technology company CheckWare has developed software where patients report their state of health online. The corona pandemic highlights that the solution is even more relevant.
“During the corona pandemic, this has been a smart solution for looking after patients without them having to show up to an appointment. If it turns out that there is no need for follow-up, they do not have visit the doctor”, says Heidi Blengsli Aabel, CEO of CheckWare.
The self-reporting solution is now in use in all health regions in Norway, and 100 percent of health trusts within the fields of psychiatry and substance abuse care use the software. The main idea is that patient-reported data should be used to improve treatment services. The company is already established in the UK and Poland, and is now focusing on Sweden.
“We need to expand from Norway and scale internationally. I don’t think any Norwegian health technology companies will survive in the long term if they only focus on Norway as a market”, says Blengsli Aabel.
Three innovation contracts
“CheckWare contributes to achieving the UN’s third Sustainable Development Goal of ‘Good Health and Well-being’. Patients can report their own state of health at a clinic or from home, and do not have to travel unnecessarily for an appointment or a stay at a health institution. Clinicians can then monitor the patient throughout the entire clinical pathway. This frees up resources and increases treatment quality”, says Hans Fredrik Emdal, customer advisor at Innovation Norway Trøndelag.
The Trondheim-based company has collaborated with Innovation Norway since its establishment in 2007. It began with them receiving an innovation contract together with a department at St. Olav’s Hospital. After a year, the founders wanted to commercialise the solution, and CheckWare has subsequently been granted two more innovation contracts, as well as loans. They have also received several advisory services – both from offices in Norway and in other countries – and participated in one of our global accelerator programmes in the US.
“Having Innovation Norway on board during the development has been very important, especially the combination of knowledge and funding that they offer. Innovation Norway has assisted us in bringing in the best possible resources in relevant areas, which we would not have been able to do on our own”, says Blengsli Aabel.
CheckWare increased its turnover from NOK 27 million in 2019 to NOK 40 million in 2020, and it has recently signed several major contracts that will further increase turnover in the years to come. The company is also facilitating a major international initiative.
“Norway provides a very clear overview, we know how things work regarding organisation, framework conditions and culture. But these are things that pose challenges abroad, and it takes longer and costs more money than one expects. We work systematically, and we have to have people on the ground in the countries we are going to invest in” she explains.
Digital distribution rights
Their software is used by hospitals, clinics and municipalities, and the unique thing about the solution is that patients can contribute digitally through licensed and quality assured forms. The entire workflow is incorporated into the system, and the data is used to follow up and treat patients, for example through online treatment programmes. The data documents whether the treatment has an effect on patients.
“What no one else has is the large volume of digital distribution rights to the tests, and the tools that are used to retrieve information from patients. As of today, we have digital distribution rights to well over 1100 different tools. These are made all around the world”, says Blengsli Aabel.