The guest expert of the new episode of Digital Health Interviews is Robert Kitlowski — a co-founder and CFO of “Aidmed” (Poland).
Robert Kitlowski: a health tech entrepreneur; he is interested in healthcare ventures, start-up development, innovation, and IT security. Robert has a background in the financial sphere. His most well-known startups are “InfoSCAN” (telemedical technologies), “BA Service” (IT security), “Inven” (transaction advisory services), “BrainScan” (AI-powered interpretation systems for the brain), and “Aidmed” (remote patients diagnostics and rehabilitation solutions based on AI). He is looking for talents in ML/Python/Node.js. Big fan of water polo, ice hockey, sailing, and any other crazy sport.
Robert’s career had nothing to do with healthcare or medical devices. He wanted to become a programmer but thought spending time behind the screen computer was not a good idea, so he went to finance. But in 2010, Kitlowski started the “InfoSCAN” company.
Robert Kitlowski: I know how things work in a kind of financial sense; it’s imperative. Nowadays, tech people learn how economics and finance work. For me, it’s like bread and butter — I know it by heart. “InfoSCAN” was a harrowing experience! Most startups are painful, I think… Of course, some people get a lottery ticket: they become some key personnel of excellent companies from the early days. In my case, it was always a complex way. There’s a saying that it’s better to spend 1 hour in a library reading versus spending five days in a laboratory trying to solve things people have already solved. I used to be a lab person. That’s not the best way to do something: it takes more time, and you are going through the same mistakes people did. My second big mistake was not to ask questions. There’s no shame in not knowing things, and there are no stupid questions.
Robert exited “InfoSCAN” in 2017 and sold his shares, searching for new initiatives. The money he got from the previous experience he invested into his next startup, “BrainScan.” It’s still on, and Kitlowski considers it a big success.
Robert Kitlowski: Our solution improves radiology workflow through fast classification and prioritization. “BrainScan” is a vertical solution focusing on the brain scans but horizontal regarding the number of lesions detected. It supports radiologists in making diagnoses. We did many things: developed products, obtained certifications, and raised R&D funding for two million dollars in three rounds.
The host of the series, Alex Koshykov, and the expert also spoke about the “Aidmed” startup. “Aidmed” is a product aimed at medical entities. It allows optimization of the diagnostic and therapeutic process and is in the process of certification/clinical trials in the cardiology, pulmonology, or infection fields. It will make people more aware of their bodies as the advanced biosensors build an accurate picture by tracking daily activity, heart’s ECG or breathing pattern during sleep, etc. The solution consists of “Aidmed One” with additional equipment, “Aidmed Health” mobile application, and “Aidmed Cloud” telemedicine system (a server that stores and analyzes data from “Aidmed One”).
Robert Kitlowski: It’s a significant venture for patients with chronic pulmonary diseases. Our primary focus is collecting data from the patient body and then processing it so it’s easy to interpret it for physicians. As soon as a patient is diagnosed, we provide the rehabilitation tools so that the patient can continue the treatment process remotely. Our solution is designed to keep you invested in your health, keep you active and remind you about activities, and give you a personalized experience of a rehabilitation community — people who are taking the same processes as you. We are still working on the machinery: to predict and motivate you to continue your rehabilitation processes.
There’s always a kind of conflict between simplicity and complexness. Patients don’t want to buy and use lots of devices. What does Robert think about it?
Robert Kitlowski: I see a massive trend in the market providing elementary solutions. They are not comparable with medical knowledge and medical research! Some say that with the help of a patient photo, they can measure blood saturation. We are working on human activity classification based on physical activities to predict stress and happiness level and to understand if the patient is happy to be involved in such physical training. This research gives many opportunities to combine different worlds like gaming and healthcare. I think we won’t provide tedious technologies to customers in the future. We need something exciting to make people invested in their health.
“Aidmed One” devices are sold rarely; their cost is about 1100 dollars. The principal business model is based on a subscription of 100 dollars per month. The main customers are physicians. The company's objective is not to overwhelm patients with technology: to motivate them, give them a human touch, and make them feel that somebody cares for them.
And traditionally, in the final of the episode, there are some invaluable pieces of advice for startup founders in digital health.
Robert Kitlowski: The people are the essential part. You need to find people you like, who will support you in your difficult times, who would not give up easily. 50% of the success is not about product or industry. In every industry, there’s someone making money. Do you understand your industry and provide value to your customers? If yes — you will be making money. But if you have bad people around you, you can’t deliver! Ups and downs are coming to every startup founder. Failure gives you much power to move forward, learn from mistakes, find other ways, and improvise. If a customer throws you out the door, come back through the window. Don’t be afraid of looking stupid; shoot and talk to the right people. And you need to be lucky because it also plays some role.
Our previous episode with Maciej Malenda: Is Doctor.One an OnlyFans version for doctors?
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