Is there anything in common between the Netflix platform and medical education? If this parallel seems a little strange to you, then you are not familiar with Xpeer — an educational application in the field of medical education. In our new episode of Digital Health Interviews, we talked to its founder and CEO Daniela Clape (Spain).
Daniela Clape: Founder and CEO of Xpeer Medical Education, the next-generation medical education platform. She has over 17 years of experience in the medical education sector, where she has led some of the most successful companies and teams. She is an educational expert and a passionate and energetic supervisor. Daniela is committed to an integral approach to healthcare professional education and training that includes mastering the entire set of skills, knowledge, and technologies required to succeed in current and future healthcare systems.
Before we begin to question our guest in detail about her revolutionary educational startup, we wanted to know the general state of affairs in the digital health industry in Spain.
Daniela Clape: “The digital medicine ecosystem is super dynamic! It is very strong, creative, and rapidly growing. We have a large number of startups every month with significant investment rounds. We have a very strong medical startup Medictor, a member of Barcelona Health Hub. I like it a lot because of the use of artificial intelligence and responsive assistance to patients. I can also single out MediQuo — a telemedicine startup — and pharma company Devicare, which, by the way, was one of our first customers. They treat kidney stones using different approaches: from technology to nutrition.”
The good news is that the Spanish government is investing more money in the health sector: “For example, in 2021, they increased the investment of the technical segment of healthcare by 16%. The government follows its path, not the one followed by startups and medical companies. But I believe that, as in any European country, we will also get healthcare at the center of everything.”
Daniela was a part of an advertising agency for almost 9 years. After that, she decided to move to a completely different world of startups.
Daniela Clape: “The previous company was very interesting for me. I started there as a project manager, and later I was entrusted with more and more responsible positions — and by the time I finished my career there, I managed the company. Its owners later sold it to larger groups, but it was a very interesting experience for me. As a managing director, I was somewhat frustrated with innovation. Some companies in the corporate world are less interested in investing in creativity and innovation. I saw this sector of medical education in a rather deplorable state. That’s how I understood that we have to do something about it. If I couldn’t do it in the corporate world, I had to do it myself. My second child became my basic motivation. I spent my time taking care of my baby and thinking about what was important. And I wanted to make a difference! That’s how I dared to take a decisive jump for myself. This was probably the best advice Guillem Serra from MediQuo gave me: “You have to take a full-fledged jump, leaving what you were doing in the past — and see how everything will be.”
At first, I couldn’t understand exactly what I wanted to do. When I was feeding my baby, the only thing I could do at that time was to search for something on my smartphone. I started looking for exactly what trends are present in education. My first inspiration was masterclass.com. Its essence is videos with master classes from stars in their fields. I thought: how cool is it to have access to such content simply thanks to my smartphone! I was also heavily influenced by Mindvalley. They develop soft skills, which, in my opinion, are almost the most necessary for a person, no matter what he does in life. So I tried to combine these two concepts with my world of medical education. I talked to everyone I know and don’t know. The people involved in the medical community in one way or another agreed that my idea was useful. Yes, I first discovered the idea, and then I started moving in the direction of implementing it. All because I learned some lessons well. I started two companies that never became successful. This time I applied networking and verification interviews with important people in the industry.”
Xpeer is a kind of Netflix for medical education: it provides on-demand video content. What sets it apart from other market players? It is the first to come out in a mobile format, and Xpeer is the only app accredited by the UEMS.
Daniela Clape: “Getting certified was not difficult for me: I have more than 20 years of experience in the industry, so I understand certain rules. But considering that we are the only certified application, this process cannot be called easy. We invested a lot: it was necessary to create not only the application itself but also the initial content. We got the accreditation on the first try, and it will be valid for three years.”
Since the app aimed to maintain its status as a medical Netflix, there had to be a lot of content. How did it start to appear?
Daniela Clape: “We worked with partners: medical coalitions, congresses, individual doctors. We used their content, transformed it into our model, and accredited it. We are also producers ourselves. We have to train doctors in areas where there is very little content: technology, soft skills, and professional knowledge. We also have a pharmaceutical industry that provides funding for programs. We work with them on their content as well. In three years we have collected about 200 hours of content. We are developing a content management system and have a very specific format. Usually, we produce 3-4 courses per week.”
Xpeer’s content is available in 12 languages or a user can choose subtitles. One of the criteria of expertise is access. All content can be not only watched but also listened to as a podcast.
The startup has sponsors in the form of pharmaceutical companies, medical societies, and medical education companies. They pay for their channel where they can post content. If they want Xpeer to create content for them, they sponsor that moment too. If you are a doctor and you have content that you want to put on the platform, it is a paid option.
Daniela Clape: “We have some doctors who pay 10 euros per month to access our entire video database. But 90% of our income comes from sponsorship now. The B2C part is currently under development.”
The company tries to raise funds with the help of external investors: “We have investors and did a round last year. I guess we’ll go to another one next year. I am always in contact with possible “angels” and sponsors. As an entrepreneur, I am sure that it is worth communicating actively with them not only when you are looking for funds, it is correct.”
The founder of the startup dreams that any doctor if he has five minutes, will go to the platform to watch a new interesting video: “We are focused on personalized algorithms. We named it ourselves “Personal development dynamic plan”. And in addition, we are preparing a community function. Finally, we are working on the application's fun, entertainment, and gamification.”
According to Daniela, the main digital health trends in health are the following: “AI, in my opinion, is perhaps the most important technology. I also believe in patient empowerment. Thanks to digitalization, the course of the disease in patients with chronic diagnoses is better monitored, and there is constant communication with representatives of the healthcare sector. Personalized medicine is also a significant trend. We have a lot of genetics content. But I believe that every technology in the health sector is gorgeous.”
And traditionally, at the final of the episode, catch recommendations for startup founders in digital health.
Daniela Clape: “Please validate! Talk to everyone in the industry. You can have a great idea, but you have to be sure that people want to pay for it. This is something I have not done in my previous two experiences. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and use networking! We received a lot of support from people who truly believed in what we were doing. Do not hesitate with changes to your project. Even if it’s launched, don’t stop thinking about what you can improve. Always listen to the market and communicate with your audience.”
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Our previous episode was with Djamchid Dalili & Caroline Atlani: DiamPark - a startup that helps patients with Parkinson's disease.
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