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DrHealthy makes people feel healthier in a week

Northern innovations worthy of successful marketing. The NOM Prevention Challenge is there to help entrepreneurs achieve that. On April 11 is the finals of the competition, with which 10,000 euros in marketing and guidance from the NOM can be won. In the finals, three nominees will compete for the title: DrHealthy, FitGaaf and FiveSteps.

Of all people between the ages of forty and seventy, nearly ninety percent are metabolic unhealthy. In other words, those people are sick, or getting sick, but don't feel it yet. Something needs to be done about that soon, and that is exactly what DrHealthy wants and is doing.

The ambition is great from the Groningen-based startup. The target group DrHealthy is aiming for in the Netherlands consists of 4 to 5 million souls. They want to make an impact, the founders of the tech startup. Their platform guides people to a healthier life and they benefit immediately. ,,Within a week they feel different, better, healthier. We don't want to save the entire population. We are going to save the whole population.''

The app is a kind of digital personal coach that essentially continually assists people in the target group. Those are pointed out healthy choices, encouraged to make the right trade-offs and helped with questions. ''Our solution is five times cheaper and also more effective than the solutions out there now to help people with their lifestyle,'' says Kai Yiu Ho.

Ho knows what he's talking about. As a former interventional radiologist for many years, he watched the problems in health care grow, mainly as a result of poor lifestyle. ,,The vast majority of chronic diseases are a result of unhealthy living. More and more people need care, and the system actually can't handle that anymore. People are overburdened, costs are skyrocketing. There is only one solution: to ensure that fewer people need care. And that will only succeed if they can adapt their lifestyle.''

What DrHealthy's app does is twofold. On the one hand, it is a triage tool, determining whether people need to visit the doctor, or can solve their problem themselves. On the other hand, the app monitors and motivates lifestyle modification.

Instant cost and capacity savings

People who want to get rid of their complaints. They are helped by the technology, with which Jelle de Rijke is fully engaged. ,,We want to be as accessible as possible, but on the other hand we are continuously expanding the technological possibilities. For example, we are now working with sensors on the body that continuously provide valuable information, such as blood sugar levels. That gives us insight and can help people on a very personal level to become healthier. And not in a year's time, but immediately.''

In the app, people can communicate with a kind of ChatGPT, which has incredible medical knowledge. They get instant advice when tell what their complaint is. Does the system see acute danger? Then a visit to a doctor is necessary. The latter can even be alerted immediately and is better prepared because of the app's "preliminary investigation. De Rijke: ,,In practice, it is usually a matter of people adjusting their lifestyle. Our system immediately tells them how and lives with them as a coach.''

That system directly saves on the cost and capacity of care. Hence, health insurers are interested. Ho: ,,That's essential to make an impact. And that's what we want. We are now in the testing phase, mainly to see how well the app works in answering questions. And in the meantime, we are continuously expanding the documentation.''

That's where the NOM Prevention Challenge prize would help. Ho: ,,That money of course, but above all I see great gain in the idea that NOM is behind us. That opens the door to grant agencies and other investors. We want to be deeper in the network and the NOM will undoubtedly help us with that.''