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Buddy Healthcare helps with the road to recovery

The BuddyCare app enables patients to receive instruction with physiotherapy exercises after surgery, along with advice regarding wound care and medication.Istock.com/ Yuri_Arcurs

This innovative care coordination and patient engagement platform enables patients to stay on track during their lead up to surgery and subsequent recovery.

Your buddies play an important role during surgeries. And whilst it may have been their antics that helped land you under the knife in the first place, their post-surgery visits offer an encouraging boost during the healing process.

But, obviously, mates can’t be on hand during every step along the way. Enter Buddy Healthcare, the digital alternative that seeks to improve patients’ pre-surgery preparation and recuperation in its aftermath.

The company’s story began in the US a few years ago, when CEO Jussi Määttä had a discussion with a children’s hospital there about its very specific challenges regarding outpatient surgeries.

These sentiments were echoed upon his return to his homeland.

“I talked with Finnish hospitals and learned they had the same challenges,” Määttä recalls. “There were no solutions on the market so I decided to build my own business.”

Buddy Healthcare was thus founded in the autumn of 2015.

An automated friend, indeed

The company’s solution addresses some of the biggest challenges that are faced regarding surgeries: patient adherence to treatment, late cancellations and no-shows, administrative work and care quality. Buddy Healthcare counters these by offering patient education, care coordination, data collection and analysis via its automated clinical pathways.

“The BuddyCare app provides patients with all the information they need to navigate through the surgery process,” Määttä explains. “Nurses and doctors use our web tool to track which patients are doing well and which ones need more attention. Patients are ‘flagged’ when there is an exception in their pathway.”

Care providers meet the needs of different types of patients by combining information, questionnaires, photos, videos, reminders, outcome measurements or rehabilitation exercises.

Jussi Määttä founded Buddy Healthcare in the autumn of 2015, with the goal of creating automated clinical pathways for the patient journey. Image: Buddy Healthcare

Buddy Healthcare’s first co-development partners were paediatric hospitals, but now it also works with orthopaedics, cardiology and plastic surgery.

“Imagination is the only limit,” says Määttä. “We just provide a platform for hospitals to create their own automated mobile care pathways.”

Global path to good health

Currently, Buddy Healthcare’s solution is being used in several public and private Finnish hospitals. Global expansion is beckoning.

“As a Finnish company, we have to look at international markets immediately,” Määttä says. “Finland is a good test market and hospitals are open to new solutions, but the local market is relatively small. We have projects ongoing in the Americas and are starting our first projects in Central Europe as well.”

Määttä credits the company’s co-development partners in Finland and the US for its successful solution, and encourages other digital health companies to work with hospitals as soon as possible.

“When hospitals innovate with you they commit to change at the same time,” he says. “[They] really want to be forerunners in digital transformation.”

As Buddy Healthcare makes the transition from startup to stability, it is keeping both eyes open to better its business. It has even commenced testing how to smarten pathways for hospitals and patients by using AI.

Regardless of the innovations it may harness in future, Määttä insists that the company’s goal remains the same.

“When talking about digital health you have to remember that the number one task of the hospital is to save lives and cure people. I’m glad that we can play a part in that.”

By: David J. Cord