LabToWellness is a digital health enterprise focusing on improving people`s health and well-being. The aim of the enterprise is to offer laboratories and healthcare institutions a web–based platform for delivering health information to their patients in an understandable and nicely-visualised form.
“One of the issues in healthcare is that doctors can interpret the laboratory results perfectly well but the patient, going home with the results of the analysis, cannot,” claims Indrek Kask, the founder of LabToWellness. The company aims to deliver all kind of test results in a patient-friendly and easily understandable form.
Among other services, LabToWellness provides health reports for laboratories and hospitals. Kask explains that they carefully analyse the organisation`s health audit report and develop an improved patient-friendly report template. “Our solution is a combination of nicely visualised health information and personalised recommendations for the patient,” Kask explains.
“There is no similar service provider on the market. We offer all in one – by combining infotechnology and professional knowledge, we are able to develop comprehensive solutions for laboratories and clinics,” notes Kask.
Thinking in the language of patients
The business idea for creating LabToWellness grew out of the Asper Biotech genetic testing laboratory, which has been associated with the entrepreneur and genetic engineer Kask for a long time. “Some of our clients wanted to sell genetic tests for health risk assessment to ordinary people. They asked to interpret the lab results in a form understandable for regular people. Our scientists managed to complete the task but the process was time-consuming and dull: we combined a single file by copying data from different sources,” Kask describes. Soon after that, we came to the idea of developing a platform for managing health information.
The special domain of LabToWellness lies above all else in the prevention of disease, not diagnosis. “The diagnosis of disease and treatment are complex undertakings which LabToWellness today has no plans to interfere in,” noted Kask.
LabToWellness solution is a mix of both, software and content. We are focusing, particularly, on the content developing – how to present data and which information should be presented.
“Our main skill is the ability to find the right sources and sort out relevant evidence-based information,” says Kask. Their main sources are carefully selected internet sites, books, and a growing net of doctors and specialists available for consultation. “We are developing a database that contains different laboratory tests, recommendations and other relevant guidelines,” Kask adds.
The team members have no medical background but Kask believes it has a positive impact on their work, since it minimizes the risk of overthinking. “The content of our health reports should remain understandable to ordinary people. Doctors compile too complex reports and we should avoid involving them to the process. For instance, ultrasound images are difficult to understand, but doctors are still eager to attach them to the report,” says Kask. The images are removed from our health report, but the result of the ultrasound is interpreted to the patient.
Product development in the wellness sector
“Until today, we have been creating patient health reports which are based on the client`s service. However, we are currently developing a service that enables us to select health parameters for evaluation. In this case, the service we are providing includes a list of laboratory analyses, questionnaire, complete health report and support in composing marketing materials,” Kask explains.
In addition, the team is working on a pilot project directed at endurance athletes: “While actively preparing for the marathon, the athletes should test the ability of their organism, identify injury risks, and look over their dietary choices – at the moment, there is no such service provider. In cooperation with sports medicine physicians and athletes, we have compiled a list of the most common questions the athletes have. These questions can be answered by analyzing different laboratory tests and composing the results together to a health report aimed at endurance athletes,” describes Kask.
The enterprise is developing a similar solution in the field of nutrition and dieting. “The service is being provided for nutritionists – the solution enables them to monitor how a particular diet affects human body and its functioning.
EHealth as an aid in the prevention of disease.
One of the biggest challenges in the eHealth and healthcare sector in general is the question of how to influence people to use computers: the more conservative people need encouragement. Kask explains that LabToWellness is creating health reports in pdf-format because people prefer to print out their documents. “Large proportion of the health sector still prefers paper-based documents and I think it will stay like this for the next few years,” admits Kask.
Secondly, Kask points out the importance of preventive care – how to use eHealth solutions effectively in the field of disease prevention. “Most of the financial resources are spent on measuring cholesterol or treating sick patients, preventive care is underappreciated. In my opinion, it is quite a stagnant viewpoint,” claims Kask.
“The world should be moving in a direction where the patient, not the doctor, is the project manager of one`s health,” believes Kask. In order to accomplish the goal, several solutions should be implemented in the field of eHealth, in particular. For instance, patient-friendly eHealth solutions should be more relevant. “The system should be built up on the grounds of patient-comfort: the patient must feel comfortable while managing one`s health. That, in turn, influences the health behavior of individuals and provokes health promotion,” says Kask.
Kask believes that the attitude of hospitals and laboratories will change in the near future: “The patient is not an object to take blood from and say goodbye afterwards, there should be a partnership between the doctor and the patient, and both parties should make efforts for working together. After all, the healthier future of our society depends on it.”
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Estonian Digital Health Series: LabToWellness first published on Company Connecting February 2017