Following their recent win at our conhIT event we chat to Sanovation AG/CatchMyPain CEO and co-founder Daniel Lawniczak about the app’s creation and the future of mHealth…
Where’d the initial idea for the app come from?
I am a chronic pain patient myself. It took me several years and over 20 visits to different doctors until I finally found the right diagnosis and the right set of treatments for my problem. It was an excruciating odyssey. During that time I had a constant thought in my mind: There must be other patients on this planet having the exact same problem like me and some of them must have found a solution already. I wanted patients to be able to learn from each other. That’s why I started working on CatchMyPain in 2009.
Was the community aspect of the app something you intended to
include from the beginning?
Yes, based on my own experience, I assumed others would love to talk to other patients as well. Friends and family try to help but only a person who has the same condition can really understand what it means to deal with it on a daily basis and can give meaningful advice.
Reaching your audience is one of the hardest challenges with any product, how did you attract patients to the app?
So far, we have reached over 130’000 users worldwide. Our key drivers are app store optimization and word of mouth. We’ve spent only a couple of hundred dollars on ads to drive users to our app.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned with the success of the app so far?
Keep it simple and focus on the one feature that has the biggest impact on your users.
What’s been your proudest moment?
Every time I check our app reviews or user feedback, I see what positive impact our app is having on patients around the world. I am very proud to see that our small app can make such a big difference in people’s lives.
There’s been a lot of buzz around mHealth apps recently and Apple
has just released its first CareKit apps this week. Where do you see
the sector going in the next few years?
mHealth is the most exciting sector right now. 90% of healthcare still works the same way it did 50 years ago. This will dramatically change within the next 10 years. Big players will be out of business and new companies will emerge. I am glad to see big players like Apple driving innovation and pragmatic standards. Yet, the most important driver for change are innovative startups like us who focus on and understand the needs of the most important stakeholder in the healthcare business: Patients.
What next for CatchMyPain?
We are working on a big relaunch of CatchMyPain under the name Pain Companion. Besides a modern design, we are introducing some new exciting community features. The relaunch should happen end of May or June 2016. Besides our own app, we are working on a couple of exciting projects with companies in the healthcare sector.