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Celebrating 5 Years of Caspar Health

by Isabelle Scheer at July 30, 2021

Caspar Health is five years old! Hip hip hooray!
To honour the occasion, we’re looking back at highlights from the last five years. So settle in and enjoy a trip down memory lane!

How it all began…

October 2015: the idea of Caspar was born. Back then, Max Michels was the CEO of one of the largest rehabilitation clinics in Germany, where he witnessed incredible physical therapy successes on a daily basis. It didn’t escape his notice, however, that patients were likely to quickly lose any gains made without follow-up treatment. With Caspar, he wanted to address low post-care treatment rates and make rehabilitation accessible to as many patients as possible.

Der Gründungsstein.

Der Gründungsstein.

On 31st March 2016, Michels founded GOREHA GmbH (German Online Rehabilitation), together with his partners Benjamin Pochhammer and Max von Waldenfels. Many know the company as “Caspar Health”. 

The first office space was acquired in April 2016.  GOREHA GmbH moved into the Microsoft office on Unter den Linden, and was one of five start-ups to take part in the “Batch 5” program. For the next three months, the founders worked on an unsalaried basis. The first wages were paid out following a venture round on 7th July 2016

Das erste Büro bestand aus einem großen Schreibtisch bei Microsoft. 

The first Caspar office: one large desk in the Microsoft office.

May 2016: the team grew. The first employee, Steffen Ortmann, was hired by the IT department; Tatjana Radovanjev became Caspar Health’s first therapist and also modeled for Caspar content; and at around the same time, Christof Hofstetter from the Warburg Therapy Centre joined the team on a part-time basis as a freelance therapeutic director and medical expert. 

Laying down roots in China…

The target market was not initially based in Germany. Michels believed that China offered great potential for expansion due to the high demand in the country for rehabilitation. Moreover, he had good connections in China. No sooner said than done: in June 2016, Michels travelled to China to discuss collaborations with Chinese hospitals. 

Feierliche Zeremonie in China. 

A ceremonial event in China.

Caspar 1.0

Once the groundwork was done, it was time to turn to the product. In January 2017, version 1.0 of Caspar was launched. Its self-produced content was presented at the trade fair TheraPro in Stuttgart.

 Die ersten Dreharbeiten und TheraPro Messe.

The first film shoots and TheraPro Messe.

The company grows…

A milestone was reached in February 2017 with teletherapy becoming more accessible. The DRV (German Pension Insurance) published a document entitled “Requirements for Telemedical After-care”, which stipulated that teletherapy post-treatment care would be an integral aftercare component in Germany. 

On the 6th February 2017, GOREHA GmbH moved into its current office on Neue Schönhauser Straße, where it rented space (initially eight desks) in the “Aumago” office. 

June 2017 marked a second milestone for Caspar Health, which implemented a prevention programme together with the Borkum Knappschafts Klinic. The rehabilitation centre became one of Caspar’s first clients, alongside the ZARs (centres for rehabilitation) affiliated with Nanz medico, and the Michels Kliniken. The programme sparked the idea of the Caspar Clinic, which was founded just a few months later. An experienced team consisting of physiotherapists, ergotherapists and sports therapists has been on hand to provide digital aftercare for its patients ever since.

Celebrations and team-building are naturally a big highlight of the Caspar Health journey. Several Casparians in the photo below are still on board today.

Sommerparty 2017.

Summer party 2017.

As befits a tech company, our app is constantly being improved. Some highlights:

In October 2017, Caspar Version 2.0 was launched.

Version 3.0 of the patient app for our website and iOS was launched in December 2018

In February 2019, Caspar Health’s new therapy plan was integrated into the web version 3.1.

March 2019 saw the launch of the new patient app 3.0 for Android. 

Every step counts: in April 2019, the step tracker was released. Since then, patients have been able to record their steps using wearables, or manually in the app. 

But there’s more to us than the Caspar app. We wanted to bring clinics even more into the fore, and so we expanded our offer by introducing white label therapy apps tailored to reflect the designs of our clients’ facilities. Our first white label app for the ZAR clinics was launched in August 2019

We love our office… 

We started out with only eight desks. But the company grew steadily and with it, so did the Caspar Health team. We went from seven Caspar employees in 2016 to 22 in 2018, and by 2019, there were 32 of us. (Today, we have a grand total of 69 Casparians.) On the 1st August, 2019, GOREHA GmbH took over the entirety of the office on Neue Schönhauser Straße

We wasted no time settling in: February 2020 saw the renovation of the new space.

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We continued to grow…

Today, the Caspar App proudly bears the suffix “4.0”. This latest version was released in August 2020, with a highlight being the new therapy module calculation function.

Our birthday present… 

Which brings us to our fifth birthday in March 2021. We couldn’t have wished for a better gift: the DRV has approved Caspar app’s teletherapy aftercare for now. As a result, it’s become much easier for clinics to offer their patients teletherapy. Approval was granted following a study conducted by the DRV, in which 97 percent of all participants gave Caspar’s online aftercare positive ratings. Incidentally, the study was also published to coincide with our birthday…

And so we’ve come a full circle! Michel’s goal when he founded Caspar Health, after all, was to facilitate access to therapy and enable patients to receive the most effective treatment. That said, our journey is far from over. We have big plans!

We seized the opportunity at our summer party in June 2021 to celebrate Caspar Health’s successes. At long last, the entire team was able to come together again to play beach games and dig into a delicious barbecue.

Here’s to many more years of Caspar Health!