Digital transformation and the healthcare market at “warp speed”

by Andreas Nölting at January 15, 2021


The pandemic has changed things at Caspar Health as well. Our Casparians tell us how they experienced the past year and what they expect for the future.

There is no question that the coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the digital transformation of the healthcare market. Thanks to the latest digital technologies, including Caspar, contactless consultations and treatments have protected patients and doctors from the virus while also achieving positive, long-term medical outcomes. But what did our colleagues, who now number over 60, think of this highly unusual year? How did we organize ourselves and our workflows? And what did we achieve? As a new year begins, Caspar Health’s founders, IT specialists, physicians and sales experts look back on the challenges they faced during weeks of lockdown, share their pride at having delivered such strong growth against such a difficult backdrop, and let us in on their expectations for the months ahead. Here are our team’s...

business highlights of the past year

For us, 2020 was a breakthrough year in the digital transformation of the healthcare market. The whole market kicked into “warp speed.” It was as if 2030 had arrived 10 years ahead of schedule! At Caspar, we more than doubled the number of clinics using our solutions on a daily basis. With 129 clinics on board, we already serve 12 percent of the German rehab market. From month to month, more and more users embraced Caspar: Around 100,000 patients trained with the app in 2020, resulting in 2.7 million activities – a fivefold increase over the previous year. It’s been great to see acceptance grow and critics become convinced of the benefits of our services. Clinics, patients and health insurance companies are increasingly embracing more innovative forms of therapy and are using Caspar in numerous areas of rehabilitation and aftercare. Another highlight for us is that clinics are now happy to host digital meetings. This makes presentations, training sessions and webinars faster and more convenient than ever before, which also means they can take place more frequently and more cost-effectively. With every extra day of lockdown restrictions, patients, physicians and therapists in particular seem to have discovered the benefits of digitalization for themselves, making them our most important ambassadors and cheerleaders. From a Caspar perspective, 2020 was an incredible year. And, thanks to the sound foundations we have laid, Caspar Health is in a great position to achieve long-term success in the healthcare market. All in all, we couldn’t be more excited about the future!

Die Gründer Benjamin Pochhammer, Max Michels und Max von Waldenfels

The founders Benjamin Pochhammer, Max Michels und Max von Waldenfels

... team, talents and remote work

Our team is growing all the time and some fantastic new colleagues joined us last year. As 2020 got underway, our team had 29 members. By the end of the year, that had risen to 68. But quality is even more important than quantity, and we are proud that we continue to attract the best talent. Together, as a team, we are getting closer to our vision of helping the society as a whole. Of course, it hasn’t been easy for new colleagues to start their jobs under lockdown conditions, working from home. Ideally, they would have had more of an opportunity to get to know each other in the real world. Still, our team is used to remote work – even before the pandemic we were all able to work from home, or almost anywhere else for that matter. As a result of the pandemic, everyone has become even more comfortable with their remote work routines. They love the fact that they can see each other on camera during a meeting. It also helps to add a touch of humor. It’s important that colleagues share moments that are not entirely about work, especially in a virtual setting. The operational side of the business also works well remotely, as does patient care, which we deal with on the phone anyway, because that creates a more conducive environment. Our work schedules have also become even more flexible, which everyone loves. Nevertheless, there are a few things that are definitely more enjoyable in person. Team meetings, for example, are always going to be better in a live setting. Especially when you have a large team, as we do with our teletherapy Caspar Clinic (12 team members and growing), it is not always easy to have an online discussion. We also miss the “watercooler moments,” which don’t occur as naturally in a digital setting.

Cordula Siepmann, Sabrina Rohde, Max von Waldenfels

Cordula Siepmann, Sabrina Rohde, Max von Waldenfels

product and technology milestones

1. We are really happy to have finished our programming work on the accounting classification of therapeutic services and therapy modules. That really does make life easier for all of our stakeholders because the app is now mapped to the accounting practices used by German rehabilitation clinics. We have also significantly upgraded Caspar’s infrastructure (Kubernetes migration) and launched a “Product Discovery” approach, which consolidates our user-centric decision-making processes and allows us to serve our customers better than ever before.

2. We have developed a new, user-friendly app for Android users. We’ve eliminated any remaining bugs from the previous version of the Android app and have made it as easy as possible for Android users to access digital rehab content.

3. We have created an interface with the app of one of our major clients, Median, which allows their users to seamlessly access Caspar’s digital therapy content. As a result, the Median Group’s patients now only need to download a single app, where they can find their Caspar teletherapy sessions alongside clinic-specific information, such as their meal plan. Integrating our digital therapy content into the existing app allows the Median Group to provide even better digital medical support and at the same time protect patients and clinic staff from physical exposure to the coronavirus. Patients can now receive treatment from the comfort of their own homes, so there’s no disruption to their rehabilitation programs. Best of all, as we were involved in the project from day one of the design phase all the way through to delivery, we were able to invite the client to our sprint reviews and integrate them in our agile processes. That was great. Now we have a product that is market ready and can be implemented in other clinics.

Cordula Siepmann, Chris Stefani, Torsten Henning

Cordula Siepmann, Chris Stefani, Torsten Henning

… responses to patient feedback and medical success

The data from an interim evaluation of multimodal tele-rehab aftercare from IFR Ulm are pretty clear: More than 90 percent of surveyed users rated their therapeutic success with Caspar online aftercare as “good” to “excellent.” As many of the study’s participants explained, training with Caspar has encouraged them to take up or continue activities designed to boost their health, including endurance sports, or to change their diet. Overall, more than 93 percent of surveyed patients said Caspar online aftercare provides an appropriate aftercare service. Nearly 90 percent of patients’ expectations of Caspar Online aftercare were “met” or “more than met.” The same number of patients consider Caspar online aftercare to be “suitable” or “very suitable” for the treatment of their own medical conditions. (Descriptive evaluation of online aftercare with Caspar, DRV survey questionnaire on the evaluation of online rehab aftercare, IFR Ulm, 2020)

Caspar Clinic patients appreciate personal and individualized care. One of the main criteria for choosing digital aftercare is the added flexibility they get from Caspar. Users of the Caspar Clinic also love the fact that they can ask their therapists any questions. We are very proud of our user satisfaction feedback: Of 126 Caspar Clinic patients surveyed, 123 said they were “very satisfied” or “satisfied.”

Sabrina Rohde, Frank Merten

Sabrina Rohde, Frank Merten

…  expectations for the months ahead

The second lockdown has given another significant boost to the digital transformation of rehab. While this will probably level off at some time in 2021, it will leave some lasting changes. Clinics and patients, having experienced the benefits of digital therapy for themselves during the pandemic, won’t want to go back to the old “normal,” even if they could. And with such strong demand, competitors are sure to be drawn to this high potential market. The window of opportunity is still open, and both outpatient and inpatient rehab will increasingly turn to digital solutions because that is precisely what patients want. Hybrid models will come to the fore, as they combine the best of both worlds. We expect the market to grow rapidly, which means we are also likely to face increasing competition as new providers enter the scene.

Dr. Lara Maier, Dominik Blei

Dr. Lara Maier, Dominik Blei