FitTech Insider

Which exercise is the best pill for me, Tobias Klimpel?

Exercises is called to be medicine. But which training helps best? Tobias Klimpel's app aims to provide users with indivual answers. He is the Co-founder and Co-CEO of Medicalmotion. And our interview guest today.

This app aims to alleviate pain personally. User answer a few questions like "Your previous illnesses and current complaints?" or "Which sports do you do?" - and the app will provide them with precisely and individually selected exercises. The app advertises that it provides people with therapies for more pain types than any other digital solution. The name of the app: Medicalmotion. One of the founders of this start-up is Tobias Klimpel.

Let's start with problems, Tobias. On the basis of which observed problems did your start-up launch?
Currently, about 80 percent of the world’s population suffers from body pain. Although exercises is called to be medicine, there is no method to recommend the best exercise(s) for each patient based on their specific disease(s), pain type, lifestyle and physiology. Due to the fact that everyone is different, each individual patient requires a unique ‘dosage’, or a type of exercise medication. This should be different for each patient and adapt to changes in their daily routine and physiology, which a huge amount of medical knowledge, data and processing capabilities.

About Tobias Klimpel
Tobias Klimpel, born in 1991, studied industrial engineering and then founded the company medicalmotion with his brother in 2017. Since then, he serves medicalmotion with his brother as Co-CEO and Co-Founder.

He is one of the speakers for the "Meeting Point Health & Wellness" at FIBO, which takes place this year from 4 to 7 November. The focus of his expertise for FIBO is the topic of technological development in the health sector at the trade show.

What assumptions did you have about your potential customers at the beginning of your journey - and how have these evolved over time?
Since my brother and I suffered from the various pains and diagnoses ourselves for years, we first came up with the idea for ourselves. Then the more we talked about it, we noticed how many people suffer from pain. And not only from back pain, but even pain while jogging was a common occurrence among our circle of friends. If you look to reports about pain, almost everyone suffers from some kind of pain. With millions googling for exercises for pain/diagnosis only in Germany, the need was clear to us, but it was difficult to know what could really satisfy the demand and what was expected.

And what could satisfy the demand?
We were developing for more than 2 years behind doors with a small customer base to find out what people with pain are really looking for. That was way more complex than we thought, since not only the age and gender differentiated the requirements, but also chronic or acute pain, the fitness level and relationship to doctors and physiotherapist were critical factors. In the end, we were surprised to see that 91% of our users now report multiple areas of pain, despite the fact that there are currently mainly apps for single indications. What we also didn't assume was how alternate exercise recommendations need to be so that our users stay tuned. This was a huge challenge for us, as the dynamic recommendations over time must of course always be appropriate for the user as well and not simply another exercise can be recommended. Ultimately, however, all this leads to the fact that every second user is still using our app after 2 months, which are super good numbers for us.

Exercise as a pill: "Therapy and prevention of currently more than 100 different diseases, for example migraine, tinnitus, back pain, tennis elbow, shoulder pain or heel spurs." (@medicalmotion)

Let's talk about your solution, about your app ...
If one could recommend exactly the right exercises for each patient, they would be able to treat their health condition properly and thus transform the impact of their therapy. And that’s where our smart, CE-certified and AI-based Medicalmotion app takes them. We’ve developed the most comprehensive solution to pain in a single app.
Unlike other digital therapies that focus on single diseases and use static training plans, our digital solution provides real-time exercise recommendations for multiple disease at the same time. As a result, we help with the therapy and prevention of currently more than 100 different diseases, for example migraine, tinnitus, back pain, tennis elbow, shoulder pain or heel spurs. Moreover, our platform interconnects interdisciplinary medical knowledge and data that has been scattered over many years to provide a safe and individual solution for every user.

What challenges did you encounter in the development process?
Working on the recommendations for the individualized exercises was the most complex thing we’ve ever done. It was an incredible amount of work. Each person should theoretically have their own app because there is so much individuality, complexity and contraindication. There are billions of ways to recommend effective exercises to patients. Research results abound, though rarely conclusive and, worse, often contradictory. Therefore, after many attempts and thousands of hours of work, we almost came to the point of actually giving up. We considered just giving up, despite many years of work, because it was the most complexity we had ever seen as engineers. But our team and our vision to help other people live better, healthier lives kept us going.

App Medicalmotion: "Platform interconnects interdisciplinary medical knowledge and data." (@medicalmotion)

Where is the market heading from your point of view?
Most reports on digital health show that the Corona Crisis has driven digitization in medicine and therapy and increased adoption. I think that we still have a long way to go, especially in the sense that we can convince patients to bring them real added value. Especially in our field, that means reducing pain, increasing well-being, and changing behavior in everyday life - since you're dealing with people in pain in the healthcare field, it's important to make sure you can really help them, and of course that requires a very sophisticated solution that has to be developed and tested for a long time.

Therefore, I think that the quality requirements for the effectiveness and usability of medical apps will increase more and more, and thus will differ greatly from wellness apps. You can already see this, for example, in the fact that medical apps can now be prescribed in Germany by doctors.

Besides that, I see challenges that the digital health industry faces and will face more and more, for example: Regulatory and legal frameworks, consumer concerns about security and privacy, interoperability issues and usability issues for patients and providers.