For the second year, Kickstart partnered with Building Trust in Healthcare, an event that took part in the brand new campus of unlimitrust by SICPA in Prilly. The key takeaway was the requirement of more collaboration between stakeholders to support innovation, move forward, and increase value for patients and society at large. This is a shared goal at the core of both unlimitrust and Kickstart’s missions.
Our CEO & Co-Founder Katka Letzing had the pleasure of participating in a panel around the question “How to bring the entrepreneurial spirit to the startups - coaching & mentoring?” alongside Lennig Pedron, CEO of the Trust Valley initiative, Dirk Steller, Founder / Managing Partner at Seed Space Venture Capital and Raphael Gottardo Entrepreneur and Director of the Biomedical Data Science Center at CHUV.
We were happy to take the opportunity to sit down with Martin Hahn, CEO of QuantActions, a #Kickstarter23 startup from our Health and Wellbeing cohort, when he finished his pitch at the event, to shed some light on his perspective of the healthcare system and how QuantActions is paving the way towards improved cognitive performance.
What was the inspiration behind QuantActions?
One of QuantActions' founders, Arko Ghosh, did a PhD in neuroscience at ETH. He subsequently continued his research at University College London and at the University of Zurich, of which QuantActions is a spin-off in 2016. Arko and I are friends from before that, and he asked me to join QuantActions in 2020, to complement the team with my background in business and finance.
Our goal is to make insights to the brain accessible, economical, and available in a way that is unprecedented. The brain is a kind of black box, and to understand it, you can look at behavior such as changes in speech, pupil dilation, walking, etc in order to indirectly infer information about the state of a person's brain. In our case, we use the event of touches on the screen of the smartphone, a device that is available to anyone. Our main business model is providing an SDK (Software Development Kit) that can integrate this capability into the native apps of our clients, such as health insurance or employee health solution providers.
You developed a method for cognitive assessment based on the passive collection of data, how do you achieve this?
One of the parameters we are working with is cognitive processing speed - how fast the brain can process information. Our solution tracks the timing patterns of smartphone touches, like how fast a person types. This is captured in millisecond resolution, which allows identifying very subtle changes in behavior over time. Typically, the taps slow down when people are tired, chronically stressed, aging, or with certain diseases. Our solution can then show trends over time, allowing the user to better understand their status and how certain lifestyle choices (like exercise, sleep, or nutrition) could have an impact.
What is your USP compared to companies offering similar assessments?
There are not many companies doing what we do. Our solution doesn’t require wearables which is good for scalability. Our users don't need to give daily inputs, the app runs passively in the background of the phone. Even more importantly, our app is also privacy-preserving, we only capture anonymized timing patterns (no content), and it only gets shared in aggregated form and with the consent of the user.
What are the next milestones in your development?
In the next 3 to 6 months, we will focus on traction and customers, our current focus is on employee health platforms or health applications to integrate our SDK into their app.
In the long term, we want to support monitoring healthy populations to enable early detection of diseases such as stroke or epilepsy. Ultimately, we want to become the most scalable brain health platform in the world.
Why are events such as Building Trust in Healthcare important, especially for scaleups?
Events like "Building Trust in Healthcare" are crucial for scaleups because they provide a platform for establishing connections and nurturing relationships, which are key in the tightly-knit healthcare community, particularly in Switzerland. This focus on trust-building is essential in an industry where collaboration and network integration can significantly impact business growth and innovation.
About QuantActions: QuantActions is a neuroscience startup that provides highly scalable brain health data, initially for employee health and in subsequently healthcare.
CEO of QuantActions