13th October 2021
Seven months since signing the agreement between Roche Italy and EIT Health-supported start-up PatchAI, the innovative app “Roche Smart Health Companion” is officially in patients’ and medical doctors’ hands.
Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, patient engagement has changed globally. In Italy, the Association of Medical Oncology (AIOM) reported a decrease of 30% in the first visits for diagnosing and a 36% decrease in physical visits. Especially patients with life-threatening diseases, like cancer, have suffered greatly. In many cases, they experienced postponed treatment, cancelled biopsies, or limited access to GPs.
This challenge was tackled by PatchAI and Roche Italy. The Smart Health Companion, designed by the team of Alessandro Monterosso, CEO of PatchAI, automates patient monitoring, provides validated answers in a conversational way, gives an opportunity to arrange a tele-visit or choose other medical services, which are integrated with the app. Thanks to artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies, it enables personalised, empathetic, and solid support as well as keeps the medical doctor up to date, not letting a single detail be missed. It is free of charge and available in Italian in app stores. According to Dr. Kumara Prasad Palanivel, co-founder of PatchAi, preliminary data on patients using the PatchAi solution show protocol adherence up to 95%, significantly higher than other applications on the market today and up to 9 times higher than paper solutions.
This project is a step towards the digital transformation of healthcare in Italy, creating a more sustainable and efficient healthcare system.
“Italian start-ups are strong in healthcare innovations. Many of them are still in the early stage, but at the same time, they have become very competitive in the European market. I am amazed at how PatchAI has grown for the last 3 years. Starting with InnoStars Awards, they went through the EIT Health start-up journey, gaining the trust of VC and such a giant as Roche Italy. It exemplifies the growing maturity and readiness for a digital solution on the Italian market. I am sure we can support much more such innovative products” – said Chiara Maiorino, EIT Health Ecosystem Lead for Italy.
EIT Health has been supporting PatchAI since 2019, through bootcamps and trainings in the InnoStars Awards as well as the EIT Health Catapult, where they reached Finals. As Alessandro admits it definitely helped his team to close a € 1.7 million round through the EIT Health Investor Network as well as scale internationally and partnership with Roche.
“Once you become alumni and stay proactive, EIT Health will keep supporting and helping you. You marry with EIT Health, and you stay with them for the rest of your company lifetime” – stated Alessandro Monterosso during Rise to the Challenge event.
 AI di Oncologia Medica, 2020, I Numeri del Cancaro in Italia, Internmedia Editore [Online] Avalaible at <https://www.aiom.it/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/2020_Numeri_Cancro-operatori_web.pdf >