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Can a single number paint an accurate picture of health? This company thinks it can

May 6, 2021, 9:14 PM UTC

Good afternoon, readers.

Peter Ohnemus is, by his own admission, a bit of an odd cookie. The founder and CEO of digital health platform Dacadoo has taken three separate companies public in Europe with plans for yet another IPO in his current labor of love. He also does things like implant chips into himself to keep a record of glucose levels that he hopes can eventually be leveraged into tracking other biometrics (seriously).

Ohnemus and I spoke at length today about his ambitions for digital health, and his goal is just as simple as it would be transformative: Break down human biology into an easy-to-understand “Wheel of Life” base score that incorporates everything from your daily physical activity to your sleeping habits. (It also ranks you anywhere from 1 to 1,000. The lower your score, the higher likelihood that you’re about to drop dead.)

This information can be pulled in via smart devices or collated from existing electronic health records, which becomes much more convenient for a company like Dacadoo given its key relationships with insurers and health providers around the world.

“We currently have 35 of the top 100 life and health insurance companies as clients, and they have under contract 200 million individual lives,” Ohnemus tells me. “And we are planning to get at least 10% to 20% of those lives covered.” Put another way: The firm thinks it can get anywhere from 20 million to 40 million people to use its services via these partnerships, which encompass giants like Cigna, UnitedHealth, and major health companies across Europe, the Americas, and Asia.

The concept of digitizing health certainly isn’t new. Heck, you can read a headline more or less every day about a new “game-changing” company in the space. But Ohnemus says Dacadoo has a secret sauce which blends artificial intelligence with its industry alliances.

The ability to converge both existing, static data from medical records while also using machine learning to keep tabs, and offer advice, on best medical habits is a two-pronged approach that’s at the crux of digital health firms’ ability to make a difference. And that’s precisely what the company has set out to do.

“Everything is on a Microsoft Cloud, a private cloud. It’s available all around the world,” says Ohnemus. “So we have our own data center in America, we have our own data center in Asia, and we have our own data center in Europe. So we run 24/7. We run it like a stock exchange.”

Like any founder, he believes this is just the beginning. But that roster of health care partnerships is nothing to shake your head at.

Read on for the day’s news, and see you again next Thursday.

Sy Mukherjee


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