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January 10, 2022
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2021: A Year in Review

As we step into 2022, we are full of hope and well-founded optimism. Although 2021 was yet another year marked by Covid-19, it was also a year of transformative growth and innovation in the digital therapeutics space.

At Sidekick Health, we continue to envision a world where digital care and in-person care intersect and support each other at various stages in the patient journey. By providing personalized digital health solutions and empowering people to manage their health and well-being, we believe we can facilitate a shift from reactive healthcare to proactive, patient-centric healthcare that improves operational and financial efficiencies, and brings health systems’ long-term strategies into reality.

We’re encouraged by the opportunities and possibilities we see for digital therapeutics in 2022, but before work can begin, let’s take a moment to appreciate and reflect on everything that’s happened in 2021—we have a lot to be grateful for.

Mind … our business

Making an Impact One Partnership at a Time

Improving the health of humanity requires strategic partnerships and a shared vision to improve and personalize healthcare. Sidekick has entered into new partnerships, which are due to be unveiled later this year, to develop evidence-based digital therapeutic solutions for people with chronic conditions.

  1. We’re getting ready to scale up our offering to large numbers of people battling chronic conditions in collaboration with a prominent US-based payer partner. We will be launching programs in at least five different therapeutic areas with this new partner which is an important step on our journey to improve the health of millions of people around the globe. Watch out for the upcoming news about this.
  2. In 2021, we entered into four new markets, and this year we will be expanding our global footprint to include the US, Canada and Japan, by rolling out in 14 new markets with one of our existing pharmaceutical partners.
  3. The global cancer burden is significant and increasing and Sidekick is proud to join the fight against this disease. We’ll be partnering with a major pharmaceutical company in 2022 and will start by supporting breast cancer patients in Germany, and later moving into other markets, by developing a combination treatment in the drug development phase, consisting of a traditional therapeutic and a digital therapeutic.

Doing Good by Doing Well

Doing good by doing well is a core belief within the Sidekick family, so we’ve made it possible for people to give back while also taking active steps to improve their own health and quality of life.

  • Sidekick has formed a partnership with charity: water, a non-profit organization tackling the water crisis by giving people in developing countries in Southeast Asia and Africa access to clean and safe drinking water. By allowing users to donate to the cause by collecting water drops in the Sidekick app we plan to make an impact on the lives of many across the globe.
  • So far, 113,200 liters of water have been donated to people in need through our app, and we’re excited to keep the project going with charity: water.

Want to learn more about implementing digital-first health solutions?

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Move … on up

Award-Winning Technology

In a great year for industry feedback, Sidekick is honored and humbled to have won several awards.

  • We were included in CB Insights 150 from a pool of over 11,000 digital health start-up companies. It’s an incredibly competitive group with many companies making positive change, and we are privileged to be a part of it.
  • Sidekick was also selected as one of the winners in the Digital Health category in the Tech Tour Health 2021 Programme, placing us among the top 40+ European Medtech and Digital Health companies seeking series A, B + later stage investments.
  • Sifted cemented our place as part of a growing and vibrant Nordic health tech community by recognizing Sidekick Health as one of the Nordic startups and scale-ups to watch in 2021.
  • Nordic Life Science News recognized Sidekick Health as a life science star of 2021.

Medical and Research are Full Steam Ahead

Enabling people to make long-lasting changes to their behavior, helping them to better adhere to medical treatment and, ultimately, improve their health requires a deep respect for medical evidence and research.

  • We are continuing our successful efforts to gather the evidence to back up our medical claims, with three clinical studies currently underway—a peripheral arterial disease (PAD) randomized controlled trial in Sweden, a heart failure study and an atopic dermatitis pilot study in Iceland.
  • Our roadmap for 2022 includes a grand total of 19 products/diseases in five different therapeutic groups (cardiovascular, metabolic, inflammation and immunology, oncology, and behavioral/mental)—13 of these are currently being worked on with the rest due to kick off in 2022.
  • In addition to this, we are delighted to be accepting users for our live programs in eight therapeutic areas.

Adding More Talent to the Team

Improving the health of humanity at scale takes talent, teamwork, and bags of commitment.

  • We have expanded our team from 40 Sidekickers at the beginning of the year to a total of 117 Sidekickers at the end of 2021. These incredibly talented people are working from nine different countries across the globe. New offices in Berlin and Boston are serving as hubs to give people the chance to connect and work together in person. This tremendous growth and injection of talent has enabled us to build new digital solutions that deliver personalized and precise support to the people with chronic illnesses such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.
  • Our team is still growing—would you like to join us? Take a look at our openings.

Food … for thought

Voices in the Media

In 2021, our team members were recognized for their contribution and work towards our goal of improving the health of humanity.

  • Our CEO, Tryggvi Thorgeirsson, was featured in Authority Magazine’s series about healthcare leaders.
  • Tryggvi also participated in McKinsey’s digital health podcast which focused on the role of gamification in disease management.
  • Our Chief Medical Officer, Sam Oddsson, was featured in Dr Paul Tunnah’s Health Innovators video series on PharmaPhorum. If you missed it, you can listen to a recording here.
  • Ólafur Viggósson, our CPTO, talked to Izzy Murphy at TechRound about gamification in digital health, being an informed captain, and his hopes for Sidekick.
  • In an interview with Nordic Life Science, our CMCO, Gulli Arnason, discusses the future of digital therapeutics and Sidekick’s role in filling a void in chronic disease treatment.
  • In the summer of last year, FirstWord HealthTech reported on Sidekick’s presentation of research at the European Crohn’s and Colitis Organisation (ECCO) congress. This research suggests that our digital therapeutic platform provides a “feasible and possibly an effective way” of improving disease management among patients with ulcerative colitis. In a separate study, we have shown that a support programme offered through our platform for patients with inflammatory bowel disease led to better patient-reported stress and energy levels in a real-world setting.  

Looking Ahead

As we head into 2022, we are eager to put the learnings of 2021 into practice, and look forward to embracing the opportunities and challenges that are waiting for us. Thank you for being part of our journey so far; if you’d like to hear more of our news, please subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on social media.

Interested in partnering with us? Or, do you want to learn more about the digital therapeutics space? Sign-up for The Sidebar now. (Don’t worry, you can unsubscribe at any time.)

About the author

Bronwyn Hemus

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