News / Press

11. March 2022

Video patient education before the op

The start-up medudoc is developing a platform for customisable explainer videos that visualise the most common operations in short sequences

Unburdening hospitals: Sonja Brei and medudoc © WISTA Management GmbH

The medudoc Group creates explainer videos that provide patients with well-founded information about the process and possible risks of medical procedures. The team is growing and on course for more internationalisation.

Before an artificial hip can be put in, a broken knee fixed, or cataract-clouded lenses can be replaced, medical staff must inform patients about the procedure and the risks of the operation, including anaesthesia. This was typically done in a face-to-face conversation that differ strongly for participants. Practitioners explain the planned operation for the umpteenth time and reel off a redundant routine, while, for patients, the situation is typically quite exceptional. Many times, they will only now find out in detail what awaits them. A mixture of fear, respect for the “gods in white”, and a lack of understanding can lead to them missing many details. Although, during the conversation, they might feel that they understood everything, patients are often unable to reproduce what was said and are rarely able to answer all the questions of their relatives.

While unsatisfactory for both sides, this situation could soon change. The young medudoc Group from Adlershof is developing a platform for customisable explainer videos that visualise the most common operations in short sequences. Moreover, the op’s procedure and the risks are explained in German and English. “We soon want to offer it in Turkish, Russian, and other languages,” says Sonja Brei, chief financial officer of the start-up, which was founded in 2020.

The advantages of this audiovisual education are obvious. Patients can watch the videos at their leisure and as often as they like, bring in relatives or friends, and jot down specific questions they would like to clarify ahead of meeting their doctor. Doctors, in turn, do not have to repeat the basics ahead of every op, but can focus on responding to open questions in a prepared meeting—and still meet their obligations under liability law to provide information and documentation. While pre-op meetings were now half as long on average, their quality increased measurably. “Thanks to the audiovisual support, the rate of comprehension goes up significantly to 80 percent. And 99 percent of the respondents state they find our videos helpful,” says Brei.

This could be down to to the fact that medudoc brings together experienced doctors with IT and video professionals to create the videos. More and more video sequences are added to the platform. Medical practitioners can select and compile personalised clips tailored to the age, gender, and other personal characteristics of their respective patients just by clicking the mouse. In the long run, they are planning explainer videos for the 200 most common operations. Even though surgical methods are not the same everywhere, the start-up is planning the rapid internationalisation of its services. Hospitals in Switzerland and Germany are already using the explainer videos. With its now 16 members, the team have been putting out its feelers to the US now, too. Their software solution is either marketed directly to hospitals or as a module to IT service providers whose hospital information systems or patient portals are already established at the market.

While the team is working on expanding the trove of video sequences and sales reps are calling on clinics, Brei is putting together a financing plan for the planned expansion. “We are looking to grow our staff and have many different job vacancies right now,” she says. For this reason, too, Michael Horacek, medudoc’s founder, started the company with a two-track approach, moving the headquarters to Switzerland and development to Berlin. With its unique flair and a high density of universities, the city attracts talent from all over the world. The team do not think that the distance between the two locations will create problems with communicating. How could it? Their concept is based on the fact that communication sometimes works better digitally than in a face-to-face meeting.

By Peter Trechow for Adlershof Journal