Cystic fibrosis is one of the most common life-shortening inherited diseases. In Germany, about 8,000 people are affected, and 300 babies are born with cystic fibrosis each year. Still, there is no cure for the disease. The treatment of the disease can take several hours to a day. To make this easier and more understandable for children, the Hamburg startup Birds and Trees develop the app “Patchie”. For children, “Patchie” is a companion for the children. For their parents, the app provides access practical functions.
Cystic fibrosis is caused by the mutation of a gene called cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR). This gene defect results in the production of thick mucus in the internal organs causing inflammation, frequent lung infections and digestive problems. One in 20 people is a carrier of one impaired gene without knowing it and can therefore pass the impaired gene on to his or her children. If two carriers have a child, there is a probability of 1 in 4 of the child being affected by cystic fibrosis. Thanks to improvement in symptomatic therapy life expectancy has been enhanced to around 35 years.
To develop the children’s therapy app, the team is currently running a crowdfunding campaign on startnext.de and nordstarter.de. Even though only 5,000 euros are enough to finalise the first phase, total funds of 75,000 euro will be needed to ensure the app’s successful market entry. This includes a German and English version of the app, allowing children to playfully pursue their therapy and earn rewards. Furthermore, “Patchie” includes a therapy planner for parents and children, guidance on treatments and medications, and offers up-to-date news on the disease as well as information for child care provided by third parties.
Further 90,000 euro will be needed for the next phase, with translations into French and Spanish foreseen along with an additional focus on the friends of the sick children. Last but not least, additional applications like “Patchie Fit” are to be developed to support children in their necessary sports activities in the final phase (140,000 €).
Ten employees are involved in the development of the application. Located in Hamburg-Harburg since May 2014, the startup “Birds and Trees” has already been successfully introducing the mobile game “Soledad” to support the UN Refugee Agency. The new “Patchie” project is supported by the registered German Association “Cystic Fibrosis Association – Department of Cystic Fibrosis (CF)”. Even though Marc Kamps, CEO of Birds and Trees, developed the app for personal reasons, the app could easily be adopted other treat other diseases. A fact that will be given more consideration after Patchie’s successful launch.
- Therapie-Begleiter "Patchie" © Birds and Trees UG