Digital health company HiDoc Technologies GmbH, dba Cara Care, has teamed up with the Consumer Healthcare Business Unit of Sanofi Germany on a holistic approach to digestive health that bundles Sanofi’s Buscomint® bei Reizdarm pharmaceutical drug with Cara Care’s digital companion app for digestive conditions.
The IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) Program by Buscomint® and Cara Care is the first program1 to offer this type of approach to coping with this complex condition and is now available in Germany. The program features a new version of the Cara Care app that not only tracks symptoms and triggers, but also offers support to consumers from specialized dietitians. Available in Germany now, this new version of the Cara Care app will be launched in the U.S. later this calendar year.
The program’s objective is to offer those suffering from IBS symptoms a way to better assess the individual causes and symptoms, and treat them with appropriate medication. Bundling medicines with digital tools is a new trend in chronic disease management, and is growing in popularity as it aids adoption, personalization and compliance. For those suffering from IBS, combining Buscomint® with lifestyle-managing digital tools may help identify and better control symptom triggers.
IBS is a functional condition that is diagnosed using clinical criteria and is estimated to affect around 11 percent of the worldwide population. Of these, only around 30 percent seek medical care, typically due to the high levels of anxiety and lower quality of life that their symptoms present.2 From an economic perspective, it is estimated that annual healthcare expenditures for gastrointestinal disease in the United States total $136 billion, which is more than that for heart disease ($113 billion), trauma ($103 billion), and mental health ($99 billion).3 Cara Care offers a new digital dimension to digestive health management,4 helping to understand the symptoms, generate real-world evidence, and create individual health management plans in an effort to help people find a better quality of life.
“Irritable bowel syndrome is a complex functional disease with various individual triggers, which means that approaching it holistically can lead to better results,” said Dr. Stefan Lüth, professor at Brandenburg Medical School and head of internal medicine at Brandenburg Hospital. “I believe that digital tools, combined with medicines, can help deliver better outcomes by improving compliance and helping patients make crucial lifestyle changes.”
Cara Care is a pioneering digital gastrointestinal health startup. Available in German and English, the company’s Cara Care digital companion app offers an alternative approach to gastrointestinal healthcare, filling a gap in the journey of patients who spend most of their time outside general physician (GP) and gastroenterologist (GI) offices. To date, Cara Care has helped more than 500,000 people in Germany and the U.S. understand the symptoms of digestive diseases such as IBS, IBD (Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis), GERD and food intolerances.5 Cara Care is preparing to launch the Sanofi bundled product in additional European countries and is exploring similar partnerships in international markets for different categories of digestive health.
“We are thrilled to team up with Sanofi Consumer Healthcare Germany on this initiative to help deliver a more holistic approach to addressing digestive health. Since every individual has different triggers – including nutrition, lifestyle, stress and other psychological challenges – and therefore needs to manage his or her symptoms differently, we believe that a combined approach is important to help live a fuller life,” said Jesaja Brinkmann, co-founder and CEO of Cara Care. “We believe this model is the future of digestive health management and look forward to delivering additional collaborative, holistic solutions like this one in other markets.”
Founded in 2016 by Dr. André Sommer and Jesaja Brinkmann, Cara Care developed its digital app to span medication management, dietary and mental health interventions to improve gastrointestinal health. In 2018, the company extended its offer in Germany to offer paid remote medical nutrition therapy, which is already subsidized by 90 percent of German health insurance companies. In this market, certified nutritionists advise patients in a series of telemedical sessions, which increases flexibility and efficiency for both the company and the patient. The company is working to expand existing partnerships and create new ones with other important players in the patient journey, including those in the pharmaceutical, diagnostic laboratories, and food manufacturing industries.
About Cara Care
Berlin-based digital health company HiDoc Technologies GmbH, dba Cara Care, offers the Cara Care digital companion app for digestive health conditions, which includes medication documentation as well as dietary and psychological interventions to support gastrointestinal health. The Cara Care app – available for iOS and Android – helps fill the gaps between doctor visits for gastrointestinal disease patients. Part of the Microsoft Accelerator, winner of the GlaxoSmithKline Transforming the Future of Self-Care Challenge in the category “Digital Health Technologies,” featured in Healthline’s Best Digestive Health Apps in 2019, and ranking among the most promising 18 digital therapeutic companies 2019 at CB Insights, Cara Care has raised more than $9 million in funding to date. For more information, visit https://cara.care/en.
Sanofi is a global company that helps people face the challenges posed by their health. Our vaccines help to prevent diseases. Our innovative medications relieve your pain and suffering. We not only help people with rare diseases, but also millions of people with chronic diseases. With more than 100,000 employees in 100 countries worldwide and approximately 9,000 employees in Germany, we translate scientific innovation into medical progress. Sanofi, Empowering Life.
1 The treatment of symptoms with Buscomint and accompanying use of the CARA CARE App to better recognise individual causes and symptoms.
2 Canavan, C., West, J., Card, T., “The epidemiology of irritable bowel syndrome,” Clinical Epidemology, Feb. 4, 2014, p. 1.
3 “Burden and Costs of Gastrointestinal Disease in the U.S.,” NJEM Journal Watch, John R. Saltzman, MD reviewing Peery AF et al. Gastroenterology Oct. 10, 2018. https://www.jwatch.org/na47723/2018/10/23/burden-and-costs-gastrointestinal-disease-us
4 “Therapies” refers only to relaxation techniques, psychoeducation, behavioural training and nutritional advice or lifestyle interventions and not to medical treatment.
5 Brinkmann, J.K. and Geigis, L., 2019. Cara Care: Einfluss einer E-Health-basierten low-FODMAP-Diät auf die Symptomschwere und Lebensqualität beim Reizdarmsyndrom. Zeitschrift für Gastroenterologie, 57(09), pp.KV-363. https://www.thieme-connect.com/products/ejournals/html/10.1055/s-0039-1695463