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🎙️ e-Estonia podcast: Dermtest’s CEO Priit Kruus: the shift towards value-based healthcare

In the most recent episode of our podcast, e-Estonia´s Digital Transformation Adviser Florian Marcus talks to Dermtest´s CEO Priit Kruus. Mr. Kruus who has also built the long-term solvency model for the Estonian Health Insurance Fund, is now leading Dermtest – a startup that gives doctors the digital tools to manage the skin, skin problems and wounds better. The company has ca 60 different hospitals, family doctors, and private clinics in its client portfolio. 

Priit Kruus, the CEO of Dermtest, shared with our speaker Florian Marcus that Dermtest is mainly a communication tool.

“It enables visual communication and also has some quality metrics plus decision-support capabilities. As a doctor or nurse, you can very easily store, capture, add, share visual information and medical photos. And this is very important because this particular field of medicine is highly visual, and having high-quality photos is very relevant and these photos will help cover different phases of the care to be given to the patient,” Kruus said.

Currently, Dermtest has about 60 different hospitals, family doctors, and private clinics on its client list. “We have a total of +200K cases managed and we are constantly evaluating our impact. We have evaluated that it has brought about 15M euros of savings to the society.”

The beginning

Dermtest started as an early skin cancer detection tool. “We started with fighting melanoma by enabling early detection,” Kruus reminisces.“But we saw that this was a very niche market and a couple of years ago we decided to expand and build our software in a way that we can cover different visually heavy use cases. So now we have a really important tool to have in a healthcare organisation.”

The setup

Kruus goes on to say the company has done a lot of integrations with existing information systems, the main ones in Estonia so that it would be as seamless as possible for doctors to start using this.

“We have specific pathways – in a smaller clinic it can be started in just a few days; it doesn’t need extensive training. But in hospitals, it’s a bit more difficult – there are many departments, many compliance procedures, etc. But we have a couple of big hospitals – with a yearly care caseload of ca 300,000 people visiting – and it was still quite easy to get them started with Dermtest.”

Fully GDPR compliant

Dermtest is fully GDPR compliant, having completed their GDPR audit in Germany four years ago already. “I think GDPR is a good thing, by the way,” the CEO of Dermtest says.” It evens the landscape all across Europe. It isn’t so burdensome when you’re dealing with healthcare. In Europe, so far, we have implemented our software in Lithuania, Moldova, and Germany.” Germany, apparently, has about three thousand melanoma deaths a year which makes Dermtest software a really important detection tool to prevent the death toll.

Kruus´s background is in health policy research and having built the long-term solvency model for the Estonian Health Insurance Fund, he knows quite a bit about how public insurance works and he is in the game for the long run. “ Thus far we have been using financing and payment models in healthcare which are suitable for the 20th century, maybe even the 19th. But if last year taught us anything it is that people don’t need to be in one room with other people to do a lot of things, including many of the procedures in healthcare, right? So I know Dermtest´s business journey takes time, but we’ll get there!”

If you are interested in what Dermtest is doing and planning in the near future, you should tune in and listen to our podcast 👇

🎧Available on Apple Podcast and Spotify:

🎧…and on Soundcloud

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