Disrupt yourself - smartwatch diagnoses

8 September 2023
Everyone needs forward-looking innovations and must communicate them in the long term. Three basic elements

Every company including the Hamburg-based spin-off dpv-Analytics dreams of taking markets by storm, always being a step ahead of rivals and the added bonus of enthusiastic employees, who enjoy changes. Founded by doctors at the Cardiologicum in Hamburg, dpv-Analytics aims to come up with AI-assisted means of treating strokes and set new standards for both heart and stroke prophylaxis, which is the number one cause of death in Germany. Every fourth stroke  is caused by cardiac arrhythmia and could be prevented. Hamburg News reports regularly on companies that have conquered new markets thanks to exponential innovation and AI in co-operation with the Exponential Innovation Institute (EXII) . 

Use of AI analysis software 

The dpv team, led by Philip Nölling, and EXII, have come up with an exponential growth strategy. Unlike linear-growth business models, their product is designed with potential for exponential scaling and to become a market leader. The  smart heart screening system "Myritmo" is the company's main product. It consists of the Ritmo wireless mini ECG, AI-driven analytical software. Each screening is validated by a doctor. The Myritmo system can be leased by doctors, requires no further investment and can be installed in any practice in minutes.

Myritmo's growth strategy

The issue of generating exponential growth for Myritmo arose. Then the company quickly designated its latest product "Cardio Check" as a growth catalyst, based on scalable initial diagnosis of short-term ECGs by a smartwatch. Wearers simply send the recordings to cardio@myritmo.de and receive a medically validated result within one working day. Thanks to highly automated, scalable processes as well as a clear customer orientation, Cardio Check aims to position itself in the fast-growing analysis market for short-term ECGs from the start.

The growth strategy has evolved in several small loops or sprints to uncover what customers will ultimately accept, i.e., in co-creation with them. Prototypes are developed and tested in loops, experiments and hypotheses. The mindset of leadership, agility and the willingness to reinvent oneself and one's product repeatedly are crucial to innovation.

Dr. Philip Nölling and Dr. Stephan Kranz, founders of dpv

Success with agile methods

Design thinking or customer perception of a product help shape the customer journey. The many loops require a new mindset for error culture. "The most important task is to develop a new leadership mindset. Until now, bosses told us what to do. Now, the employees tell us where they need support. This mindset has to be learned," says Uve Samuels, Managing Director of EXII. Nölling added: "Agile methods have allowed us to raise the product's potential on the market. We were able to increase the speed and quality of decisions by a factor of ten in each case." Meanwhile, the system has won several awards, including the renowned German Medical Award. "DPV Analytics is a prime example of cultural change and shows that the introduction of agile methods can turn a growth strategy into reality step by step," Samuels stressed. 

Glossary of agile methods


A: Design Thinking

A new product is developed in five successive steps namely empathy, definition, ideas, prototypes and tests. A team with different skillsets and perspectives steers the procedure. The new product is optimised constantly and in co-operation with customers.

B: Kanban

Developed by Japan's Toyota car manufacturer, this project management method optimises the speed and quality of a new product. The individual development steps are documented on an instruction board. By focusing on the most important and urgent issues, unwanted developments in the organisation are avoided.

C: Lean Startup

The individual traits of a product e.g., target group, subscription model, price model, story, positioning are tested on the market and optimised in several, swift loops. To this end, the product is built (Build), feedback is collected (Measure) and findings are evaluated (Learn).

D: Scrum

Using this method, IT teams develop new products in sprints. The product is broken down into individual building blocks and then developed in sprints lasting one to four weeks.

E: Objectives and Keq Results (OKR)

Emphasis is on the the targeted goal. Based thereon, the team defines the criteria for achieving goals or so-called Keq Results with the leader. The team literally "sprints" to achieve these goals and overcomes obstacles to product development through targeted learning phases.

This article was written in co-operation with Uve Samuels of the Exponential Innovation Institute.


Sources and further information

Exponential Innovation Institute

The Hamburg-based Exponential Innovation Institute (EXII) lends its support to corporations, start-ups and institutions and helps develop products and business models for the world and economy of tomorrow. EXII is among the founders of the AI Startup Hub in Hamburg. Backed by AI Hamburg, the Artificial Intelligence Center Hamburg (ARIC), Hamburg Innovation, MLE Machine Learning in Engineering of TU Hamburg and German Entrepreneurship GmbH, innovative start-ups learn to implement AI on behalf of the federal government. The institute has researched the rules for exponential growth all over Europe.


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