Migrevention was established by Katrina Laks, along with three other founders, with a mission to build the first-ever digital headache clinic. It may sound specific, but there are more than 1.4 billion people worldwide suffering from migraines and other types of primary headaches.
Most of them would genuinely benefit from better evidence-based treatment, to gain control over their own health and lead a high-quality life with this disease. Yet the treatment is not accessible to everyone, and many do not even seek help. The Migrevention team is working hard to change that by providing an affordable and personalized solution for headache sufferers.
Investors believe in this premise. In 2020, Migrevention started a partnership with Quretec and Connected Health Cluster and got a €25,000 grant from the European Regional Development Fund for the “Migrevention digital headache clinic” project implementation. In January 2022, the company completed a €355k pre-seed round led by Dag Nurm alongside other investors experienced in healthcare, tech, legal and startup sectors.
Headache relief goes digital
Besides having a natural interest in biotech and health tech innovations as a PhD candidate in chemistry and genetic engineering at TalTech, Katrina has a significant personal history of migraines herself. Eight years ago she had to learn to speak and walk again due to extreme complications from the disease. Thankfully, she managed to fully overcome this tragedy, thanks to countless hours of therapy and medical help, and the experience made her a passionate advocate for migraine and headache patients.
It’s hard to overestimate the importance. Migraines could be a symptom of a more significant medical issue, so diagnosing them is essential. Migrevention aims to provide a comprehensive diagnosis for patients to identify the root cause of the headaches and offer personalized treatment plans.
Laks admits that digital innovation in headache treatment and management holds huge potential, both for patients and healthcare providers. “Only 1-4% of migraine patients get evidence-based treatment, which really is scientifically proven as the most efficient way,” she says. “At the same time, the medical costs for treating migraines reach up to 150 billion euros per year in the EU alone. Managing headache patients in a traditional way brings a huge burden to the healthcare system, with no real quality advantage in treatment compared to digital therapeutics.”
Migrevention Digital Headache Clinic, which has been mentioned recently by Sifted as one of the digital therapeutic startups to watch, is dedicated to supporting the headache management journey. Migrevention’s platform brings together several supportive solutions, such as the headache diary application followed by nurse counselling.
It means that the user takes responsibility for managing their own health by marking down episodes, pain levels, and possible triggers and taking medications in a digital diary. Then an asynchronous chat with a headache nurse helps identify problems and find fast solutions. Their fully digital therapeutic solution is already in a clinical intervention study, led by Tartu University Hospital.
Laks finds Estonia an ideal test bed for any starting company like Migrevention. “It is highly beneficial to first validate your wild ideas in such a small but tech- and science-savvy environment, before going after the rest of the world,” she says as the company is preparing for the expansion to the UK and Middle East.