Skinuvita is developing a digital home therapy system for people with chronic skin diseases that enables safe and efficient phototherapy in the comfort of their own homes.

Phototherapy is an established first-line treatment for chronic autoimmune skin diseases such as psoriasis, atopic dermatitis or vitiligo. Despite high efficacy, good tolerability and an attractive cost/benefit ratio for moderate severity, it cannot be used in many cases. The core problem lies in its low practicability. A successful therapy cycle usually requires a total of 30 radiation sessions, 3-6 sessions per week, in a dermatological institution. For many patients, this amount of time cannot be reconciled with their professional or family obligations. In addition, there is the problem that in rural regions there are often no dermatological facilities with appropriate therapy equipment available. The consequence is a high prescription rate of immunosuppressive drugs (chemotherapy or biologics). However, these are associated with more severe side effects and significantly higher annual therapy costs.

According to dermatological guidelines, phototherapy in home treatment is possible in principle, demanded by patient associations and has been established in neighbouring European countries such as the Netherlands for some time. Nevertheless, the specific safety requirements of the guideline cannot be guaranteed with current technology. Thus, home therapy hardly plays a role in the current everyday care, as doctors are critical of prescribing it and many health insurance companies refuse to cover the costs.

Award from the Vision Health Pioneers Incubator

Based on that, the startup project Skinuvita at the University of Bremen (LEMEX) was launched to develop new technological perspectives for safe and guideline-based home treatment. In cooperation with leading dermatologists, health insurance companies and patient associations, the specific safety requirements were developed and connected to technological solution concepts from the fields of telemedicine, Internet of Things and artificial intelligence.

Thanks to promising results and awards, the foundation stone was thus laid for a spin-off consisting of an interdisciplinary team from the departments of computer science, health economics, digital media and entrepreneurship.