Blogstories: The Boost Thyroid App

We think that it’s about time to learn a little more about the people behind each of the six early stage companies in our accelerator, and what drives them to innovate and challenge the status quo. Starting with Boost Thyroid, we will turn the spotlight on their team, idea and why FTMO chose to invest in them.

#1 Boost Thyroid

The story of Boost Thyroid is a classic example of: “If you want something done, do it yourself.” That is what CEO Dr. Vedrana Högqvist Tabor decided to do after years of struggling with an autoimmune disease named after the Japanese doctor who first described it: Hashimoto’s. Vedra and her team developed an app for Hashimoto’s patients that allows them to be in control of their condition, ultimately preventing health complications.

Why is this important?

While you may not have heard of Hashimoto’s before, you almost certainly know someone who has it. An estimated 200 million people have been diagnosed with Hashimoto's and underactive thyroid. (Compare this to the approximately 425 million people worldwide who suffer from diabetes). Hashimoto is also on the rise due to increased consumption of processed food, plastic in our environment, and lack of sun exposure. On top of that, 60% of people who suffer from Hashimoto’s and underactive thyroid go undiagnosed and suffer serious health problems.  

The symptoms of Hashimoto’s are widespread rather than rare complaints; they range from fatigue, weight gain to digestive problems and depression. In fact, Hashimoto’s might be one of the most neglected diseases in terms of medical research, comprehensive treatment, and public awareness.

Ok, but what exactly is Hashimoto’s?

Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune disease that causes the thyroid gland to become underactive. The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped organ that sits in the front of your neck. While you might never have worried about it, it constantly produces hormones which are important for your metabolism, fat storage, fertility, and many other processes in your body.

And what is the problem to solve?

Because it is a slowly progressing condition, people who suffer from Hashimoto’s go undiagnosed for a long time or worse, get the wrong diagnosis that tackles only one of their symptoms. That might explain why there is plenty of research on cancer, fertility, heart disease, dementia, etc., namely all the areas that are affected by the thyroid, while the thyroid itself tends to be overlooked as the root of symptoms.

The journey from experiencing first symptoms to getting the diagnosis of an underactive thyroid is long and frustrating. Hashimoto patient and Boost Thyroid user Kelly describes her experience as physically draining:

“I discovered I had Hashimoto’s after several years of misdiagnoses and treatments that were targeted towards my symptoms but not the underlying cause. I knew something wasn’t right because I was in my early 20s but felt exhausted all the time. I would come home from work drained of all my energy. Even though I was sleeping 9–10 hours a night, I still struggled to get up in the morning.”

Kelly, Hashimoto’s patient

What does the app contribute?

The Boost Thyroid app helps people diagnosed with Hashimoto’s to keep track of their symptoms, medications, lifestyle and weight through a 5-point intensity scale. You can set reminders and analyze your weekly or monthly trends through graphs. No more handwritten journals needed; Boost Thyroid takes care of that and even provides scientific information on thyroid health, hypothyroidism, and Hashimoto’s.

The Boost Thyroid App

Boost Thyroid provides personalized, actionable information on a daily basis which helps improve patient-doctor conversations. The app also has a chatbot, Hashiboto, that users can ask thyroid-related questions. It’s practical features moreover make the app valuable for people who suspect they have an underactive thyroid.

What is the goal?

Vedra and her team are working on three fronts: raising awareness about thyroid health, helping patients to regain control over their condition, and generating data, thereby adding to the medical science on Hashimoto’s and its different stages.

“When people say they have diabetes, everyone knows that they get the whole treatment, which includes meetings with doctors, adjustment of diet and lifestyle, and tracking of blood sugar levels. Our goal is to spread awareness about Hashimoto’s, so that one day it goes without saying that it is a condition that needs the same level of comprehensive treatment.”

Dr. Vedrana Högqvist Tabor, CEO/co-founder of Boost Thyroid

The good news is that with the right dosage of supplements, diet, and lifestyle Hashimoto’s is much easier to live with. Boost Thyroid continues to work to improve the quality of life for Hashimoto’s patients, and to drive progress in thyroid medicine and science.

What does FTMO say?

The team behind FTMO was especially surprised by how common thyroid health problems actually are. Having grasped the extent of the disease and acknowledged the outstanding experience and expertise of the Boost Thyroid team, with backgrounds from multiple successful startups such as Clue and Wrapp, the only thing left to do was to welcome them into the accelerator program.

“Boost Thyroid is one of the most exciting and disruptive apps in the health space and we are very excited to have them in our accelerator.”

Heidi Lindvall, Head of Accelerator at Fast Track Malmö

The team behind Boost Thyroid (l.t.r.): Pelle Almquist, CPO; Dr. Vedrana Högqvist Tabor, CEO; Dr. Mikael Högqvist Tabor, CTO and Saga Undén, COO.

Interested in being updated about thyroid health? Download the app and follow Boost Thyroid on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Medium.

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