Introducing Happyr Health
This month at qLegal, two of our Student Advisors met with Cornelius Palm, the CEO and co-founder of Happyr Health. Happyr Health is a mobile application, which aims to help teenagers manage their chronic pain. The application allows users to track their daily mood, log migraine symptoms and receive personalised exercises to increase resilience and wellbeing.
Hi Cornelius, can you tell us about Happyr Health, what its aim is and the story behind the start-up?
Happyr Health is an application, which aims to empower teenagers with chronic illness and enable them to live lives without restrictions. The story behind the company is personal. Both founders are victims of chronic illnesses, and therefore, were witnesses to the shortfalls in chronic health management. As such, they aimed to launch an application, which would aid in chronic pain management for teenagers, an area of chronic illness, which has not been reformed in 50 years.
Notably, chronic pain management happens through three pillars:
o The first pillar is biological. Here pain medication is administered.
o The second pillar is social. This is where support from family and friends is received.
o The third pillar is emotional, which has received the least attention in chronic pain management. This is the gap Happyr Health aims to bridge.
Consequently, Happyr Health enables teenagers to better understand their chronic illness through the use of an emotional diary, which they keep on the application. This diary helps users track how their emotions influence their disease and vice-versa. On top of this, the application promotes exercises individuals can do to help better manage their pain. These exercises range from mindfulness activities to yoga exercises, which can be very resourceful. Additionally, the application can also be used to generate reports to give to doctors! This helps illustrate how the patient’s chronic illness has been and how they have managed it.
As such, the aim of the application is simple: teach teenagers how to tame their dragon and be Happyr.
Working in a start-up is quite different to working in a small business. Can you tell us a little bit more of what is it like working in a Start-up? What are the advantages and obstacles you have faced as a start-up?
Working in a start-up can be quite scary and intimidating. In specific, there is a lot of uncertainty about whether you are on the right path, and in truth, there is little room for error. Put simply, you are the person funding the project, so every penny counts. You are investing your own time and money, so if you do not focus…you die. This can be very scary, especially since at the start you do not have the means to focus on everything and you are learning as you go. With Happyr, there was a lot to learn concerning the regulatory environment of digital health. We had a lot to absorb very fast.
However, working in a start-up gives you great pride. For instance, when Happyr started, we were just two members. Now, we have grown to a group of five! This might seem like a minor change, but it feels huge, as we are now more than double from when we started. As such, a great advantage in working in a start-up is the pride you feel when you get something done!
Interestingly, I noticed that establishing a start-up appears easier in the UK than in Germany. In Germany, you must be quite established to build a start-up, whereas, in the UK, there are many free resources that would make the start-up journey easier and more affordable. These resources include access to accelerators and mentors who are some high-quality people, sometimes VPs of IPO companies, who then provide you with guidance! I was also unaware, for instance, that the UK Government had a design department. This makes creating a company actually doable in the UK, whereas, in Germany, I would need a notary lawyer to create a company.
Overall, working in a start-up has been truly rewarding!
Why did you choose to join the qLegal community? What are you hoping to gain from qLegal?
To be honest, I chose to join qLegal for egotistic reasons! As a start-up, we needed to focus everything on the product. As such, anything that was not focused on the application was a diversion to me. Therefore, when it came to qLegal, I needed to work with someone who I knew could help with the regulatory side of things — someone who I could trust. qLegal acted as that person for me. In fact, I would tell any other start-up whose core strength may not be legal matters to contact qLegal and their team.
Without a doubt, the regulatory and legal side of the project was extremely important to us at Happyr. We wanted to ensure we complied with the legal aspects of starting a chronic health application and ensure users knew we cared about their data and were not overlooking the regulatory aspect of the project. We did not want to be unprepared, simply because we are a small company. This is important, especially if we are going to be an impact company.
Having said that though, my expectations from qLegal students were not unreasonably high. I did not expect them to be too experienced nor was I going to hold them accountable for things. I was merely looking for people with passion and drive to help us, and I can happily say my expectations have been met.
Lastly, what is the dream here? What are you hoping to achieve for the future? Where do you see Happyr Health 5 to 10 years from now?
We are always working towards helping young people in pain — this is the north star, every task we do, we look at whether we are achieving this goal.
In five years, we hope to be able to say that we have reached the majority of teenagers who have a mobile device and suffer from chronic illness. We want to make a measurable impact on their quality of life and empower them to live a life that is dominated by healthy behaviours rather than by doubts and insecurities.
Additionally, moving forward with qLegal, I would want to continue making use of their resources! Specifically, their Advisory Team! In fact, I would go as far as to say that I would make use of the other support qLegal has to offer now. qLegal is hands-on and provides the workforce, which enables us to implement our project, so I would definitely work with them in the future.
Thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview with us today, Happyr Health is truly an incredible application.
Thanks for having me!
This article was written by:
* Camille Abou Farhat (LLM in Intellectual Property Law at CCLS in Paris/qLegal extern at Happyr Health)
* Tanya Leila Shaar (LLM in Public International Law/qLegal Public Legal Education Team)
You can contact Cornelius Palm and Nicola Filzmoser, the founders of Happyr Health, on LinkedIn!
- Cornelius Palm: https://www.linkedin.com/in/cornelius-palm/
- Nicola Filzmoser: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nicola-filzmoser/
Please also feel free to explore the Happyr Health Website: https://HappyrHealth.com
You can download the app in the Apple Appstore: https://apple.co/3rOs8sN
Or download the app in the Google Playstore: https://bit.ly/3nZceuq
Happyr is building a community for people aged 13–25 with migraine or recurring headaches! Join their bi-weekly peer sessions by registering through the following link: https://happyrhealth.com/peer-group/