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Meet our Alumni: MedLea

At VITA Accelerator we're proud to support a new generation of digital health startups, accelerating both Italian and foreign startups willing to do business in Italy in cooperation with key Italian and international operators, investors and corporates.

As we continued these efforts with our 2023 cohort, we are diving into each of our Alumni’s journeys, gaining insights into their transformative solutions, and how the acceleration program has helped take them to the next level. Starting with our conversation with Medlea's Co-founder & CEO, Simone Melchionna.

MedLea builds a Digital Twin platform that brings the diagnosis and prognosis of cardiorespiratory disorders to the next level of personalized medicine.

How did your company come about and how do you envision your solution will change the current healthcare scenario?

MedLea was created when the two founders, myself and Marco Montuori, envisioned the possibility of building digital diagnostics for respiratory quantification as we became increasingly aware of its huge market value since 10% of the world population suffers from respiritory disorders, from asthma to COPD, that are undiagnosed or misdiagnosed in 30% of cases, along the adagio "if you can't breath...nothing else matters". Respiratory diseases are often chronic and degenerative that worsen over decades. Doctors are frustrated because they lack effective methods for patient follow-up based on precision data and stratified information. Our idea came about just a few months before the COVID-19 pandemic exploded, and it quickly became clear that MedLea’s Digital Twin approach had the potential to disrupt respiratory management by allowing AI to perform automatic detection of lung abnormalities for screening both single patients and entire populations. Our approach is about diagnosing and forecasting long-term progression to better plan personalized therapies and optimize self-care, which has a major impact on an individual’s well-being.

How were you able to take your company to the next level during the VITA Accelerator Program?

Digital health is experiencing rapid growth, and there is still some way to go before it fully matures, making it challenging to access the right information. Through the program, we have gained firsthand insights into the right strategy for our B2B offering. Specifically, how to find and connect with our customers, prioritize our go-to-market, and ensure full regulatory and data handling compliance. During the VITA Program, we also had the opportunity to work with Zcube on a pilot project and carried out a feasibility PoC to leverage Medlea’s Digital twin for a Rare Disease in the respiratory area.

Could you highlight some significant milestones or connections made? Which program sessions or events have been most beneficial for your company?

Thus far, VITA has introduced us to various tools to help our company level up. Notably, we found the guidance on goal prioritization considering our current bandwidth, along with insights into managing regulatory pathways and data handling, both in group and 1-1 sessions, extremely valuable. These are all cornerstones for the healthcare arena, and we at MedLea make no exception. However, we bring our unique perspective and approach. As an example, we have recognized the importance of focusing on initial bridgeheads to secure our first significant customers, thus building our market confidence and reputation. We also realized that by offering curated data connected by biobanks, we can further attract customers such as players in the pharmaceutical industry and CROs, who are interested in analyzing specific respiratory diseases. 

What’s next for your company?

In our journey ahead, MedLea must master several aspects of the game, including connecting to the Italian and European digital health community, fulfilling our fund need and tackling the global market. Setting us apart from competitors, our unique integrated Digital Twin with diagnostic and prognostic capabilities can become the standard for the cardiorespiratory industry. With the right positioning, strategy and marketing, we can build our reputation and visibility across the entire B2B spectrum. Ultimately, our goal is to expand into the consumer market, capitalizing on the major opportunity for self-management in respiratory care.

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The Vita Accelerator is a novel startup acceleration program launched by CDP together with Healthware and Accelerace that aims to support a new generation of digital health startups.