The founding story of BOCAhealthcare (part I)
A number of different components are required to make a start-up successful. In addition to the economic necessity for the products or services, this also includes the technical skills of the people who are behind the project. Another equally important aspect is the motivation of the founders to take this risk-free and nerve-wracking way of building their own company. For many start-up founders, personal experience is an essential key for this decision. This also happened in the case of BOCAhealthcare, as founder Alessandro Faragli describes in the following article.
In 2007 I spent a summer vacation with my father. It was very hot one day. He suddenly felt bad while driving. The fatal thing was that he was still behind the wheel of the car. He lost consciousness. Mind-boggling, I pulled the wheel to the right and we headed for a rock where the car stopped. It was total damage to the car, but we got away with a black eye. There was a slope on the left. We might as well have plunged down the cliff into the sea.
Like every patient with heart failure, my father also took diuretics – medications that help to excrete excess body water. For that hot day, he had obviously taken too much medication, lost too much fluid, and was completely dehydrated.
Many years later and after completing my medical degree, I was driven by the idea of doing something for patients like my father: a body fluid management system that is able to diagnose and predict dehydration and overhydration in patients with heart failure and kidney disease. The experience with heart failure patients that I had gained during my training in the hospital helped me to develop a product from an idea that could improve the lives of many patients with the chronic diseases mentioned above.
As part of my training, which took me to various clinics and various stations there, I also got to know the doctor and nephrologist Edoardo La Porta. With one or two glasses of beer and plenty of coffee, we started to exchange ideas about our respective areas of expertise. Our respective patients with heart failure and kidney disease share similar symptoms. The common problem is chronic fluid congestion, which is associated with lengthy hospital stays for the affected patients. In addition, almost 60% of heart failure patients also suffer from kidney disease. I told him about my vision of BOCAhealth – and I had won my first co-founder. We started sharing our idea with doctors and experts and received numerous positive reactions.