Public awareness campaigns such as the annual Movember event have helped bring men’s health issues out of the shadows.
Topics like testicular cancer, prostate cancer and suicide are finally being addressed in a public forum, encouraging men to talk about their problems.
However, one taboo continues to be ignored – erectile dysfunction, or ED.
Estimates of the global prevalence of ED vary considerably, with some studies putting the figure as high as 76 per cent.
However, the UK’s Viagra black market became such a problem that, in 2018, the drug was made available over the counter without a prescription.
Regardless of the numbers, it’s clear that men across the age spectrum struggle with the issue in silence, impacting upon their relationships and mental wellbeing.
Now, German company Kranus Health is helping men take control of their ED with CE-certified prescription app, Kranus Edera.
Collecting over 8.5 Million US dollars in funding, the company has seen rapid growth over the last 2 years and is making an impact on digital men’s health on the continent.
The app is among the first wave of prescription digital therapeutics to be approved by Germany’s Federal Institute of Drugs and Medical Devices.
The fully reimbursable app has been designed to treat erection problems and tackle their root causes.
The only approved prescription digital therapeutic in the urology field, Kranus Edera counts 15 per cent of Germany’s urologists among its prescribers less than a year after launch.
Kranus Health co-founder, Jens Nörtershäuser, said:
“We know from research and from our own experience that men neglect their health and have reservations towards seeking medical help.
“Prescription Digital Therapeutics, especially in the area of erectile dysfunction and other intimate health issues, are an opportunity to overcome these barriers and help patients get better treatment.”
Kranus Edera provides a holistic solution to ED, helping patients tackle the problem from all angles.
App users complete a 12-week therapy programme including physical therapy exercises, pelvic floor training, mindfulness exercises and sexual therapy exercises.
Patients receive new exercises each day, tailored in intensity, alongside guidance information on lifestyle factors that can trigger ED, such as nutrition and stress.
The information helps men understand how lifestyle changes can have a positive or negative impact on their sexual health.
Studies show a significant increase in erectile function, rising an average of 4.5 points on the IIEF scale over three months.
Kranus Edera is now accessible to all adult men in Germany, with patients from 18 to 91 using the service.
Nörtershäuser believes that the app is addressing a long-unmet clinical need.
“Millions of men with erectile dysfunction should have easy access to a guideline-based, clinically validated and safe therapy that is available regardless of time and space.”
User feedback to date has been overwhelmingly positive, with patients praising the clarity of information and simplicity of the exercises.
One 59-year-old patient said:
“It definitely works. I have been using the app for almost three months now and can recommend it.
“The instructions and exercises are clear and I have noticed a recognisable improvement in the pelvic floor muscles. The app definitely helps with daily motivation!”
However, prescribers face an uphill struggle to attract men to use digital therapeutics, which are much more popular among Germany’s female population.
Now, the Kranus Health team is embarking on a mission to bring more urologists on board to adopt the new treatment option and encourage patients to try it.
“The success of Digital Health Applications in the German health care system stands and falls with the acceptance of practicing specialists.
“We need them to be on board or else digital therapies hardly stand a chance.
“There is this huge potential in finally changing men’s behaviour and raising awareness amongst them for health care, preventive medicine and sexual well-being.”
This is something Kranus Health aims to achieve for men across the globe as the company plans to internationalise and launch a second prescription digital therapeutic tackling a widespread condition specific to men in 2023.
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