Students help HealthFOX Ltd target France after positive market research findings

All students need working life projects and companies often have work to offer. Exchange students would also like to know more about Finnish companies and business life. What then could be a better starting point for co-working!

Healthfox Ltd, a Salo-based health technology company shows a good example of real-life projects by having a market research made by French exchange students at TUAS Business Academy in Salo. After a few months research, the students presented their promising results.

Healthfox Ltd, a Salo-based health technology company shows a good example of real-life projects by having a market research made by French exchange students at TUAS Business Academy in Salo

What is there is France?

The main aim of the market research was to map possible competitors of Healthfox and especially find out if there are any similar solutions on the markets. Another aim following the first one was to analyze the prerequisites and possibilities to enter the French markets.

Suzanne Godet and Ilias Zine, the Frence describe their working and learning process:

– English is hardly at all used in France, and the available information was only in French. But as we know the language, it was easy for us to study the markets and find the necessary sources. We are born and raised in France so we know the healthcare system and already have networks. This really helped us and we understood which steps to take and how to progress. Google was our “best friend”, they laugh.

First, we started to contact some people we already know in the French healthcare system. After clearly defining the limit of our survey, we made a plan of what we are going to analyze and shared it. We had many external contacts who helped us to find some professional information about competitor companies.

We used three main sources of information:

  • Contacts in the French market
  • Research and analysis on Google
  • Personal knowledge and experience

Our client, Kimmo Korhonen, the CEO of HealthFOX, clearly said at the beginning that he wanted only tangible things like contacts, phone numbers, mail addresses etc, and we managed in that. He also gave us key selection criteria to help us in the competitor analysis with each setting where we had to compare between competitors.

Our client, Kimmo Korhonen, the CEO of HealthFOX, clearly said at the beginning that he wanted only tangible things like contacts, phone numbers, mail addresses etc, and we managed in that.

As we were living very close to the university, our working place was mainly TUAS premises at Salo IoT-campus. This place was good to concentrate and to work efficiently in a good environment. Sometimes we worked at home together or separately.

In the contract agreed with Kimmo, we estimated that we needed to work about 8.5 hours per week. In reality, we worked more, the topic was finally broader than we expected. Moreover, the rhythm accelerated because we discovered new things to study on the way.

The biggest challenge and concern hit us in the very beginning. At first, we were a bit afraid to get involved into a project with a professional for something so concrete. So we needed a few meetings and mental support to finally decide to work as a two-person team.

The findings and future steps

As the outcome, we presented the result of our research in a 24 pages file, divided in three main parts: competitor analysis, legal aspects and our recommendations. The goal of this document was to provide to HealthFOX a base of how the French healthcare system worked, who are its main actors, which system already exist, and finally and foremost how HealthFOX could enter this market.

The next step is to contact all of the potential partners and health clusters in France. We will continue working with Kimmo and his team for that in order to build the best arguments to convince French healthcare actor to work with us. It is possible and likely that we go to France to negotiate later this spring. Before that, we have to do a value chain analysis and a description of the cost process of health care system in France.

In practice, potential partners mean hospitals and organizations that help start-ups to establish. Trade fairs, conferences and local innovation groups are other possible channels. We hope to find a contact who can help HealthFOX to enter either private or public health care sector. This is important as we see many problems in the current system. There is a great need for applications offered by HealthFOX. We believe that the private sector is more interested and there should be more feasible. The public sector is also possible but on private markets, there is more freedom and opportunities as the organizations are not dependent on the government. We truly hope that HealthFOX can break on the French markets, but they have to have a good strategy and no fear! We do what we can to help their effort.

Feedback from client and coach

The CEO of HealthFOX, Kimmo Korhonen is pleased with the co-operation, especially with students’ attitude and the results.

– The market chances seem to be quite good for us. The students made excellent job and very independently. They planned the market research structure, the implementation and made use of their own French networks. They also studied the French health applications market and on-going innovations of outpatient care. As a company, we really benefited of their findings and got a concise insight of the French markets. I addition, the students also mapped a few hospitals that we are going to approach with a feasibility analysis and we will plan go to market strategy on coming spring.

The CEO of HealthFOX, Kimmo Korhonen is pleased with the co-operation, especially with students’ attitude and the results.

Pia Lindgren, Senior Lecturer in English Business Communication and Team Coach sees the immediate advantage of co-operation with local businesses. Having a long career she has a network of business life contacts and in an integrated town, it is easy to keep in touch.

– I know the CEO personally and the history of HealthFOX since its beginning and remembered it got rewarded as a start-up company by IBM Finland a few years ago. I simply matched the company and the students, who then started working with a real and demanding project. The French students had the courage to take the challenge and dive into a new world of health technology. They learned about the field and business by doing. They acted “in the best possible way” just like entrepreneurs in real business life. The whole project was a clear evidence of smooth business life co-operation and a win-win for everybody involved. I am really happy for this contact and good results of course.

The French students stay in Salo until May 2019 so the fruitful co-operations most likely continues. The students are eager to work further. Even travel to France if everything goes as planned. For HealthFOX the time is optimal as the process of digitalizing French healthcare is currently ongoing and a hot potato. 

Healthfox in brief

HealthFOX – Easier Tomorrow is a unique, secure and digital integrated platform for rehabilitation and patient self-care and a co-operation system with the patient and a health care professional. The service concept acts as a digital solution in doctors’ and other health care professionals’ work for the patients’ benefit. HealthFOX improves the communication between patients and health care professionals, commits and motivates the patients for self-care and enables monitoring and comparing the effects of the treatment from the patient on-line. The patient uses HealthFOX with his/her smartphone and the healthcare professional uses a computer. Apart from Finland, there is an increasing interest for HealhFOX concept in Asia and the USA

More Information:

Kimmo Korhonen, CEO, HealthFOX, kimmo.korhonen@healthfox.fi, 040 747 8346

Suzanne Godet, exchange student, BusinessAcademy, TUAS +33 64 181 9097

Pia Lindgren, Team Coach Turku University of Applied Sciences, pia.lindgren@turkuamk.fi, 040 355 0125

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