- by Health Founders
We sat down with the founders of SpeakTX, second team we’re introducing to you from our Health Founders Accelerator Program 2022 – 3rd batch, to hear and share more about their impressive vision & work of how to help anyone to improve their speech – targeted towards both children with speech development problems and patients with neurological impairments to support speech and ensure the continuity of rehabilitation.
Meet the SpeakTX team – Birgit Krieger, Andres Mellik, Jürgen Järvik, Salome Virkus and Tamás Nagy!
What is the problem you are solving?
Birgit: The amount of speech and language impairments is growing and the patients are facing problems like long queues, inaccessibility and insufficient amount of available services. We help to provide everyone in need of speech and language therapy needed support and give the professionals a tool to manage their work better.
Jürgen: In many countries, speech and language therapy services are not sufficiently available and accessible to children and patients. SpeakTX brings such services closer to those who need it. It has the potential of providing help to a bigger number of children and patients than speech and language therapy delivered in the traditional setting. It contributes to more effective time management by speech and language therapy providers. It helps all the parties involved in the speech and language therapy process save time and money.
Salome: Communication is one of the key skills in the modern world, forming a basis for any contact with other people in all different contexts from family life to public relations. Any impediment can lead to hindered advancement in the education system, labour market and social life in general. In many cases, additionally to mental health issues which are also contributing to obstacles mentioned previously and therefore starting a vicious circle. On the other hand, we are witnessing a growing lack of speech and language therapists and considering the general shortage of the labour force there is no hope to fill this gap with more specialists. This is where SpeakTX comes in, providing a technology that empowers patients and therapists to advance more efficiently and contributes to improvement of the quality of life of many children and as well as adults.
Tamás: The effective access to medical services for the majority of the societies in many countries of the world became more and more complex in the last decade, especially during the COVID pandemic, and on the other hand the evolution of the online available services for the potential training audiences of those kind of services had a lot of progress back to the last decades. Of course, not all of the therapies can be provided online, but speech and language therapy can be supported by online tools effectively and the SpeakTX provides an effective solution (time and cost-wise as well) to connect the children and patients, who need these services with the therapists in the country.
Why is now the right time to solve this problem?
Andres: The challenges around most specialties and (sub-)domains in healthcare and education are only going to get bigger and there are already many countries where digital-first is the only viable approach to address those hurdles. SpeakTX is tackling those issues with a comprehensive and inclusive approach for everyone in the care loop.
Birgit: The COVID-19 pandemic has put in the spotlight the need to rethink how we deliver healthcare. We are in need of innovation and DTx solutions help to transform the delivery of therapeutic interventions.
Jürgen: Today’s world is full of instability. The COVID-19 pandemic, the ongoing wars, and the growing inflation have a deep impact on the functioning of societies and on the well-being of individuals. Speech and language therapy is not immune to this. On the other hand, turbulent times have the potential of boosting innovation, to turn the dial, to bring permanent change. That is why it is mandatory that the problems experienced by the speech and language therapy community be addressed right away.
Tamás: The broadband internet services are more and more common, and on the other hand the 5G technology also will be available for most of the smartphone users in the next decade. Besides the technological background, the potential training audience (children and patients and the therapists) are more and more willing to use this kind of online solutions to solve their problems, especially after the COVID pandemic.
How are you different from your competitors?
Andres: As our team possesses strong competences and dozens of years of accumulated experience in healthcare technology, e-learning standards and content development, wide experience with digital health platforms, we are uniquely positioned to play at the cross-roads of developmental and health-related challenges, well targeted by everything that SpeakTX.com has to offer.
Birgit: We bring together the most important components of speech and language therapy: repository of interactive exercises created by speech and language therapists, personalised exercise plans, online consultations, and consistent contact and guidance by a professional.
Jürgen: Our scope is more comprehensive than that of our competitors. We provide functionally diverse exercises to provide help in case of a wider range of speech and language impairments for people in different age groups.
What is the recipe for a successful team?
Birgit: Communication, enthusiasm, structure, mutual respect, and a good set of skills with a pinch of humour.
Jürgen: Having a vision, clearly defined goals, and plans to achieve them; well-defined roles and responsibility; open and honest communication, inclusion, and constructive conflict resolution; ability to adapt fast to the changing circumstances; each team member’s feeling that they directly contribute to the company’s success; personal dedication; working with passion.
Salome: Clear and open communication, common understanding of the goals, methods and values. In a successful team each member knows that together they are building a church and not just laying bricks.
Tamás: Good teamwork, recognising the best skills of the team mates, respecting the agreed goals of the team and team members, effective and consistent, respect-based communication with all of the partners.
What will be written in newspaper headlines about your company in 5 years?
Andres: “SpeakTX has successfully changed the landscape of speech and language therapy for both educational institutions as well as healthcare institutions worldwide. The deeply integrated yet personalised approach with adaptiveness and focus on working with forward-thinking speech therapists across 30 different countries has created a unique knowledge base and loyal customer base, while benefiting humans and whole societies.”
Birgit: A new unicorn from Estonia has been born! SpeakTX is helping millions of children and patients around the world to improve their speech and language skills.
Jürgen: Speech and language therapy has never been so much fun! Millions of children and patients from all around the world improve their speech in an engaging and playful way, using the interactive exercises of SpeakTX.
Salome: SpeakTX has improved the quality of life of hundreds of thousands of people in many countries, equipping them with a tool to conquer obstacles in communication and empowering their advancement in education, work and social life. Tamás: Speech and language therapy is not a “must” or an obligation anymore, it became an enjoyable activity for all of the actors and customers, who are involved in.
To find out more about SpeakTX, head over to www.speaktx.com