MEDIDA is a small company that started in 2007 within CINTESIS (Center for Health Technology and Services Research) a research unit based at Porto University Medical School. In Portuguese “medida” means to measure or to take measures and it is an acronym of Medicine, Education, R&D and Evaluation, the main lines of activity of the company.MEDIDA is a healthcare company that aims to (i) improve the quality of healthcare through R+D+I and (ii) to improve the quality of life of patients with respiratory and allergic diseases by providing personalized healthcare services and solutions.
MEDIDA develops, evaluates and delivers services and products for patients with chronic diseases, especially for respiratory and allergic diseases. In 2007, the company activities started with the development of web-based educational contents for patients. The clients were the Portuguese Asthma Patients Association and BIAL (the biggest Portuguese Pharma company). In 2008 a collaboration agreement with AEROCRINE AB (a Swedish company, the leader in exhaled biomarkers technologies) was signed for the development of Web-based decision support system to help with the interpretation of exhaled nitric oxide (FENO), an inflammatory biomarker for asthma/respiratory diseases. The web-based FENO Decision Support Tool was an interactive web application designed to assist in interpreting FENO values at the point of care. The classifying values, the FENO cut off values, were created from algorithms based on a set of rules established from the literature. In 2011 Aerocrine AB made a decision to use fixed instead of personalized cut-values stopping the dissemination of the tool (a version of the tool is still available at feno.med.up.pt).
Since 2009 the clinical services provided at CUF Porto Hospital and Instituto have been the main activity of the company. MEDIDA is responsible for the respiratory physiology labs and allergy care services at these leading private healthcare providers. It has the collaboration of 8 doctors, 3 respiratory physiologists and one pharmacist. At this locations MEDIDA has been able to participate in clinical research projects 7 from pharmaceutical industry, 2 from academia and 3 lead by MEDIDA in collaboration with CINTESIS.
One of the most successful R&D and evaluation project of MEDIDA has been the development, evaluation and dissemination of two patient-reported outcomes (PRO) the CARAT (Control of Allergic Rhinitis and Asthma Test) and CARATkids (for children between 6 and 12 years old). MEDIDA holds the rights of these PRO and represents the authors. These PRO have been cultural-adapted for over 20 languages by local researchers, and projects using these PRO have been implemented in the Netherlands, Greece, Belgium, Germany, Brazil, and India. Commercial agreements with local offices of international companies have been signed in Netherlands (AstraZeneca), Belgium (Teva) and India (Scientimed).
In the last five years, the company has developed four mobile apps for patients (the most relevant is mCARAT available at the Android play store) and collaborated in the design or evaluation of four other mobile health projects (for asthma, rhinitis, diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis). Currently, MEDIDA together with CINTESIS and BloomIdea (a digital businesses company from Braga, Portugal) is developing and will evaluate an app for improving the adherence to inhaled treatments using signal processing technology, gamification concepts, and peer-to-peer support. A licensing agreement for distribution has been signed with Mundipharma Portugal.
MEDIDA values high professional and academic qualifications of its collaborators. It was founded by 2 Ph.D. partners, one from Medicine and one from Engineering, and the long-term collaborators have (n=1) or are finishing their Ph.D. projects (n=3). The most recent collaborators one is completing their MSc in informatics engineering and the other is in pharmaceutical marketing and management.