Aiming to improve the quality of care

2022-12-14

Portrait of Max Schoenberg against a dark grey wall
Max Schoenberg is not afraid of challenges and wants to help improve healthcare with his business idea.
Photo: Hannes Rohrer.

Max Schoenberg went all out to get into the Master's programme in Entrepreneurship at Uppsala University. And it was in Uppsala that he found the inspiration and support to dare to go for his idea. Now he is building a team to realise his vision of a solution for quality monitoring in healthcare.

Max Schoenberg grew up in Munich but spent every summer with his grandparents in Uppsala. For him, the city is synonymous with entrepreneurship. His grandfather was a serial entrepreneur in television, audio and video throughout his life. Uppsala is also where Max Schoenberg went to study entrepreneurship and where he has now embarked on his own entrepreneurial journey with the Lucius project. 

“Studying entrepreneurship at the Department of Business Administration was what I wanted to do. I had no plan B. I worked on my application letter for two months because I wanted it to be perfect,” he says.

Improving quality in healthcare

And he got in at Uppsala University. What’s more, when Max Schoenberg came to Uppsala, he did so with an idea in his back pocket: an idea to reduce the number of healthcare-related complications. The idea came from him and his brother Markus; a doctor in Munich. His brother saw the enormous costs of such complications as infections, poor wound healing and internal bleeding first hand. The problem is that today there is no objective way to measure and monitor quality in the hospital ward. And if you can't measure it, you can't improve it.

“Our idea is to measure quality objectively using machine learning and based on data from patient records that are ingested automatically. With machine learning, we can compare expected quality with actual quality and provide doctors with automatic alerts," explains Max Schoenberg.

When Max Schoenberg decided to pursue the idea, something happened that was like a catalyst for their joint start-up project. By chance, he came into contact with the university's innovation support unit, UU Innovation, and the business incubator UIC.

Innovation support in Uppsala - a hidden treasure

Portrait of Max Schoenberg in a fair booth.
There is a lot of support available in Uppsala for
those who wish to develop a business idea,
according to Max Schoenberg.
Photo: Sara Gredemark.

“There is so much support available, but it's hard to understand it. It was also hard to predict how much impact it would have on my start-up project,” says Max Schoenberg.

“Talking to the advisors and coaches at UU Innovation and UIC has given me the confidence to start positioning myself in the healthcare innovation field. In those moments when you doubt yourself, and you do, they carry you up and encourage you to keep going.”

He thinks that innovation support should be more present among students because there is a lot of innovation power to be found there.

“As a student, you are in a golden position to start developing your idea. The time is there, creative people surround you, and you do not have to make money. It is a safe environment to start in. What's more, you can benefit from it in new contacts - people are happy to make time for students,” he says.

Building a team

Max Schoenberg has been working full-time on the startup project Lucius since January 2022. His brother is part of the team and in the summer of 2022, a machine-learning engineer joined the team, Sakis Karampalis, who works on the project in parallel with his studies at Uppsala University. More recruitments are in the pipeline and the aim is to build a diverse team.

“We are struggling to find developers who are women. It is important that we have a diverse team, especially considering that the majority of our future users, the doctors, are women," says Max Schoenberg.

Today, a prototype of the software that team Lucius is developing is being tested in collaboration with research doctors from university hospitals. The next step is to develop a more interactive version that will provide users with automatic notifications on how the quality of care is evolving.

“The fact that the system automatically tells doctors what is happening gives them the opportunity to reverse a negative trend in time and learn from their successes, which is the whole point,” he says. 

The challenge spurs on

The visions are big and Max Schoenberg does not hide the fact that there is still a lot to do before they have a fully-fledged IT service for quality monitoring to offer hospitals.

“I hope we can have more partnerships with university clinics, in both Sweden and Germany, because it gives us a chance to gain insights and understand exactly how doctors want things done. We will not put a single line of code anywhere if we do not know it meets a need," says Max Schoenberg.

“It is a challenging project in many ways, but for me it has never just been about entrepreneurship, or I would have gone for a simpler business idea. If I can contribute to better healthcare that would be fantastic.”

Text: Sara Gredemark

Facts: Max Schoenberg

Age: 28

Lives: Uppsala and Munich.

Background: bachelor's degree in engineering and management from Munich University of Technology, TUM, consultant at Deloitte, internships at a couple of start-ups, master's degree in entrepreneurship from Uppsala University.

Does now: Runs the start-up project Lucius, which aims to provide healthcare with a system for objective and automatic quality monitoring in order to reduce healthcare-related complications.

The best thing about developing your own idea: the freedom and the speed.

Max's top three tips for anyone who wants to develop a business idea:

  • You do not have to register a company to start working on your business idea or to attract the interest of potential customers, partners or team members.
  • Talk to potential customers as soon as possible and focus on their needs and challenges.
  • Get help! There is a lot of support available on everything from business development and funding to finding resources for your team.

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Last modified: 2023-12-01