Graduation time for the Digital Garden 2021

Tryl digs into the Digital Garden to improve health and science through better human engagement

Medical research profoundly impacts all of our lives. Scientists have cured diseases that were once fatal, helped people manage conditions that were once debilitating, and developed effective vaccines in just a year’s time to wind down the COVID-19 pandemic. What many people outside of the medical research field don’t know is that medical innovation is often slower and more costly than it needs to be due to challenges around effectively engaging trial participants. Nearly a third of trial participants drop out mid-study, and closer to half become non-adherent to the protocol. To ensure that a study will produce meaningful data, trial managers will over-recruit participants at the cost of nearly $50,000 per person and the addition of weeks or months to the trial’s overall timeline.

At Tryl, we believe that it doesn’t have to be this way. We envision a world where new life-saving and life-changing therapies make it to market more briskly, affordably, and soundly. To make that possible, we combine beautiful design, machine learning, applied behavioral science, and ethically compliant practices in the Tryl Engagement Engine. Leveraging proven behavioral principles like design thinking, empathy, and social proof, our Engagement Engine adaptively guides and motivates participants throughout the duration of their trial journey, resulting in greater engagement, reduced drop-outs, and increased data accuracy in clinical research.

We are thrilled that the Digital Garden shares our vision and welcomed us to participate in the 2021 cohort. As the one American company in the cohort — and a west coast company at that — the program sessions tend to be on the earlier side for us. About once a week or so, we log onto Zoom with coffee in hand and try to remember to greet the group with a cheery, “Good afternoon!” even though it’s barely 6 am our time. Despite the early mornings, we are grateful to be included and accommodated among the brilliant saplings and planters in the Digital Garden.

The Digital Garden’s educational sessions on each of the core business functions have been hugely beneficial. With a small upstart team such as ours, several core functions don’t have a dedicated owner. Esade’s expert-led sessions on branding and product management have enabled us to start making progress in those areas without yet having the budget for VPs of Marketing or Product.

Industry-specific understanding and insight from our Almirall mentors has also been invaluable. Their insider perspective has helped us build a product and strategic roadmap that we can feel confident in. Technological innovation within bioscience will require expertise from inside and outside the industry, and the combination feels special.

We have been challenged and supported. As a lead mentor told us, “You don’t even know what you have…there is nothing like this on the market. But you need to understand the market, and where you fit.” Even more helpfully, a pair of mentors have shown initiative to help validate our path to market — to move beyond the academic and into, to quote one of them, “real business.” Our mentors were even able to suggest a novel application of our technology that could turn out to be a foundational product offering for Tryl.

Tryl is excited to see what else sprouts over the remainder of our time in the Digital Garden. Now that everyone on our small team is fully vaccinated, we are looking forward to (hopefully!) taking a trip to Barcelona this fall to meet and thank our Almirall mentors…and maybe even see Leo Messi in person. And then it’ll be our turn to call our friends and partners back home from a night game at Camp Nou and greet them with a heartfelt “Good morning!”

Jeff Smith, CRO Tryl