We take a look at this week’s biggest developments, research and investment news from the world of Health Tech.
Drfocused, a HealthTech startup based in London, has closed a crowdfunding round totalling £323,380. The startup’s web and mobile-based SaaS platform allows hospitals to more efficiently engage with their staff. The firm, founded in 2016, received backing from 394 investors which exceeded its £300,000 target. Drfocused was created in 2016 by Dr Kit Latham, a former A&E doctor; Artem Stalpovski, a medical software systems engineer; and Ellie Burgess, a UX specialist; to provide digital tools for clinicians. “Britain is the perfect place to launch the next great medical technology startup. Because we have so few doctors (2.8 per 1,000 population) we need to arm the doctors we have with the most effective tools possible,” he said. Drfocused is to use the investment funds to develop additional HR SaaS for hospitals, both NHS and private.
K technology companies Tunstall Healthcare and InHealthcare have joined forces to roll out a series of services to integrate health and social care. The duo have agreed to combine their skill and expertise to help tackle challenges in care services. Tunstall Healthcare offers a range of connected healthcare solutions designed to help older people and also those with long-terms needs to live more independently. Digital health technology firm InHealthcare provides the means of digitalising care in a secure, simple and cost effective way. “The integration of Tunstall’s care monitoring with InHealthcare’s digital health platform aims to allow all care providers to improve their ‘upstream intervention’”, Richard Quine, InHealthcare’s product director said. According to Quine, joining forces will allow for the rapid creation of innovative new services to meet local population needs.
A digital health startup founded in London has received an $8 million (£6.2 million) funding boost to expand its team in the capital. The latest funding round for Hinge Health, which uses wearable sensors and an app to ease people suffering with musculoskeletal disorders such as arthritis, was led by London-based venture-capital firm Atomico. Hinge, which has since relocated to San Francisco but whose software engineers remain in London, was founded by Daniel Perez and Gabriel Mecklenburg, two scientists who studied at Oxford and Cambridge respectively. Perez said Hinge will be able to help patients avoid being prescribed opiates.
Neurovalens, a HealthTech startup, which specialises in combining neuroscience and technology to solve health issues, has secured £1.1m in funding. The funding comes from sources including the Angel CoFund (backed by the British Business Bank), Beltrae Partners and TechStart NI and brings the total raised by the Belfast-based firm to £1.4m. The investment comes just ahead of the company launching its first product, weight loss and Modius – a wearable device that stimulated the hypothalamus, an area of the brain associated with hunger and metabolism. Ian Kerr, chairman of Neurovalens, said: “This new wave of funding from the British Business Bank, Beltrae Partners and TechStart Ventures secures our ability to move from prototyping to full-production. It will also allow us to build further skills in to our team and help us create new jobs in Northern Ireland.”
InHealthcare has announced a major breakthrough in programming technology which will allow doctors to build and launch their own health apps. The company has invented an easy-to-use toolkit that includes a simple set of building blocks for the rapid development and deployment of services for the NHS. The toolkit offers secure multi-channel connections between patients and central databases, such as the NHS Spine and GP systems via InHealthcare’s national digital healthcare platform. The new technology enables people with ideas for apps or service improvements to develop, test, roll out, monitor and manage their own healthcare services whilst predicting demand and outcomes. Bryn Sage, chief executive at InHealthcare, said, “A healthcare app can cost tens of thousands of pounds and many months to develop and has no guarantee of success. Our toolkit can create a secure app in hours at a fraction of the cost with invaluable input from clinicians.”
Five teenagers, aged 15 to 17, are the only Africans selected to take part in this year’s international Technovation competition, where girls develop mobile apps to end problems in their communities. The Kenyan schoolgirls hope to win $15,000 for I-cut, an app to end Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). “FGM is a big problem affecting girls worldwide and it is a problem we want to solve,” Stacy Owino told the Reuters. The app, I-cut, connects girls at risk of FGM with rescue centers and gives legal and medical help to those who have been cut. The interface is simple to use with five buttons – help, rescue, report, information on FGM, donate and feedback. Technovation, which is sponsored by Google, Verizon and the United Nations, aims to teach girls the skills they need to become tech entrepreneurs and leaders. “We just have to use this opportunity as a stepping stone to the next level,” said schoolgirl Ivy Akinyi who plans to become a computer programmer.
As like Apple, Amazon is now said to have a secret HealthTech team working on electronic medical records and telemedicine. The report explains that the stealth team is focused on both hardware and software projects. It is said to currently be working on pulling and pushing data from legacy electronic medical record systems. Amazon’s goal is to make that information available to patients and their doctors. However, Amazon is also said to be exploring a platform for telemedicine, allowing people to more easily have virtual consultations with doctors. It’s been reported in the past that Amazon is exploring selling pharmaceuticals via its website. Amazon’s efforts in health come as Apple is working on similar projects. A report earlier this year explained Apple’s secret team working to turn the iPhone into a “one-stop shop” for medical information. Amazon, however, has an ecosystem of customers and their personal information. At this point, it’s unclear who will reach market first.