The UK HealthTech sector is positively burgeoning. Back in 2014, Former London mayor Boris Johnson launched Medcity – a joint venture bringing together King’s College London, Oxford, UCL, Imperial and Cambridge universities to create a new cluster of British activity in the sector. His successor, Sadiq Khan, kept up the momentum, backing the £1.7 million Digital Health London Accelerator scheme, which is helping selected UK SMEs develop innovative healthtech solutions for the NHS.
We’ve come up with a selection of the most promising British Healthcare startups to keep an eye on:
Babylon Health uses its own machine learning technology to match patients with appropriate doctors and specialists. They’re then able to conduct text and video consultations through its proprietary mobile app, which can also be synced with wearable devices and used for individual health monitoring. In addition, their service offers prescriptions delivered to your closest pharmacy, as well as the ability to book in-person examinations at local facilities.
Babylon hit tech press headlines in April, when it announced it had raised an additional £47 million in funding from investors. It already works with the NHS to offer an AI-powered triage service as an alternative to the NHS’s existing 111 healthcare helpline.
Thriva posts users an at home, finger-prick blood testing kit which shows their iron levels, liver function, cholesterol and vitamin D. The company then distributes the information to a team of GPs who then give user-specific lifestyle advice via an online dashboard. The aim is to provide reliable, easy and affordable tests, with plans in the pipeline to expand the range to include urine and DNA.
For those who might be reminded of the Theranos fiasco – when the US company was shown to have been a little economical with the truth when it came to its testing capabilities – Thriva is sticking to established and trusted testing methods common on the NHS, rather than trying to develop their own.
Andiamo was born out of its two founders’ personal tragedy. Naveed and Samiya Parmez lost their nine-year-old son, Diamo, who had cerebral palsy, in 2012. After his death, they channelled their grief into creating 3D printed orthotics and braces which are essential for children with the condition, but currently cumbersome, time-consuming and often painful to manufacture.
But by using a quick scanning process rather than long-winded plaster casting, the company aims to reduce waiting times from months to 48 hours, and to produce lighter products that fit patients more effectively.
Research initiative Umotif brings quality patient data to clinical researchers and doctors. Encompassing a user-friendly app for patients and a white label SaaS product for researchers, its biggest selling point over paper-based data collection methods is the timeliness of its data, enabling better patient care as well as much improved data quality.
It’s already been procured by NHS Digital and is involved in a range of clinical trials, including a successful trial for sufferers of Parkinson’s Disease in 2016.
Started in 2012 by Cambridge graduates Victor Dillard and Edward Perello, Desktop Genetics aims to help guide researchers through the complexities of the CRISPR Genomics Database reliably and smoothly.
It uses its own AI to simplify the process, and a Cloud platform to help researchers with the process of genome editing and discover the root genetic causes of human disease.