The advent of personalised medicine and an increasingly decentralised healthcare system – a need accelerated by the pandemic – has led to the rise of many health tech startups focusing on the segment.
Joining the bandwagon of companies looking at getting an increasing share of the pie, UK-based medtech startup 52 North Health has raised £1 million in its first round of funding. The round was led by Cambridge Enterprise, the commercialisation arm of the University of Cambridge, with participation from Crista Galli Ventures, King’s Health Partners MedTech Innovations, Meltwind, Milltrust Ventures and angel investors.
Taking its name from the GPS coordinates of Cambridge where it was founded in 2018, the women-led startup aims to improve health outcomes and health equity by boosting care pathways for all people across the world. It has developed a clinical, AI point-of-care low-cost medical device called NeutroCheck, which it claims will significantly improve safety and quality of life for cancer patients.
NeutroCheck can be used by patients outside of hospital to monitor their risk of neutropenic sepsis, a potentially life-threatening complication of chemotherapy. By enabling at-home monitoring, it enables significant improvements in health outcomes, quality of life and safety. The company’s digital platform also uses AI to better predict patient risk and outcomes and is intended to have a huge impact on the way healthcare professionals treat patients.
The investment will be used to take the NeutroCheck device through clinical trials in the U.K. and deliver on strategic partnerships with key partners, including the UK Sepsis Trust and Macmillan Cancer Support.
Umaima Ahmad, CEO and co-founder, 52 North Health, said: “The digitisation of healthcare can often exacerbate health inequality. We are focused on reinventing the healthcare journey for all patients across the globe, keeping health equity and improved health outcomes at the heart of our work.”
Dr Nicole Weckman, technology advisor and co-founder, 52 North Health, added: "The level of care that people can access is impacted by many factors, including where they live, their ethnicity, gender and level of education. This simply should not be the case and health inequality is recognised as one of the key issues in the NHS Long-Term Plan. We keep this at the heart of our solutions, combining technology with patient and clinician input and key human values, to improve health outcomes."