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Amazon Web Services (AWS) has launched its first UK healthcare technology accelerator, which aims to deliver improved experiences for patients and clinicians, enhance health outcomes, and lower care costs.
Citing Office for National Statistics (ONS) data, which shows that an additional 8.6 million people in the UK will be over the age of 65 in under 50 years’ time, AWS said a major issue will be maintaining high-quality medical care without having costs balloon – something early-stage healthtech startups could provide an answer to.
The four-week accelerator programme will help 12 startups – chosen by AWS and UK-based government technology (govtech) accelerator Public from a pool of 117 applicants – in a range of areas, including business models, regulatory pathways, clinical validation, electronic health record integration, and more.
The startups chosen include Dr Julian, a mental healthcare platform that aims to increase accessibility of mental healthcare provision through patients’ devices; C the Signs, which uses artificial intelligence (AI) to identify patients at risk of cancer at the most early and curable stages; and Infinity Health, a software-as-a-service (SaaS) task management tool designed to help healthcare professionals plan and coordinate care.
To develop their technologies further, the selected startups will also receive AWS Promotional Credits, specialised AWS training, mentoring from healthcare domain and technical subject matter experts, business development, go-to-market guidance, and investment guidance.
“The AWS Healthcare Accelerator in the UK brings innovative startups who are pushing healthcare technology forward together with industry leaders who are eager to see these entrepreneurs succeed,” said Rowland Illing, chief medical officer and director of international government health for AWS.
“This first cohort represents some of the brightest minds in emerging healthcare technology, and we are excited to see what they will accomplish in creating a healthier, more equitable world.”
The remaining startups include Dignio, which connects patients and professionals through a digital platform; Sapien Health, a digital clinic designed to help patients prepare for surgery through sustainable lifestyle changes; WYSA, which uses AI to help users self-manage stress; DDM Health, which sues digital teraputics to improve patient health outcomes; and PEP Health, which uses AI to help patients share their thoughts in real time.
Others include Remedy Rx, which claims to be capturing around 95% of the data that sits outside the healthcare system to create a direct and dynamic link between doctors and patients; Birdie, a tech platform for home care providers; Abtrace, which uses data to transform how long-term diseases are detected, monitored and treated; and Thymia, which analyses speech, video, and behavioural data gathered via video games to assess patients’ mental health conditions.
The accelerator programme will culminate in a virtual demo day on 25 April 2022, where startups will showcase their technologies. From here, the companies will also have potential proof-of-concept opportunities with public sector healthcare customers.
AWS last launched a UK accelerator in June 2021 to support innovative startups working with space-related technologies or data, which was done in collaboration with Seraphim Capital.
According to an April 2021 report by the King’s Fund, the use of digital technology in health and social care can be hugely beneficial, but there are huge gaps between the digital maturity in health and social care organisations.
“For the health and social care sector to make the most of emerging technologies, more evidence is needed on a range of factors, including the cost-effectiveness of such tools, the groups best suited to using these interventions, the effects of digital inequalities on access, and the impact of tools that use digital technologies on outcomes,” said the report.
It added that government initiatives often focus on generating ideas and launching pilots in the sector, but “explicit investment and support for scaling and spreading approaches through the sector may be well beyond the efforts of the Local Government Association’s digital transformation programme”.
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