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Serco selected as strategic partner by Healthbox to help entrepreneurs solve global health challenges

Published: 26 Oct 2012

Serco, the leading UK healthcare service provider, has been selected by Healthbox as one of four strategic partners for Europe's first start-up scheme for health entrepreneurs that has just kicked off in London.

The UK based programme has brought together seven teams of entrepreneurs from across Europe who have the potential to bring about real change to the UK health economy and who have been chosen to take part in a three-month business accelerator programme run by Healthbox in London.

Other strategic partners alongside Serco are Guy's and St Thomas' Charity and Bupa. The programme, also welcomed by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, offers healthcare entrepreneurs mentoring support and access to influential figures and organisations across the public and private healthcare spectrum.

Boris Johnson said:  "London is a leading force in life-science and digital innovation and the natural home for entrepreneurs. I applaud the work Healthbox is doing in bringing the next generation of health tech businesses to the city, helping transform them into vibrant enterprises creating jobs and economic growth for Londoners."

Healthbox's programme has generated interest from twenty countries and five continents across the globe. A survey of entrepreneurs who applied to Healthbox's London and Boston programmes showed that 68% of healthcare innovators see an ageing population and the prevalence of chronic disease as the biggest challenges to the global health economy.

In an apparent response to these challenges, 23% of the startups applying to the programme have developed patient-focused technology to promote wellness and prevention, specifically through influencing consumer behaviour, data management or biometric tracking. This compares with just 4% who proposed new technology for tracking medication usage or 2% who are developing data privacy tools. The results demonstrate a growing trend towards technology and innovation designed to put the patient or user in greater control of their health and care.

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"The Healthbox programme is about fostering collaboration in the sector and identifying solutions and talented entrepreneurs that we think can have an impact and affect sustainable change", said Nina Nashif, the Founder and CEO of Healthbox. "I am very excited to work with these companies and see how they continue to refine their business propositions over the course of the three months and beyond".

Valerie Michie, Managing Director of Serco's Health business said: "We are excited about our partnership with Healthbox.  The programme will bring some fresh thinking and innovation to the health market based on their successful experience in the US that has rarely been seen in the UK outside of the  Pharmaceutical and Biotech markets.  We believe that there are real benefits in supporting the growth of companies delivering innovation to healthcare as the market changes and evolves."

"The Charity is delighted to invest in this programme that supports innovation and entrepreneurship in healthcare", said Sir William Wells, Chairman of Guy's and St Thomas' Charity.  "The techniques and experience that Healthbox provides, alongside the entrepreneurs' talent and vision, will assist in accelerating new business development with the potential to bring real change to healthcare delivery across London and beyond. We look forward to the NHS being able to harness the innovation that the programme will support".

The following seven teams, which have been catagorised into areas of critical need, have been selected to take part in the programme.

Patient Centred Practices

  • SportsClinicPlus is developing an online exercise tool to enable patients to recover quicker from injuries whilst reducing the probability of future chronic injury
  • MIRA Rehab helps patients with temporary physical disabilities recover quickly through technology and video-gaming

Wellness and Prevention

  • SOMA Analytics has developed an intelligent smartphone application for the treatment and management of stress

Care Delivery

  • HomeTouch is helping to transform the lives of older people and their carers through introducing multi-platform technology designed to foster engagement and monitor activity

Evidence-Based Decision Making

  • Portable Medical Technology Ltd develops apps for medical specialists to reduce medical errors, improve efficiencies and patient communication
  • Medopad is a mobile health platform that securely delivers patient information directly to physicians

Advances in Biotech

  • Desktop Genetics is developing a DNA printer device, which provides users with rapid and reliable in-house DNA synthesis capabilities, vital to new drug research in oncology, infectious disease, and regenerative medicine

Over a hundred healthcare leaders from across the NHS and public and private spectrum attended the official launch of the UK based programme, which kicked off on the 17th October.


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