NHS and Oxford University tap IoT company Drayson Technologies to develop digital health tools

By Heather Mack
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London-based Drayson Technologies, a healthcare IoT company, is getting a high profile gig and funding to help build out and commercialize digital health tools for the University of Oxford and Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. 

Under a five-year, Strategic Research Agreement, the three entities will join forces to develop digital health products based on research from Oxford Biomedical Research Center and funded by the National Institute for Health Research. The SRA comes on the heels of Drayson’s $19.3 million (15 million British pounds) Series C financing, which was led by Woodford Investments. The company has raised over $53 million (41 million pounds) to date.

“Chronic disease affects the lives of millions of people as well as accounting for around 70 percent of NHS costs. Digital health technologies offer the potential to make a huge difference for these people and save money for the NHS,” Drayson Technologies Chairman and CEO Lord Drayson said in a statement. “This highly innovative partnership will ensure that there is a pathway from invention to commercialization for digital health products created in Oxford that will deliver benefits to patients and reinvestment back into the University and the NHS Trust.”

Under the terms of the agreement, the NHS and Oxford will each receive an aggregate $6.4 million (5 million pounds) in equity. As products are developed, Drayson will sponsor research and clinical validation, and the agreement also ensures profits raised from products developed will come back to the NHS and Oxford, in turn spurring more innovation. The company has developed, among other things, sensor-based apps, air-monitoring networks and software for chronic condition management.

“Our work with wearables, smart devices, and machine learning algorithms has enabled the delivery of real-time, personalized healthcare to patients where it is most needed, from the hospital to the home,” Oxford University engineering professor Lionel Tarassenko said in a statement. “The partnership with Drayson Technologies gives us a unique opportunity to accelerate the development and deployment of these digital health products across a wide spectrum of conditions.”