Cambridge, England-based health tech company Healthera has raised $3.8 million (£3 million) in a Series A funding round led by Accelerated Digital Ventures, with participation from Cambridge Enterprise and Future Care Capital, to accelerate its expansion across the UK and ‘triple the size of [its] commercial force’, according to Managing Director Martin Hao.
Healthera’s solution, already listed on the NHS Digital Apps Library, enables patients to track their prescriptions, monitor medication intake, and access clinical services, connecting more than 800 pharmacies and GPs across the country since its commercial launch last year.
The announcement follows a recent partnership with NHS Dartford Gravesham and Swanley Clinical Commissioning Group, which will allow more than 100,000 patients to access a free prescription ordering and tracking service through the Healthera mobile app starting from the beginning of September.
The three founders, Cambridge graduates Quintus Liu, Martin Hao, and Jin Dai, initially set out to build the ‘smartest’ solution that would improve medication adherence back in 2015, working with the Cambridge Institute of Public Health.
“With a vision of bringing this to mass market, we envisaged having the product offered directly from pharmacies where every patient gets their medication, rather than a standalone app or expensive hardware. Over time we realized the inefficiencies in the system and the complex processes patients have to go through to acquire their medications; thus we built the solution into a platform to make acquiring repeat prescriptions a breeze,” Liu, Healthera's CEO, said.
The company now plans to use the funding to strengthen its commercial team and grow its network by signing up ‘more independent pharmacies, corporate pharmacies, and GP groups,' while continuing to work with Netherlands-based non-executive director Martijn Veltmaat as it plans to expand across Europe.
“Patients face the same issues everywhere,” Liu added.
But the company also sees a potential to delve into data-driven primary care.
“With the pace we’re growing, we are rapidly amassing a bigger dataset than anyone on aggregated medication intake and ordering behaviour. On a smaller scale, pharmacists are already using this information from patients to spot non-adherent patients to give them special attention. On a larger scale, this will allow us to channel relevant clinical services, whether NHS or private, to close the loop around the patient,” the CEO explained.
Commenting on today’s announcement, Mike Dimelow, ADV chief investment officer, added in a statement:
“Repeat medical prescriptions are used by millions in the UK each year and many more across the world. Paperwork, physical appointments and lack of focus on patient’s needs make this an all too often inefficient process for all involved. Healthera is tackling this by bringing clinical services, prescription and medicine intake monitoring in one consumer platform which has seen rapid uptake from pharmacists and patients since launching in Q4 2017. We expect to see this user base grow even more rapidly as the team expands across the UK and beyond towards a time of effortless prescription for those in need.”