Florence and CryoTherapeutics secure funding, NHS Wales signs new deal with Microsoft, and more news briefs

Also: Belgian startup epihunter adds new functionality to app; Inhealthcare reveals three-year deal with NHS trust; mySugr receives award in Lausanne.
By Leontina Postelnicu
08:45 am

Funding news. UK social care employment marketplace Florence has announced it raised £5m in a series A financing round led by SEEK. Waverly Capital and Rianta Capital also participated, as well as a network of early stage angel investors not named.

Florence aims to help healthcare professionals find local jobs, and, since 2017, it says over 20,000 nurses have registered on its platform.

The new investment brings the total amount secured by the startup to £7m.

Learn on-demand, earn credit, find products and solutions. Get Started >>

“We are pleased to support Florence in its next phase of growth sharing our expertise in scaling employment platforms,” Isar Mazer, chief operating officer for SEEK Investments, said in a statement. 

“Online platforms are driving significant efficiencies for businesses in the coordination of labour and improving the ease, transparency and control that workers have in identifying and connecting to work opportunities. It is exciting to see the value that Florence can add to the UK social care sector,” Mazer added.

Funding for a cryotherapy system. CryoTherapeutics has scored €7m in Series B funding, the Belgian company said this week. Existing backers Peppermint Venture Partners, Creathor Ventures and Getz Brothers participated in the round, along with public investor Noshaq.

The company is developing a cryotherapy system to help people suffering from coronary artery disease. According to the World Health Organisation, an estimated 17.9 million people died from cardiovascular diseases in 2016, the leading cause of death worlwide.

“I am very excited by the potential of this technology in the treatment of atherosclerotic disease and this funding will provide support for our next clinical phase as we aim to establish our technology as a new treatment modality for use by interventional cardiologists,” CryoTherapeutics CEO John Yianni, said in a statement. 

“Furthermore, we are delighted with the support from our new Belgian public investors in Wallonia in addition to our existing investor base," he said. "This will allow us to create a number of jobs in the short term as we embark on our next stage of development.”

New functionalities. Hasselt, Belgium-based startup epihunter has added a new feature to its CE-marked app allowing the automatic video-recording of absence seizures to help people with epilepsy and their families.

“While our first solution focused on making absence seizures visible in real time and making seizure history available, the addition of video takes a great deal of reporting pressure off the shoulders of parents and family,” Tim Buckinx, CEO and founder of the digital health startup, said in a statement.

Dr Sándor Beniczky, head of clinical neurophysiology at the Danish Epilepsy Centre in Denmark, said using video for the detection of epileptic seizures had “the potential to change the way neurologists and epileptologists assess and document seizure frequency and the effect of therapy.”

Epihunter includes a seizure detection app, a companion app and an EEG headband to record brain waves, available for purchase in Europe.

New agreements. NHS Wales has signed a three-year, £39m deal with Microsoft to strengthen the cyber resilience of the system and enable over 1,000 employees to have access to Microsoft 365.

Andrew Griffiths, director of the NHS Wales Informatics Service, said the development was part of their plans to shake up the IT infrastructure of the health service.

“Frontline staff who work in our health and care services rely on technology, to help them deliver services in new, innovative ways that put the needs of patients first. I am very pleased that we are able to deliver the most up to date tools to our NHS Wales staff to help them with the fantastic work they do every day,” Griffiths added.

Last year, a damning report from the Welsh Assembly Public Accounts Committee released in November raised concerns about the “slow pace of delivery of modern informatics systems” across the NHS in Wales.

Licensing contract. Inhealthcare has announced a three-year licensing contract with Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, agreed on behalf of six NHS organisations in the north east of England. The aim is to help clinicians and patients access new digital tools through a programme known as Health Call.

“Patients are increasingly demanding the ability to interact with their personal health and care records through digital applications and services.

In order to meet this demand six NHS organisations collaborated to create Health Call, an innovative digital platform that allows tailored personalised services to be created for our patients, delivered through our Clinical and Digital teams, working together,” said Graham King, chief information officer at the trust.

“A ‘do once and share’ agreement is reducing delivery costs and patients using the service are benefiting from being able to better engage and manage their health care, whilst reducing the overheads of attending physical appointments,” he added.

Awards. Vienna, Austria-headquartered company mySugr has received the Digital Health Award 2019 at the Tech Tour Healthtech Entrepreneur Awards in Lausanne, Switzerland. 

mySugr wants to help people with diabetes through a self-care package that includes an app available in 17 languages and 69 countries around the world, which already has 1.8m users, according to the company.

“We’re very grateful to receive the Tech Tour 2019 Digital Health Award and honored to be mentioned alongside so many fantastic previous winners [such as Medopad and Sophia Genetics],” said Anton Kittelberger, mySugr chief operating officer.

“The mySugr team’s mission is to make diabetes suck less. And we feel a truly personal commitment to making a real and positive impact in the lives of people with diabetes. We’re humbled by this recognition of our work.”