Also: ONCOassist unveils partnership with MSD; new vice chair for the Academic Health Science Network in England is appointed; NHS England and NHS Improvement name deputy chief people officer.

Flow raises $1.5m, Healthy.io makes UTI test kits available in UK Boots pharmacies, and more news briefs

By Leontina Postelnicu
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Credit: Flow

Malmö-based medical device startup Flow has landed $1.5m (approximately €1.35m) in funding in a round led by Khosla Ventures, it was announced this week. The new funds will be used to support the European rollout of Flow's brain stimulation headset and therapy app, developed to treat depression, which were launched in the UK and Sweden earlier this year.

“The Khosla Ventures investment will support the next stage of our journey as we cement our position as European leaders of brain stimulation treatment for depression,” said Daniel Mansson, cofounder of Flow.

Alexander Morgan, principal at Khosla Ventures, added: “The research on tDCS [transcranial direct current stimulation, which the Flow headset uses] shows efficacy similar to pharmacological treatment with antidepressants, and the Flow team worked hard to show safety, which earned them approval for sale in Europe as a Class IIa medical device.

“The technology combines portable hardware and software, and we believe this offers an exciting and scalable solution for potentially hundreds of millions of people living with depression globally, empowering patients directly with new options for treatment.”


Tel-Aviv, Israel-based startup Healthy.io is rolling out its Dip UTI test kits across 300 Boots pharmacies in the UK after a pilot carried out in London, Sheffield and Cardiff. 

“By partnering with Boots pharmacies, we’re giving women across the U.K. a new option to quickly and easily test and receive treatment for UTIs, without the need to visit a clinic,” said Yonatan Adiri, founder and CEO of Healthy.io. “This partnership, and others like it in the future, will turn community pharmacies into a point of care and, by doing so, expand access to clinical-grade tests while improving health outcomes and lowering costs.”

The startup is also launching a trial across 38 pharmacies with NHS England and the East Midlands Academic Health Science Network (EMAHSN) to see whether the use of their test kits could relieve pressure on GPs.

“By supporting this technology-enabled pathway, we hope to provide patients with quicker and easier access to UTI treatment and reduce general practitioner appointments,” said Tim Robinson, commercial director at the EMAHSN.

Back in February, Healthy.io announced it had raised $18m (approximately €16m) in Series B funding, with the round led by Aleph and participation from Samsung Next and private investors.


After winning the Innovation Factory competition in Beirut earlier this year, ONCOassist (Portable Medical Technology) has unveiled a corporate innovation partnership with pharma giant MSD in Lebanon to make relevant clinical content more easily available to oncology professionals.

ONCOassist, created in 2012, is a CE-approved decision support app offering oncology clinicians access to specialised functionalities and features, including a drug interaction checker, in one platform.

“We are thrilled to have finalised this unique opportunity to partner with MSD across Lebanon. We are looking forward to getting started on the project and to help oncology clinicians improve patient cancer care. This is a wonderful stepping stone for ONCOassist™ in our engagement with the Middle East and Africa,” said Eoin O’Carroll, ONCOassist cofounder and CEO.


Professor Gary Ford, chief executive of the Oxford Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) in England, who developed the Face Arm Speech Test to raise awareness of the most common symptoms of a stroke, has been named as the new vice chair of the AHSN Network, covering the 15 AHSNs across the country.

Piers Ricketts, chief executive of the Eastern AHSN, has also been appointed as chair of the network.

In a statement, Professor Ford said: “I am delighted to be taking on this role at an important time for AHSNs. I will work with Piers [Ricketts], the other chief officers and our partners across health and social care, universities and industry to ensure we continue to develop our role as the innovation arm of the NHS.”


Professor Em Wilkinson-Brice, deputy chief executive and chief nurse at the Royal Devon & Exeter NHS Foundation Trust, will take on the role of deputy chief people officer for NHS England and NHS Improvement, it was announced last week, ahead of the publication of the NHS’ People Plan later this year.

“This is a really exciting time to be joining NHSE/I to work with Prerana to ensure that we have a workforce with the right values, behaviours and skills to deliver the best care possible for patients,” Professor Wilkinson-Brice said.

“The NHS is at its heart a people organisation – whether that is the people who need care or those delivering it – and I am delighted to be involved in a way that can help shape a new approach that makes the NHS a more inclusive and engaging place to work and that allows people to fulfil their potential to deliver compassionate care.”