My Online Therapy and Pilloxa raise funding, Ieso Digital Health and Flow announce clinical studies, and more UK news briefs

Also: Mustafa Suleyman takes on new role at Google; HIMSS appoints senior VP for international analytics.
By Leontina Postelnicu
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Funding. London-based My Online Therapy, which provides a digital mental health service, has announced this morning that it landed £4.2m in funding from the Lighthouse Investment Group. The startup, founded in 2018, now plans to use the funds to expand its product and engineering teams and enhance customer operations, according to a statement.

“Raising £4.2 million and reaching a post-money valuation of £18 million is a testament to 18 months of efforts and resources invested to build and design the infrastructure and industry-leading therapeutic approaches needed to offer unprecedented access to psychological wellness solutions,” said Vasileios Touronis, cofounder and chief operating officer of My Online Therapy.

“Global health and wellness is a £3.2 trillion industry and we believe that with this cash injection, we can build a leading company in this rapidly growing space which will change the way people think about their psychological health and dramatically improve their quality of life,” Touronis added.


Stockholm-based Pilloxa announced at the beginning of December that it secured $1.3m in an investment round led by Bonnier Ventures. Founded in 2015, the Swedish startup has developed a platform that aims to improve medication adherence, and has since forged key partnerships with companies including Novartis division Sandoz Nordics.

“Digital health is one of the key focus areas for Bonnier Ventures. The clinical trial market is of substantial size with great digitalisation potential. Pilloxa, with its data driven solution, tackles one of the industry’s major problems. We look forward to supporting the team as they expand their customer base”, said Dajana Mirborn, investment director at Bonnier Ventures.

“Pilloxa is ready to expand outside Scandinavia with this strengthened investor base,” added Pilloxa chief executive and cofounder Francesco Mazzotta.


Clinical trials. Cambridge-headquartered Ieso Digital Health is launching a clinical trial that will look at the effects of tailored, online cognitive behavioural therapy on the mental health of patients with Type 2 diabetes.

“We have found through our extensive experience in treating mental health conditions with CBT, that there is a prevalence of stress, depression and anxiety amongst patients that have also been diagnosed with a long-term, physical condition, such as type 2 diabetes,” said Ieso Digital Health chief clinical officer Sarah Bateup.

“Although all of our therapists receive thorough training to understand all elements of mental health, it is much more difficult to adapt to patients [sic] specific needs unless they know more about the condition and how to adapt in the best way. Rather than simply extend our service with a tailored treatment, we felt it imperative to run a clinical trial first to test the training and understand the treatment benefits patients can expect before offering a full service to our NHS partners,” Bateup added.

The company said the research would be carried with support from Roche Diabetes Care. More information can be found here.


Flow Neuroscience is undertaking a clinical study that seeks to evaluate the use of combined transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) and behaviour therapy as a treatment for depression. The Swedish company introduced its tDCS headset and accompanying app to the UK market earlier this year, and recently announced pilots with around a dozen outpatient clinics in London’s Harley Street district.

“This new clinical study will, for the first time, evaluate how patients with depression respond to Flow’s tDCS headset combined with its behaviour therapy app,” said Dr Andre Brunoni, from the University Hospital of Sao Paulo in Brazil, who will be leading the research.


Appointments. DeepMind cofounder Mustafa Suleyman announced via Twitter on Friday that he would be joining Google in a role focusing on the “opportunities & impacts of applied AI technologies”, starting from January. This follows a report from Bloomberg back in August that revealed Suleyman had been placed on leave.


HIMSS, owner of MobiHealthNews, has appointed this week Australian Digital Health Agency chief executive Tim Kelsey as senior VP for international analytics. Kelsey will start the new role in February 2020.