UK-focused and Brussels-based healthcare technology start-up Awell Health has raised £1.9 million in funding in a round led by early stage venture capital investor LocalGlobe, with participation from Moonfire.

NHSX approved supplier Awell Health said the investment will facilitate the introduction of a software platform to enable healthcare organisations to create, implement and continually update care pathways to improve patient outcomes.

In a statement Awell Health said that while public opinion and many new players in the digital health space believe data is the answer to solving the healthcare crisis, Awell Health believes the focus needs to be on reorganising largely paper-based and disjointed processes.

The company’s co-founder and chief executive Thomas Vande Casteele (pictured) said: “Technology has enabled teams in almost all industries to digitise and reinvent their workflow, but healthcare is still largely stuck in its old ways, using outdated traditional paper-based processes As consumers, we are led to believe the industry has rapidly transformed – with news of innovations in robotic surgeries, new treatments, apps and wearables – but the way care delivery is organised has changed very little.”

Awell Health’s statement added that healthcare organisations have had to use tools like text-based PDFs to create and implement complex guidelines, clinical protocols and care pathways, which makes the path of progress from evidence to practice incredibly slow. One study revealed it takes on average 17 years for scientific knowledge about the best care to be applied to clinical practice.

Thomas adds: “Making existing care processes evolve to reflect the latest clinical insights continues to be an archaic, slow and cumbersome process. New evidence is generated at a rapid pace yet takes ages to be included in the standard of care. In the Netherlands, for example, certain guidelines have a maximum validity of five years before they should be reassessed, in practice, we see many guidelines older than five years old. The reality is they should be updated much more frequently as clinical research is published which has been rising exponentially over recent years. Existing solutions are not built to support these complex needs.”

Date published: September 23, 2020

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