New acceleration programme for start-ups officially launches

Three health start-ups have been selected to join a new acceleration programme launched by pharma company Novartis and 02’s innovation arm, Wayra UK.

The Health Hub is an intensive nine-month acceleration programme where start-ups gain access to the companies’ expertise and extensive networks to help bring their solutions to market. The programme looks at how healthtech can be used to help long-term disease management through the use of practical solutions that can improve the quality of care in the UK.

The launch comes after secretary of state for health Matt Hancock encouraged healthcare start-ups to join the new initiative.

Hancock said: “I want the UK to be the best place in the world for health tech start-ups and, through our Long Term Plan and Tech Vision, we are transforming the NHS into an ecosystem of innovation to allow the best technologies to flourish. It is great to see Novartis and Wayra UK launching the Health Hub acceleration scheme to help innovators scale their business.”

The start-ups to join THe Health Hub include Virtue, a company developing products to treat and prevent long-term health conditions; TestCard, which has created a ‘Postcard’ with an embedded, pull-out urine test and app to provide immediate results; and ExSeed, a company that tests and improves the quality of your sperm with a smartphone device and intelligent lifestyle app.

Market access director at Novartis, Fiona Bride, said: “The calibre of the applications received was incredible. After a rigorous judging day, I believe the innovations these three start-ups offer will make a significant difference to patients and the NHS. I look forward to supporting them over the course of the programme and wish them every success.”

Gary Stewart director of Wayra UK said: “There is no bigger problem than health. We are eager to work with Novartis to support clever entrepreneurs that will find the solutions that will help our loved ones and ourselves all live longer, healthier lives.”



Reece Armstrong is a reporter for Digital Health Age. Coming from the North East of England, Reece has an MA in Media & Journalism and a BA in Popular & Contemporary Music from Newcastle University. Reach him on Twitter or email via: reece.armstrong@rapidnews.com


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