The development and availability of wearables is running hand in hand with the exploding interest in the digital health space. Managing our health via apps and devices is slowly becoming the norm. And patients that need to monitor their condition day-to-day have even more to benefit from this powerful combination. Startups are of course entering this space in droves.
The latest is a startup which launches out of stealth today: MyHealthPal, an iOS app and analytics platform that enables people with long-term health conditions to manage their condition, is initially focusing on Parkinson’s Disease, but could be applied similar diseases.
It’s now secured an initial seed funding of £500,000, and launched a trial with the highly respected Mount Sinai Hospital in New York.
The investors include a mix of private and institutional investors. Venture Capital firm Proxy Ventures is participating. But the lead investors are Andrew MacKay, chairman of Yapp Brothers and previously director of IG Group Holdings, and angel investor Will Armitage. They are joined by health and medical business expert Terence Bradley.
It’s often the case that the best startups are created by entrepreneurs who want to address problem they’ve encountered personally. In founder Mike Barlow’s case, it couldn’t be more personal. The tech entrepreneur founded the company after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s at age 41, two years ago. He discovered there was no effective way to manage and measure the effectiveness of his medication, track symptoms, log mood, diet, exercise and other metrics and their impact on his quality of life.
So MyHealthPal aggregates patients’ day-to-day data points into a dashboard for the patient.
Now, the space is already well populated by mpower, Gluko and GlucoSuccess. Not to mention the launch of Apples HealthKit and ResearchKit. NEA is also a significant investor in this space, amongst others.
However, myHealthPal thinks it has a better solution because it’s been designed by an actual patient for other patients.
The clever move with this startup is that is also allows users to donate their anonimized data in return for a share of the revenues that data generates to scientific research institutions and charities supporting research and care. Boom. This is like the ‘share economy for patients’.
To achieve this, MyHealthPal says it complies with EU and US data privacy requirements and uses HIPAA certified technology.
Mary Keane-Dawson, Group CEO, MyHealthPal, says ultimately, MyHealthPal analytics platform will enable research and data scientists “to query large volumes of data, which is why MyHealthPal is such an interesting business for both investors and medical research institutions.”
The startup says it’s now in “advanced discussions” with other institutions and charities both in the UK and US.
The ‘market’ if you can call it that, is, unfortunately big. There are over 421 million people living with long-term chronic conditions such as Parkinson’s Disease, Diabetes, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Irritable Bowel Disease, HIV/AIDS and Alzheimer’s according to the World Health Organisation.