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These are the 15 European health startups investors think will blow up during the coronavirus pandemic

Healx founders
  • Health startups are in the spotlight as governments around the world struggle to contain the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Investors are eyeing disruptive firms, with investment in European health startups up 40% year on year in 2020.
  • We asked eight of Europe's top VC investors to pick out the 15 health tech startups they thought were ones to watch in 2020. 
  • Click here for more BI Prime stories.
Health startups that might speed up a medical breakthrough or can make communications easier between clinicians and patients are in the spotlight during the pandemic.
As demand rises, European investors are funneling more cash into health startups. According to figures provided by research firm Beauhurst, investments in European healthtech firms jumped more than 40% between the first quarters of 2019 and 2020 – from $96 million to $140 million. However, the data also reveals larger sums of money are being invested in fewer startups, with the overall number of deals down from 27 to just 19.
With the sector poised for rapid expansion, we asked eight of Europe's top VC investors which health tech startups they thought were ones to watch in 2020 and how they were reacting to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Check them out — in no particular order — below:
SEE ALSO: We asked 9 of the most prominent VC investors in European tech to pick out fintech startups they think will blow up in 2020. Here are the 15 they chose.

KRY, the app that lets you consult your doctor remotely



Cited by: Martin Mignot, partner, Index Ventures
In the Index Ventures portfolio? Yes
Total raised: $238 million
What it does: KRY's app — known as LIVI in some markets — lets patients book and undertake video appointments with GPs and qualified health professional in a matter of minutes, through either their smartphone or tablet.
Why it's hot in 2020: "KRY/LIVI has 2500 doctors in five European countries offering video consultations," Mignot said. "As remote appointments jumped from 1 in 10 to 7 in 10, KRY has added additional capacity on its app and launched a video consultation software available for free for all healthcare professionals."
What it's doing during the coronavirus pandemic: "LIVI has also partnered with NHS in the UK, helping to serve three million patients, and it is supporting many other national providers to ensure the continuity of important healthcare services for their citizens," Mignot added. "It's been fantastic to see the response of the team, showing true leadership in this crisis."



AccuRx, the doctor-patient SMS platform that's exploded



Cited by: Julia Hawkins, LocalGlobe
In the LocalGlobe portfolio? Yes
Total raised: $11 million
What it does: AccurRx allows for simple and effective communication between GPs and patients via SMS, something previously restricted to mail in the UK.
Why it's hot in 2020: "AccuRx are laser-focused on solving real healthcare issues with simple solutions," Hawkins said. "They've retained a problem-solving DNA as a company as they've grown and remain focused on dealing with communication inefficiencies that GPs face."
What it's doing during the coronavirus pandemic: AccuRx expanded its offering significantly at the start of the pandemic and now offers video chat services between patients and practitioners. The company now has 35,000 video consultations a day using its new service which was built in a weekend.
You can read our interview with AccuRx CEO Jacob Haddad here.



The future-gazing drug discovery service Healx



Cited by: Irina Haivas, Atomico
In the Atomico portfolio? Yes
Total raised: $67.9 million
What it does: Healx develops treatments for rare diseases using proprietary artificial intelligence software.
Why it's hot in 2020: "The traditional drug discovery model has not changed in decades," Haivas said. "It is still like how we used to make things by hand before engineering advances brought us industrialization. And it fails us especially when we need speed in getting solutions out, as is the case with the COVID-19 pandemic."
"Teams like Healx that use technology to advance drug discovery, and biology more broadly, into an era of engineering and industrialization offer a hope on a new paradigm for disease treatment discovery, one that is more aligned with the possibilities and needs of the 21st century," she added.
What it's doing during the coronavirus pandemic: Healx, founded by Viagra co-inventor Dr David Brown, has repurposed its AI system developed to find drugs for rare diseases, including coronavirus.



Owkin uses AI for medical research



Cited by: Irina Haivas, Atomico
In the Atomico portfolio? No
Total raised: $18.1 million
What it does: Owkin is a French-American startup that deploys AI and federated learning for medical research. Pharmaceutical companies can use an algorithm to search rival companies' data without revealing any commercial advantage using Owkin's blockchain platform.
Why it's hot in 2020: "We can accelerate research by sharing and Owkin's platform is helping solve the data privacy concerns that have traditionally been a barrier to collaboration," said Haivas.
What it's doing during the coronavirus pandemic: "We are seeing many amazing efforts by health tech startups raising to the challenge of this Covid crisis," Haivas said. "One of these is Owkin's Open AI collaborative science consortium which uses their federated learning platform to enable researchers from academia and industry to collaborate on COVID research."



Siilo lets healthcare teams collaborate securely



Cited by: Ashley Lundström, deal partner at EQT Ventures
In the EQT Ventures portfolio? Yes
Total raised: $4.9 million
What it does: Siilo provides secure messaging and collaboration for healthcare teams. Rather than use unsecured text messaging apps, healthcare professionals can connect and exchange ideas within their networks with less fear of privacy and data breaches.
Why it's hot in 2020: "Siilo's making serious progress cracking one of the hardest and overlooked nuts in healthcare: getting great tech into the hands of medical professionals," Lundström said. "The service enables medical professionals to get up and running directly in a familiar yet secure UX, and provides tools tailored to the clinical environment.
"In short, the product actually gets used and users become part of an active global network of connected, verified professionals. Unlocking access to the world's medical expertise securely is a transformative step for efficiency in healthcare, bringing a higher quality of care to patients globally."

What it's doing during the coronavirus pandemic: Healthcare officials are using Siilo to communicate during the Covid-19 crisis with UK signups in March going up 738% on February.



Corti analyses audio to help triaging



Cited by: Ashley Lundström, deal partner at EQT Ventures
In the EQT Ventures portfolio? No
Total raised: $2.3 million
What it does: Danish startup Corti applies AI to medical interviews to help better allocate resources. The company uses machine learning to discover symptoms faster than humans, such as cardiac arrests over emergency calls.
Why it's hot in 2020: "Millions of decisions, some split second and many life or death, are made by medical professionals every day," said Lundström. "Corti empowers medical professionals by improving their decision-making processes in these critical situations."
"By systematically using the data and patterns gathered from the many audio interactions patients have with healthcare, such as in emergency response settings, Corti can help triage patients so they get the fastest and most accurate possible care." 

What it's doing during the coronavirus pandemic: Corti is applying its AI to determine which patients have the most need for triage for COVID-19 symptoms.



Nye Health makes it easy for clinicians to speak to patients



Cited by: Ben Evans, InHealth Ventures
In the InHealth portfolio? Yes
Total raised: $2 million
What it does: Nye, named after Aneurin "Nye" Bevan (the British health minister that effectively founded the NHS in 1948), enables any clinician to telephone and video call any patient, on any device – making it easier to provide and access care at any point, with minimal setup and onboarding.
Why it's hot in 2020: Dr Ben Evans, managing director at InHealth Ventures, said: "Their value proposition has become the need of the hour – and has witnessed growth across GP practices in the UK."
As well as a boost in interest from potential overseas the customers, the firm is currently being advised by Twitter cofounder Biz Stone.
What it's doing during the coronavirus pandemic: The firm has acted fast to respond to the coronavirus crisis, rolling out its newly-designed "NyePhone", and has reached out to 30,000 doctors in the UK.
Nye was recently deployed at Milton Keynes University Hospital as part of the patient monitoring and treatment during COVID 19.



Healios provides resources for mental health



Cited by: Ben Evans, InHealth Ventures
In the InHealth portfolio? No
Total raised: $2.7 million
What it does: Healios is a specialist online provider of mental health and neurodevelopmental services. Through its online clinical platform and self-management tools, it delivers clinical care for the UK's NHS, schools, and other third-sector organizations.
Why it's hot in 2020: Healios is already being used by more than 20 NHS trusts, and provides support for 14 different conditions, including anxiety, depression and psychosis.
What it's doing during the coronavirus pandemic: As part of its response to COVID-19, Healios has updated ThinkNinja, its platform targeted towards children and young adults with content and features that will bring self-help knowledge and skills to those who may be experiencing increased anxiety and stress during the crisis.



Current Health monitors patients through wearables



Cited by: Ben Evans, InHealth Ventures
In the InHealth portfolio? No
Total raised: $23 million
What it does: Current Health is an AI-powered remote patient monitoring platform that monitors, manages and engages patients at home in order to reduce risk, readmissions, and cost while improving patient outcomes. It constantly monitors and analyses key vitals using wearables with ICU-level accuracy at home.
Why it's hot in 2020: Asked why Current Health stands out to him, Dr Evans told Business Insider: "It constantly monitors and analyzes key vitals using wearables – with ICU-level accuracy at home."
What it's doing during the coronavirus pandemic: Current Health is currently being deployed in hospitals and across the US and the UK to ensure the safety of frontline workers and increase ICU and hospital capacity by enabling some patients to manage and monitor the infection at home.



Babylon Health provides remote GP consultations



Cited by: Kirsty MacDonald, JamJar
In the JamJar portfolio? Yes
Total raised: $635 million
What it does: Founded in 2013 by British-Iranian entrepreneur Ali Parsa, Babylon provides remote consultations with doctors and healthcare professionals via text and video link. It also triages patients via a chatbot service.
Why it's hot in 2020: In August 2019, Babylon Health achieved unicorn status after raising $550 million at a valuation of $1.5 billion.
What it's doing during the coronavirus pandemic: Babylon has developed a COVID-19 Care Assistant app to give patients with corona symptoms 24/7 support and monitoring. Two Midlands NHS trusts have signed up to the service, covering 7.5% of the UK population, with more to follow.
Business Insider previously reported Babylon had also been in talks with UK government officials to discuss how it could help deal with COVID-19 on a national scale.



Inne provides a suite of tools for fertility and hormone checking



Cited by: Kirsty MacDonald, Jam Jar 
In the JamJar portfolio? No
Total raised: $8.8 million
What it does: A self-described "mini lab for women", Inne allows users to track their hormones via saliva swabs, and says its devices can be used to track fertility and as a form of natural contraception.
Why it's hot in 2020: Fertility tech has become an increasingly popular category over the past few years, with competitors Clue and Fem also emerging in the hormone-tracking space. 
What it's doing during the coronavirus pandemic: As health officials work to stop hospitals being overwhelmed around the world, many women using the implant or IUDs as birth control have seen their usual appointments cancelled.
Inne has held an online video session with Dana Alloy, a researcher in women's health at UCL, covering the impact of hormones on sleep, libido and confidence – with more in the pipeline.



Patchwork pairs health workers with shifts



Cited by: Alexander de Carvalho, PUBLIC
In the PUBLIC portfolio? Yes
Total raised: $4 million
What it does: Patchwork, founded in 2016 by junior doctors Anas Nader and Jing Ouyang, has designed software to help tackle the NHS staffing crisis. The firm's app connects hospitals and other medical institutions with doctors looking for shift work.
Why it's hot in 2020: At present the firm has around 13,000 doctors and clinicians signed up to its platform, and works with 32 different healthcare institutions in need of medical professionals to fill shifts.
What it's doing during the coronavirus pandemic: "Hospitals have been getting in touch to find out how quickly they can roll us out," Nader told Business Insider.
"We're definitely seeing a rise in demand. Right now, we're in the eye of the storm ... The number of healthcare workers hasn't exploded yet.
"But we need to make sure we're prepared if it does."



Sano Genetics offers personalized reports on genetics in exchange for DNA data



Cited by: Julia Hawkins, LocalGlobe
In the LocalGlobe portfolio? No
Total raised: $626,000
What it does: Cambridge, UK-based Sano Genetics is a genomics data and research startup.
Why it's hot in 2020: "I think Sano Genetics are ones to watch because of the strength of the team there," Hawkins said. "If they can do what they say they can do, it has amazing repercussions for drug discovery for rare diseases."

What it's doing during the coronavirus pandemic: Patients submit their healthcare data to the company which then matches their DNA to relevant studies in exchange for personalized health information. That data could be key to better understanding COVID-19.



Doctolib wants to be the OS for doctors



Cited by: Accel
In the Accel portfolio? Yes
Total raised: $266.7 million
What it does: Doctolib is a French company founded in late 2013 that creates consultation management software for health professionals and an online appointment-booking service for patients. It has since expanded its platform to include telemedicine services and its ambition is to become the operating system for doctors and medical practices as well as offering online services for patients through the Doctolib portal.
Why it's hot in 2020: Accel said: "Healthcare is one of the verticals in Europe with low IT spend compared to the US and this will change in the next five years. Doctolib is leading the digital transformation of healthcare in Europe, starting with France and Germany. They have 125,000 doctors on their platform, see 50 million patient visits per month to their website and have a team of 1,400."
What it's doing during the coronavirus pandemic: "When the coronavirus crisis started in Europe, Doctolib managed to evolve its telemedicine product in two weeks to make it self-serve and available to a large number of doctors for free. The success of this initiative was mind-boggling — with 31,000 doctors onboarded in a few weeks and a volume of calls surpassing 100,000 consultations per day and 2.5 million in a month."



Spill focuses on workplace well-being.



Cited by: Hannah Seal, Principal at Index Ventures
In the Index Ventures portfolio? No
Total raised: $807,000
What it does: London-based Spill offers a message-based therapy app to help improve workplace well-being.
Why it's hot in 2020: "In the future, more employers will take on some responsibility for the health and well-being of their employees, and there is a new generation of entrepreneurs helping companies do that," Seal said. "One great example is Spill, startup that is focusing on mental health, and one which has throughout COVID-19 been helping teams manage anxiety and feel less isolated."
What it's doing during the coronavirus pandemic: "Spill is a great example of companies working well during coronavirus," Seal added. "It's a startup that is focusing on mental health, and one which has throughout COVID-19 been helping teams manage anxiety and feel less isolated."





Source
https://www.businessinsider.com/15-european-health-startups-vc-think-will-blow-up-2020-4?IR=T


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