Doccla, a London-based healthtech startup founded in Sweden, sells a remote patient monitoring platform to hospitals and operates so-called “virtual wards.” $3.3 million seed.
Series A is led by US VC General Catalyst, with participation from funds managed by healthcare investor KHP Ventures (in partnership with King’s College London, King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust) ). Existing investors Giant Ventures and Speedinvest, which led the seed round, also backed the Series A, with General Catalyst MD Chris Bischoff joining the board.
General Catalyst could be seen as a potential competitor to Doccla as it has invested in US remote care healthtech unicorn Cadence, which also sells remote monitoring services. (Currently) different target markets (U.S. and Europe) and specific product presentations — I understand Cadence is focused on populations with chronic diseases, but Doccla is a virtual ward/“hospital at home” We’re talking about building — obviously different things. Enough to convince a VC firm that there is value in supporting both for growth.
Doccla’s growth trajectory must have certainly helped. Founded in 2019, the startup only launched a remote patient monitoring service during the pandemic, but is now present in one-fifth (20%) of the UK’s integrated care system (ICS), helping patients said it accepts From over 20 hospitals. In total, it says it has monitored more than 50,000 patients so far. (Note: ICS is a function of the UK’s National Health Service (NHS), essentially a partnership between affiliates and local authorities to coordinate the planning and delivery of health services across the region. The purpose is that.)
The startup’s platform allows hospital clinical staff to remotely monitor (continuously or intermittently) the vital signs of patients during treatment. By enabling early discharge with home monitoring, hospital beds can be freed up for new patients. This is because the NHS suffers from a particularly low average number of beds per 1,000 people compared to her other OECD EU countries, with just 2.4 beds per 1,000 people compared to the OECD EU average of 4.6 and the German average of 7.9. It is important.
We sell end-to-end remote patient monitoring services that cover the provisioning of devices used for monitoring (pre-configured smartphones with large fonts for improved accessibility for the blind and frail, as well as including wearable medical devices for measuring a wide range). physiological parameters); and is responsible for software integration, logistics, customer service, and technical support for seniors and non-digital natives. We are trying to differentiate ourselves from our competitors by significantly reducing the workload of hospital staff.
According to Doccla, current clients include a number of NHS trusts across the UK, including Northampton General Hospital, Cambridgeshire Community Services and Hertfordshire Community Trust.
At the forefront of the competition has confirmed the names of Huma, Current Health and Docobo as UK rivals, but co-founder Martin Ratz said three companies he claims offer “very different things”. It highlights key areas.
“First, we are CQC [Care Quality Commission, aka the independent regulatory body for healthcare providers in England] Being accredited allows us to take clinical responsibility for our patients and reduces the workload for healthcare workers,” he told TechCrunch. “We are device agnostic and we are not pushing our own devices. Finally, our service tier allows us to deliver market leading patient compliance, and across all pathways he exceeds 95% .”
The Series A funding injection will go into further development of the technology stack to support the integration of more medical devices into patient monitoring platforms and electronic medical record systems. And for data analytics and AI, it’s about “expanding clinical capacity and availability” to meet the demands of “virtual hospitals that reduce pressure on the healthcare system.”
In other words, with chronic shortages of both beds and doctors, AI-powered efficiencies are the way to further (safely) expand already stretched healthcare services. A new and innovative tool.
“In the future, an even higher level of care and improved logistics of service delivery will allow us to cover additional clinical specialties,” suggests Ratz.
When asked why Doccla is using AI, he confirmed that it is working on developing predictive alerts to help clinicians monitor more patients.
“Doccla uses data insights to develop automation and AI to further improve service delivery and clinical outcomes,” he said. “This includes a variety of support tools for clinicians, such as predictive alerts.”
For example, there is a risk of bias around AI if the training data is not representative of the patient population, so Doccla is looking for ways to integrate automated alerts and other AI-powered support tools into its platform without putting patients at risk. think. Safety is certainly something to look out for. (Obtaining regulatory certification for such functionality will also be less straightforward as more agencies and oversight bodies are involved.)
Still, it appears significant that Doccla’s investor roster includes funds directly linked to a number of NHS trusts.
On the issue of scalability, especially around patient support — which can require a lot of one-on-one patient interactions with tired and frail people who are not used to using connected technology — Ratz said: said like this. This is because it is integral to building and scaling virtual hospitals. Especially at the intersection of new models of care, especially behavior change, it is needed. Doccla’s virtual patient support and clinical teams are highly efficient and scale to his advantage. ”
Also scheduled for Series A: expansion into new European markets and segments, according to Ratz. However, he is not interested in exactly where the new launch is aimed. It will be shaped by open tenders, especially open tenders in the larger market,” he said, adding: Important operator in some countries.
The startup’s platform can serve a “very diverse range” of patients, from palliative care to pre- and post-surgical patients, Ratz said. We plan to start throwing AI into the mix).
“The largest patient group we work with includes COPD [Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease] and heart-related health. Although the applicability of remote care is very good, some patient groups (e.g. those with in-person support, such as very acute patients or people with dementia) are not well suited for remote monitoring. No,” he says.
Regarding the Series A funding, General Catalyst’s Bischoff said in a statement: Doccla has immense potential, not only providing a much-needed lifeline to overwhelmed hospitals, but also making a real impact by improving patient outcomes through remote monitoring. The founders’ vision of driving a more digital and decentralized healthcare that combines physical and virtual pathways aligns with General Catalyst’s health assurance theme. Importantly, our partnership approach with NHS Trusts reflects our core values of radical collaboration and responsible innovation – innovation that improves society. At General Catalyst, we support companies that make lasting, strong, positive change, and we believe Martin, Dag, and team do just that. ”