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DHI project in the press

AI health deterioration detection startup wins £1 million contract from NHS England

Friday, February 24, 2017

SBRI contract awarded to snap40 for “game-changing technologies with the highest potential value to patients and the health service”


snap40, the doctor on your arm, is already building this future. Today, snap40 announced that it has been awarded a £1 million SBRI healthcare development contract by NHS England. The contract supports the company to further scale its technology and provides critical validation funding for two clinical studies with NHS Fife and with NHS Lothian’s Emergency Medicine Research Group Edinburgh (EMERGE) based in the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh.

snap40 uses a predictive analytics software platform to identify, in real-time, those who are at risk of health deterioration. The company uses a single medical wearable device, worn on the upper arm, to continuously monitor more health indicators than any other single device on the market, transmitting this data continuously to its software platform.

snap40 uses a set of proprietary machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithms that analyse the data provided by its sensors to recognise indicators of health deterioration. The raw data collected by the sensors is converted into vital signs, which are analysed for signs of change and potential risk.

Once the level of risk has been determined, snap40 automatically determines how serious the risk is. If considered to be sufficiently high, the system will provide an alert to clinical staff via their preferred communication channel.

By alerting doctors and nurses early, action can be taken sooner, potentially saving that person’s life, improving outcomes, and allowing them to return home earlier or preventing admission to hospital entirely. The company was founded based on its co-founder & CEO, Christopher McCann’s experiences working in hospitals while studying medicine.

McCann said “In an ideal world, we’d all have our own dedicated doctor sitting with us, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. But, with increasing pressure on healthcare systems and challenges in prioritising competing demands, access to doctors and nurses is at a premium. Our society simply cannot afford one-to-one care – snap40 changes that. It allows our world-class healthcare staff to care for many more patients by helping them to prioritise who needs attention most. This contract from NHS England is a recognition of the value our product can bring to health services all over the world.”

With the elderly population rapidly expanding and requiring far more health and care resources, snap40 is a catalyst for change in health and care pathways to meet these resource challenges.

NHS Fife, which worked with snap40 on the company’s first clinical evaluation last year, is continuing to collaborate with the company.

Dr Amanda Wood, NHS Fife Assistant R&D Director said: “NHS Fife has a long history of supporting new technology that can improve patient care and help us improve delivery of services. We are delighted to continue collaborating with snap40. Their product has the potential to change how we deliver healthcare.”

“People are increasingly taking control of their own health, using tools to inform their behaviours and decisions,” said Karen Livingstone, National Director SBRI Healthcare. “Artificial intelligence technology is becoming more and more powerful, and will play an increasing role in healthcare over the coming years. We’re excited to be working with snap40 to explore how application of the technology can monitor patients’ vital signs and help predict patient deterioration.”

snap40 has spent the last year validating its product. The company is now pursuing its mission to prevent illness and create a healthier, safer and happier society with less strain on health services - reducing unnecessary hospital admissions and, where individuals are admitted, ensuring they can return to the familiar surroundings of their own homes as soon as possible.

“Each and every one of us has our own stories of a loved one falling ill or being in hospital – sometimes unnecessarily or for longer than is required,” said David Bowie, Co-founder & COO, snap40. “snap40 will change this – making you healthier and happier.”

This contract continues the progress the company has made since it secured one of Scotland’s largest ever seed investment rounds last year, including expansion of its engineering and science team and significant advances towards European and USA regulatory clearance. The company expects CE marking in the next two months.

About SBRI Healthcare

The Small Business Research Initiative for Healthcare (SBRI Healthcare) is an NHS England initiative, led by the Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs), whose role is to promote UK economic growth by spreading innovation and best practice across the NHS. Winners receive fully funded development contracts between the awarded company and NHS England to meet known healthcare need.

Generally taking a three-phased development approach, projects start with a 6-month feasibility phase and can then move on to more detailed product development. Phase 1 contracts for feasibility testing are valued at up to £100,000 and last for six months. Phase 2 contracts for prototype development are worth up to £1 million over one year. Phase 3 contracts are intended to accelerate product adoption, with up to a further £1 million over 12 months, providing the opportunity for validation in NHS settings. While the public sector has the right to license the resultant technology, its intellectual property (IP) remains with the company, thereby enabling successful businesses to grow.

SBRI Healthcare supported companies are already making an impact; Owlstone Medical was recently awarded Invention of the Year in Top 50 Digital Health Awards for its breathalyzer for disease and PolyPhotonix named in Top 50 North East Tech companies as it tackles the causes of diabetes-related sight-loss with an LED sleep mask.




snap40 images:


Media contact:

Danny Sullivan

+44 772 497 4255