A Bevan Health Technology Exemplar has received two major injections of funding totalling more than a quarter of a million pounds in the space of a month.
Bond Digital Health develops software and other technology to support health providers, practitioners and patients, has received a private equity investment of £200,000 in addition to a £68,583 grant from Innovate UK.
The £200,000 equity investment, which was advised by Severn Seed Finance, is part of a planned £1million funding round for 2018 and will be used to support the growth of the business, including creating new jobs.
The grant, awarded as part of Innovate UK’s Precision Medicine competition, will allow the company to develop a revolutionary new wearable technology product for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
The device will help patients monitor their condition and provide more accurate and comprehensive health data to their doctor.
Described as a ‘digital stethoscope’, the device will be attached to the patient via a patch to record lung and heart noises.
These will be sent to a smartphone before being uploaded to a central analytical system and then stored in a secure cloud database that clinicians can access 24/7.
Ian Bond, the founder of Bond Digital Health, who suffers from COPD, said the device could “transform” the doctor-patient relationship.
“With a chronic condition like COPD there is often lack of information for days or months between appointments, which we call the ‘whitespace void’, during which the doctor has to rely on anecdotal evidence or, at best, inaccurate paper diaries detailing the patient’s condition,” he said.
“Using the application of machine learning, we can empower COPD patients to self-manage their condition, improve their wellbeing and reduce consultations and admissions.”
Innovate UK assessors described the proposal as an “interesting and innovative concept”, and said it had “the potential to improve the diagnosis of patients with COPD and allow better monitoring of their condition”.
The funding boost caps a successful few months for Bond Digital Health, which was picked as one of the Welsh businesses predicted to have a “big 2018” by WalesOnline.
In May, the company was invited to showcase its software platform and app developments at an international biotech event in Zaragoza, Spain.
Bond was awarded £7,500 by the Bevan Commission to help develop an electronic diary app that will help COPD patients self-manage their condition.
Called myCOPDnurse, the project, a collaboration between Bond and Hywel Dda University Health Board, will allow patients to record factors such as medication use and symptoms while monitoring environmental factors such as air quality, pollen and weather.
It will also integrate with the wearable tech device to provide 24/7 monitoring of lung disease patients after discharge from hospital.
Bevan Commission Deputy Director, Siôn Charles, said: "It is encouraging to see a Bevan Health Technology Exemplar attracting transformative funding which will put innovative health technology from Wales on the world stage. We were delighted to support Bond's collaboration with Hywel Dda Univeristy Health Board to develop myCOPDnurse, and we look forward to seeing how this investment enables more lung disease patients to monitor and manage their condition."
In addition to these recent successes the company has been producing revenue from supporting a number of major clients during clinical trials with its bespoke software and app development.
Ian Bond, founder of Bond Digital Health, said: “We are confident that Bond Digital Health’s success will continue to grow over the coming months and that 2018 will prove to be a breakthrough year for the company.”