Edinburgh AI healthcare firm raises $8m in funding

AI-enabled healthcare company snap40 has announced that it has secured $8m in seed financing led by ADV, with participation from MMC Ventures; the largest funding of its kind for a digital healthcare company in the UK and bringing the total raised to $10m.

The firm’s wearable device monitors the body in real-time, with an accuracy equivalent to ICU monitoring, it said in a statement. Using this real-time data, the company’s proprietary algorithms identify those whose health is at risk and proactively bring healthcare to them. Initially, snap40 is deploying its technology with healthcare providers in the UK and the US.

Joining ADV and MMC Ventures, are private investors who participated in the round including technology industry leaders and executives Gordon Craig, co-founder of Craneware, Gareth Williams, founder of Skyscanner, and Qasar Younis, the former chief operating officer of Y Combinator and founder of TalkBin.

The firm will also will benefit from the continued support of existing investors Par Equity and the Scottish Investment Bank. The investment will accelerate snap40’s expansion into the US where it has clinical trials and pilots with leading hospitals and institutions looking to identify acutely and chronically deteriorating patients earlier, in order to reduce risk and cost while improving patient health.

The company statement said that snap40 “offers a complete, automated picture of human health. Using a wearable device, the company monitors individuals during and after hospital admissions, as well as for chronic health conditions and in clinical trials.

“According to initial clinical trials, snap40’s proprietary AI algorithms provide awareness of acute or chronic patient deterioration earlier than standard care.

“In addition, snap40’s continuous and automated approach provides insights to doctors and nurses about health behaviors that might go unnoticed in today’s healthcare environments, offering improved workflows, reduced stress and better systems of care for everyone.

Mike Dimelow, chief investment officer at ADV, said, “Human life is precious. Monitoring, protecting and improving health is of importance to all corners of society.

“snap40 addresses that through a wearable device with smart technology built-in that allows us to identify human health risks with incredible accuracy.

“We see this evolving into an AI-driven platform on which snap40 and others can use and process health data from wearable products of the future, to identify sickness and disease patterns.

“The quality of the founding team, angel investors and progress to date have made us really excited about the potential here to redefine health monitoring and extend its reach well beyond hospital walls.”

The company statement added that snap40’s HIPAA-compliant and secure mobile technology is designed to alleviate the stress and risks doctors and nurses face when administering care, eliminating the manual approaches that hinder them.

For patients, the device monitors vital signs and other data to determine which patients will become ill and how, enabling earlier medical intervention and fewer hospital readmissions.

“With our society growing older and larger, in the coming years we will see AI fundamentally reshape how healthcare is delivered,” said David Kelnar, partner and head of research at MMC Ventures.

“snap40 is an excellent example of how AI is moving ‘beyond the hype’ – the company’s robust application of AI is solving an important real-world problem, augmenting the efforts of healthcare staff and helping save lives. We’re excited to support Chris, Stewart and the rest of the team as the business expands and brings their technology to new markets.”

With an office in New York and headquarters in Edinburgh, Scotland, snap40 plans to more than double its headcount by the end of 2018, hiring in all areas with a focus on candidates who believe in using technology to save lives and improve healthcare.

The snap40 team, led by co-founders Christopher McCann and Stewart Whiting, is comprised of Ph.D.s, healthcare professionals, data scientists and engineering experts hailing from companies including Apple, Microsoft, Skyscanner, Space Labs, and FanDuel, as well as leading AI research groups.

Christopher McCann, snap40 CEO and co-founder, said, “As a medical student, I witnessed patients live with long-term disability or die as a result of late recognition of their deteriorating health. This is where technology can make a difference.

“It’s a moral imperative to use all of our knowledge in science and technology to improve healthcare – that’s why Stewart and I founded snap40. Using AI to recognize illness earlier and enable earlier treatment can save lives, and it can prepare our healthcare system for the future.”