DigitalHealth.London Accelerator SME Ampersand Health, who was selected for the TechForce19 initiative last month, have recently announced that they are also set to benefit from the government’s Innovate UK funding.
Ampersand Health uses behavioural and data science to personalise pathways and support better self care for people with long term inflammatory conditions. Its apps are designed to improve patients’ mental health and quality of life by helping address their stress management, medicine adherence, sleep quality, relationships and more; with courses for food choices and flare management in development.
My IBD Care – Ampersand Health’s self-management app for people with Crohn’s or Colitis – helps people live happier and healthier lives. The app uses behavioural and data science to deliver courses designed to improve sleep quality, stress management and medication adherence; with modules for food choices and flare management in the work.
Last month, Ampersand Health was one of 18 companies (out of 1,700 applicants) selected by Public, NHSX and the Department of Health and Social Care for TechForce19. The initiative encouraged tech companies to focus on supporting the elderly, vulnerable and self-isolating during COVID-19.
In response to the initiative, Ampersand Health developed two new situationally-relevant short courses – ‘Staying Active’ and ‘Healthy Relationships’ – designed to help patients in lockdown improve their overall wellbeing. 87% of people who took the course said that they impacted their mental health and wellbeing positively. These courses are found in a new category in the app called ‘Life in Lockdown’.
“At a time where individuals on immunosuppressants, steroids or biologic medicines are advised to self-isolate, these courses are a timely tool for maintaining health and happiness at home,” said Dr Bu’ Hayee, Consultant Gastroenterologist at King’s College Hospital and co-founder at Ampersand.
One patient notes about the new ‘Staying Active’ short course “‘A lot of exercise or wellbeing classes don’t take chronic illness into account. It was great that this course has been designed especially for us!”
The UK government announced on May 22nd that 800 innovative businesses and start-ups – including Ampersand Health – are set to benefit from a £40 million investment to drive forward new technological advances, particularly as a response to the Covid19 outbreak.
The Innovate UK funding will allow the company and its partners – including the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society – to invest in and evidence new behavioural medicines for people living with inflammatory arthritis.
One patient notes of the app, “I was diagnosed with RA and a lot of medications, appointments, blood tests and exercises were thrown at me. I have had such a hard time keeping track of my medications and appointments and this app helps me keep everything organized in one place. It reminds me to take my medications on time”.
A version of the platform is available for free – for the NHS via G-Cloud 11 and for patients via the app store.