DigitalHealth.London Spotlight: Akara

Every week, we shine a spotlight on one of our DigitalHealth.London companies, founders, or NHS fellows. Today we are excited to feature our current DigitalHealth.London Accelerator company Akara.

What is the problem you are trying to solve and why is it important?

We help hospitals minimise periods of room downtime while ensuring a safe environment for patients.

High-value clinical areas, such as operating rooms and patient isolation rooms, can be decommissioned for long periods (>2 hours per day) due to operational inefficiencies (i.e. staff arriving late) and to facilitate tasks such as room cleaning.

Addressing this inefficiency could allow hospitals to treat more patients, increase staff productivity and reduce the risk of infections.

What is the solution you have developed and how can it help with the problem?

Akara’s technology platform has two components. Firstly, it comprises an AI-powered disinfection robot that can decontaminate rooms (up to 10x) faster and to a higher standard than manual cleaning alone. Secondly, it includes a digital communication system that can provide timely notifications to staff when they are needed in a room.

What is the history of your company?

Akara was founded in 2020 and is a spin-out of Trinity College Dublin. The founding team has more than a decade of experience developing innovative robotic solutions for healthcare and our work has previously featured on the cover of Time magazine. We launched our product to market in Q4 2023, after successful clinical validation with hospitals in the UK, Ireland and Japan. We are now focused on expanding in the UK and US markets.

What successes have you had so far from successful pilots/trials/contracts?

In our most recent hospital pilot, we demonstrated that our technology reduced room downtime in patient isolation rooms from 4.2 hours to just 36 minutes, a 3.5-hour saving.

In addition to saving time, in other hospital deployments, we’ve shown that our technology can enhance the quality of room disinfection by a statistically significant margin, indicating the potential to reduce the risk of patients contracting infections.

What are your future goals? What does success look like?

We are currently focused on demonstrating the ability of our technology to boost operating efficiency in surgical theatres. Operating rooms are among the most resource-intensive parts of the hospital and remain heavily dependent on manual processes. We believe that automation technologies have the potential to lead to improved staff productivity, enable more data-driven workflow, and reduce the risk that patients will contract a surgical infection.

How has your time on the DigitalHealth.London Accelerator helped you in achieving these?

Through the networking days and providing access to an NHS navigator, DigitalHealth.London has provided us with valuable opportunities to engage with leading hospitals in the UK. These conversations have helped us refine the technology and we are hopeful that this will lead to a contract in the coming months.

We have also benefited greatly from the webinars and workshops that DigitalHealth.London has organised. In particular, we have gained valuable new insights into NHS procurement and how to develop a compelling business case for the technology that will prove valuable in the months ahead.

Do you have any advice for aspiring digital health companies?

Aspiring digital health companies must understand how procurement works in the NHS and make it a priority to join an NHS framework that applies to their technology. As we have learned (the hard way!), if you are not on a registered framework, it can be hard for a hospital to buy your product, even if they love it.

Any asks for the audience?

If you are interested in learning more about how robotic automation could help improve operating efficiency at your hospital, please get in touch at

Akara is currently in Cohort 7 of the DigitalHealth.London Accelerator programme.

The DigitalHealth.London Accelerator programme is funded by the UK Government via the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF). It is delivered by the Health Innovation Network (HIN) South London in partnership with the Office of Life Sciences, CW+, Medicity, NHS England, the Mayor of London and the Levelling Up Fund.

For more information, please visit