DigitalHealth.London Spotlight: Anna Muñoz Farré

Every week, we shine a spotlight on one of our DigitalHealth.London companies, founders, or NHS fellows. Today, to commemorate Dementia Awareness Week, we are excited to feature Anna Muñoz Farré, who is currently participating in the DigitalHealth.London Leap programme.

What was your motivation for founding your own company?

My grandfather’s battle with Parkinson’s and Lewy body dementia exposed me to the immense challenges faced by patients, carers, and healthcare professionals in managing cognitive decline. Witnessing the toll it took on him and my grandmother, his primary carer, sparked my mission to transform care for neurodegenerative conditions. As an engineer specialising in AI and clinical data, I realised the vast potential for technology to redefine these care models. With the next generation of patients being my parents’ generation, empowering them to take greater control of their health is crucial.

What challenges have you faced as a Founder who is underrepresented in the digital health space?

As a technical founder in the male-dominated tech/AI sector, I am accustomed to facing challenges. Unfortunately, the founder world is no different, making it rare to find female technical founders as role models. Inherent bias and scepticism make it harder for underrepresented founders to gain credibility and secure funding. Moreover, having no existing network in this space compounded the difficulties in raising our current round. To overcome these hurdles, I actively sought mentors, attended industry events, and joined supportive communities like DigitalHealth.London. Having a solid family and friends support network has also been invaluable in keeping me motivated during the most challenging times.

What is the problem you are trying to solve?

Dementia is a growing global challenge, with over 78 million people expected to be living with the condition worldwide. In the UK, an estimated 850,000 people have dementia, a number predicted to rise significantly as the population ages. The impact extends beyond those affected, with approximately 540,000 carers in the UK, many of whom reduce working hours or leave work altogether to provide care. The economic cost is staggering, estimated at £23 billion a year in the UK, which is predicted to triple by 2040.

It is time to redefine cognitive care models. Punto Health’s AI-powered platform bridges the gaps in fragmented support for patients with cognitive decline and their carers. Connecting patients, families and providers allow us to enable continuous and comprehensive care. Our personalised platform harnesses AI to provide tailored resources, remote monitoring, and early detection tools, empowering patients to maintain independence and alleviate strain on carers and healthcare systems. From early detection of mild cognitive impairment to advanced dementia stages, Punto Health serves as a trusted companion, revolutionising dementia care accessibility and effectiveness.

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

A key milestone has been our strategic partnership with Ace Alzheimer’s Center, a leading European research institution and clinic. Co-designing our solution with their clinical team, patients, and carers ensures our platform meets real-world needs. This partnership will be instrumental in validating our cutting-edge digital biomarker for early cognitive assessment and monitoring, with studies scheduled for June 2024. Being part of the DigitalHealth.London Leap programme has also been invaluable, providing access to mentors, networking opportunities, and guidance on navigating NHS procurement.

What are your future goals? What does success look like for you as a Founder?

My vision is for Punto Health to become the leading platform for integrated dementia care management globally, expanding to other conditions in the future. Key milestones over the next two to three years include clinical validations, pilots, and securing commercial contracts with healthcare providers and payers in Spain, followed by UK market entry. Success would be seeing our solution widely adopted, improving outcomes and quality of life for millions of patients and carers worldwide. I also hope to inspire and support other underrepresented founders, particularly women in health tech, to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams and drive meaningful change.

We are actively seeking collaborations with NHS providers to launch our first pilots in the UK, bringing our innovative solution to those who need it most. If you are interested in partnering with us to transform dementia care, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Together, we can make a meaningful difference in the lives of those affected by cognitive decline.

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

The Leap programme aligns perfectly with our mission and values, making it an ideal platform to support our growth. It will be instrumental in refining our go-to-market strategy and preparing us for successful entry into the UK healthcare market. The mentorship, workshops, and connections through Leap will be invaluable in understanding the NHS procurement landscape, identifying pilot opportunities, and building relationships with key stakeholders. This support will undoubtedly accelerate our ability to achieve our goals and scale our impact in the UK and beyond. Finally, being part of a cohort of like-minded founders has created a supportive community where we can share learnings and best practices.

Do you have any advice for aspiring digital health Founders?

My advice is to deeply understand the problem you are solving and maintain an unwavering focus on delivering meaningful impact for patients and caregivers. Stay closely connected to healthcare professionals who truly understand these challenges. Surround yourself with a diverse team that complements your skills and shares your passion. Seek mentorship from experienced professionals in the digital health space and stay up-to-date with the latest industry trends, regulations, and best practices to ensure your solution remains compliant and relevant. Perseverance and resilience are essential, as the journey will inevitably have setbacks. Seek out supportive communities like DigitalHealth.London for guidance, resources, and connections to help you navigate the complexities of being a founder in the healthcare ecosystem. Finally, focus on securing funding and building relationships with investors who align with your mission and values.

Find out more about Anna Muñoz Farré and Punto Health in our Innovation Directory.

Anna Muñoz Farré is currently participating in the DigitalHealth.London Leap programme.

The DigitalHealth.London Leap 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.

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