Medbelle, a United Kingdom and Berlin, Germany based startup that brands itself as the first digital hospital, has raised $7 million in a Series A financing round, as it sets its eyes on expanding outside of its primary market.
The financing round was led by Signals Venture Capital, with participation from Talis Capital, Mutschler Ventures, IBB Beteiligungsgesellschaft and Cavalry Ventures.
Healthcare lagging behind in digitization
Medbelle co-founder and managing director, Daniel Kolb, said the new money will be used to accelerate development and grow the startup’s footprint.
“It will allow us to streamline high-quality care at scale and take even more work off the hospitals’ and specialists’ shoulders. Our technology helps them to operate more efficiently, be better-utilised and fully focused on what matters most: the best care for patients,” Kolb said in a statement.
Signals Venture Capital investment manager, Clemens Koós, noted that there had been rapid digitization in other industries, but somehow, healthcare lagged behind. Koós expressed optimism that Medbelle was on a mission to change that and spearhead the rapid digitization of the healthcare sector.
“Medbelle’s technology and personalised care enable much simpler and more affordable medical treatments – while allowing healthcare providers to efficiently focus on treating patients. We look forward to working with the Medbelle team and co-investors in expanding the platform to include more treatment specialities and increasing its reach,” Koós added.
How the Medbelle system works
Medbelle, which says it provides an end-to-end platform for medical procedures, works by allowing patients to book medical procedures via its web and app based platforms.
In its launch phase, Medbelle focused on private patients, who self-funded procedures such as hip and knee replacement, ophthalmology and cosmetic surgery, which can be booked via its online platforms. Now, the startup, which was founded in 2016, is expanding into orthopedics and fertility.
Medbelle has plans to work with the U.K.’s National Health Service and private and public health insurance providers to expand its base, as it seeks to leverage its technology and services.
Medbelle’s three-layered “digital hospital” model consists of Medbelle Platform, Medbelle Care, and Medbelle Operating System, which the company says place unprecedented control in the hands of patients, while giving healthcare professionals access to an integrated suite of management tools covering the entire treatment journey – from first consultation to billing, post-operative care and follow-up.
“Patients book their procedure with us, which provides them with prices and a selection of leading, pre-vetted specialists and state-of-the-art operating facilities – with all organizations taken care of by the platform. Once a patient is registered, every aspect of their treatment is accessible via a single, simple web portal and app, or through their own personal Medbelle Care Adviser,” Medbelle co-founder, Leander de Laporte, said.
It is estimated that about 33,000 people in the U.K. have signed up to the Medbelle service, with the startup hoping this number will rise to 144,000 users by 2020.
“Our vision is to create a world in which all patients can navigate their treatment journey digitally and receive personal care at the click of a button. There is a massive lack of digitisation and patient care for medical procedures and little sight of someone changing this entirely. This results in a lack of quality and price transparency, bad communication and patients feeling left alone and neglected in their treatment journey,” Medbelle co-founder, Leander de Laporte was quoted saying.
Medbelle says it has state-of-the-art operating facilities and leading specialists who can be consulted at the click of a button. It adds that their service makes diagnosis and treatment more transparent for patients.
Boon for digital health market
The U.K. private healthcare sector is forecast to reach $13.8 billion by 2023, while the global digital health market is projected to hit the $536 billion mark by 2025. With such projections, it is unsurprising that a startup like Medbelle is attracting such kind of investment in its Series A financing.
Talis Capital managing partner, Vasile Foca pointed out that this was the right time “to be focusing on technologies that can transform healthcare and the patient journey as we know it today,” adding that “Medbelle is the world’s first digital hospital that creates real value for both patients and providers and offers unrivalled care from some of the country’s best specialists.”