Medopad, a United Kingdom-based startup with links to China’s Tencent, has closed a $25 million Series B financing, which was led by Leaps by Bayer, an investment arm of pharmaceutical giant Bayer AG.
Other investors in the funding round include Hong Kong-based NWS Holdings, Healthbox, and Chicago VC.
The latest financing brings Medopad’s total funding since it was founded in 2011 to $53 million following $28 million that was raised in early 2018.
Dan Vahdat, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Medopad, said they were delighted with Leaps by Bayer’s investment. “We have found the ideal partner with the dedication to help us reach our vision of creating a world where each person lives their life to the fullest.”
In a statement, Medopad said it will use the money to fuel clinical studies, including digital biomarker discovery, creation of digital therapeutics (DTx), technology development, geographic expansion and commercial growth through strategic collaborations. The money will also be used to help with testing applications in heart disease, depression, Parkinson’s, and diabetic neuropathy.
Digital biomarkers, which Medopad wants to develop with the latest funding, are measurable indicators of the progression of illnesses and disease that are picked up not with blood samples or in-doctor visits but using apps and wearables.
Using artificial intelligence to analyse an array of data from wearable and mobile devices, the startup’s app tracks biomarkers in patients that can predict the development of diseases like diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
At the core of Medopad’s operations is an app that integrates health data from medical bodies, mobile devices, and patient wearables. By applying AI to large data sets, Medopad says it can generate predictive insights that may detect medical conditions, the VentureBeat website reported.
It was further explained that Medopad’s app is designed to provide knowledge of medical conditions to support care and treatment for patients with chronic illness. Its new services include a clinical validation engine to run clinical trials of digital medicine, a portfolio of disease-specific digital modules with digital biomarker capabilities, and new device integration.
Medopad operates by connecting patients with a range of medical professionals with the aim to understand, treat, and ultimately prevent ill health.
Vahdat was quoted by TechCrunch saying that while there had been a lot of chatter about connected healthcare over the past 25 years, no one had done it.
“The nature of the concept has just been too challenging. The approach is established but the computing and device technology weren’t able to detect and read these things outside of hospital settings,” Vahdat said.
The Rude Baguette website explained that, for example, a conventional Parkinson’s test that would normally require a 30-minute assessment in a doctor’s office can now be conducted digitally, using biomarkers collected from mobile devices.
Furthermore, for Parkinson’s Medopad wants to use AI to analyse how patients walk and speak, to manage treatment and to minimize trips to doctors’ offices or clinics.
In addition to developing its apps, Medopad will also use the new funds to support clinical trials already underway at Medopad, including a three-year deal with Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust that will trial a digital application for aortic stenosis (AS), a condition where the heart valve narrows and restricts blood flow.
“This is a very exciting project and fits with our ethos of ‘proactive’ and ‘one to many care’ which, we think, will benefit patients and release valuable clinical time,” James Cotton, of the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust said
In April of 2019, the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust (RWT) announced that it had partnered with Medopad to deliver a remote patient management solution in a three-year deal. Medopad’s solution was set to be introduced in a number of areas of the trust including cardiology, hypertension, and diabetes.
Medopad also has a collaboration with Contract Research Organisation, in which they are carrying out three feasibility studies that seek to identify gait and voice-based digital biomarkers in patients with Parkinson’s, diabetic neuropathy, and depression.
Earlier in 2019, Medopad launched a pilot program for King’s College Hospital in London. The AI platform was integrated with Apple Watches, and provided to patients undergoing chemotherapy, so they could more easily record their medication adherence and symptom management.
Among others, Medopad has entered into strategic alliances with leading healthcare, technology, and academic institutions such as Royal Free NHS Hospital, Ping An Good Doctor, China Resources, HP, Lenovo, Johns Hopkins University, Imperial College Health Partners, Peking University, and Tencent.
“Our joint Tencent/Medopad lab uses AI techniques to solve clinical problems such as motion disorder syndromes, such as Parkinson’s disease, cancer, psoriasis, and the early detection of heart failure. Over the past two years, we have worked extensively with Medopad to develop and clinically validate digital biomarkers and digital therapeutics (DTx) for Parkinson’s, psoriasis, heart failure and more,” Wei Fan, Executive Director of Tencent Medical AI Labs, said.