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27 October, 2020 - 09:58 By Tony Quested

Psyomics clinches £1.5m to transform mental health diagnosis in UK

Dan Cowell

Cambridge University spin-out Psyomics, has closed a £1.5 million funding round from existing and new investors to bring its mental health assessment and diagnosis platform, Censeo, to market in the UK. 

University spin-out specialist Parkwalk led the round, joined by fellow existing investors Jonathan Milner, Martlet Capital and Cambridge Enterprise.

Built on robust clinical foundations, Censeo mirrors the rich process of a face-to-face psychiatric assessment, guiding a user through a series of adaptive questions. 

Smart algorithms perform a detailed and bespoke analysis, creating a ‘map’ of an individual’s mental health, providing diagnosis where appropriate and enabling a clear treatment pathway. 

Censeo supports GPs and clinicians in getting patients to the right level of support at the outset and provides patients with a stigma-free way to start addressing their mental health concerns.

Built on 20 years of clinical research – including The Delta Trial and feedback from service user groups, GPs, and clinicians – Censeo has been developed as a medical device from the outset and is fully compliant with the Medical Device Directive 93/42 EEC, ISO 13485 and NHS Toolkit.

The NHS is under increasing pressure to meet the nation’s mental health needs. GPs in particular are struggling to manage their increasing workload, with up to 30 per cent of GP appointments in the UK relating to mental health. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has seen a rise in the severity of cases as individuals initially avoid contacting services for support. Identifying these cases early and referring them to the right treatment is vital.

Co-founder and chief medical officer Professor Sabine Bahn says: “Diagnosing mental health issues correctly in primary care can be difficult, due to time constraints and the fact that mental health conditions can be masked by physical symptoms. 

“Delays in diagnosing – or misdiagnosis – mean that it can take several years for an individual with depression to be correctly diagnosed. For bi-polar disorder the average delay is six to eight years. 

“The consequence of this is that many people suffer unnecessarily from debilitating symptoms that could be successfully treated. It is clear that faster and earlier diagnosis followed by the most appropriate treatment will improve the quality of life of affected individuals, while at the same time relieving pressure on the healthcare system.”

Professor Sabine Bahn

GPs are also seeing more patients entering primary care with mental health concerns that cannot be treated clinically, often related to lifestyle or socioeconomic difficulties. 

These patients benefit from being triaged to more appropriate support services. By accurately identifying and highlighting the individual’s mental health needs up front, Censeo increases efficiency across the entire mental health system while allowing GPs to focus on treating patients they can help.

CEO and co-founder Dan Cowell says: “This funding will enable Psyomics to support the UK’s plans to improve mental health provisions for the nation. 

“Through giving patients, clinicians, and caregivers an earlier and clearer understanding of individual mental health needs, we believe we can make significant improvements in patient experience and clinical capacity, with positive impacts throughout the entire healthcare system. Our investors share our belief in the opportunity to make a genuine impact with Censeo.”

Martin Glen, investment director at Parkwalk, added: “COVID-19 has accelerated adoption of digital tools for a wide range of applications and Psyomics’ clinical and tech-led diagnostic tool can transform mental health diagnosis. 

“We have always felt that what sets Psyomics apart is its deep clinical roots/knowledge. We are pleased to be a part of this next funding round and look forward to seeing Psyomics continue to grow with its market-ready product.”

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