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4 February, 2020 - 10:17 By Kate Sweeney

Cambridge healthcare play wins £410k funding

A portfolio company of the Future 20 programme hosted by Allia Future Business Centre in Cambridge has been awarded Innovate UK funding of £410k to support improved population health.

Appt Health aims to ensure that people can enjoy at least five extra healthy, independent years of life by 2035, while reducing health inequalities.

Appt Health plans to take on this Grand Challenge mission by working with care providers to increase the uptake of screening programmes in the UK, while ensuring their methods are accessible to all.

Currently, England has 11 screening programmes delivered by primary care providers. These range from bowel and cervical cancer screening to heart health risk factor identification programmes.

As it stands, screening rates are well below the national targets that were set out for them. For example, the NHS Health Check, which is designed to spot the early signs of heart disease, stroke, kidney disease and type 2 diabetes, has seen just 35 per cent of those eligible attending an appointment.

Working closely with healthcare commissioners and front-line care providers, Appt Health is in the process of building a software solution to the problem. 

It will create a platform that integrates into GP practice administration systems, automatically messaging eligible patients with a series of invitations designed to engage the public in their healthcare journey.

The social enterprise is currently utilising the Innovate UK funding to conduct an at-scale randomised control trial in 16 GP practices in the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham, one of the UK’s most deprived regions. The trial is intended to prove the technology works before it is rolled out nationally next year.

In the past year, with support from Cambridge-based incubator Allia Future Business Centre, Appt Health has grown from 0 to 50+ GP surgeries in the UK. The social enterprise has goals to support public health in Cambridge within the coming year.

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