Health tech start-up snap40 gets £1m shot in the arm

An Edinburgh healthcare technology start-up that has developed a device to monitor patients' vital signs in real time has won a £1 million deal with NHS England that will help fund ongoing clinical studies.

snap40's device straps to a patient's arm and monitors their vital signs in real time. Picture: Contributed
snap40's device straps to a patient's arm and monitors their vital signs in real time. Picture: Contributed

snap40, co-founded by chief executive and former University of Dundee medical student Christopher McCann, said the Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) Healthcare contract will also provide support to develop the technology as it eyes regulatory approval across Europe and the US.

The deal follows a £2m cash injection for the firm in October, led by Edinburgh-based investor Par Equity, which marked the largest seed funding round for a Scottish start-up in more than a decade.

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snap40 is currently involved in clinical trials with NHS Fife and NHS Lothian’s Emergency Medicine Research Group Edinburgh. Its device straps to a patient’s arm and tracks indicators such as heart rate, blood pressure and temperature, analysing the data to work out which patients are at the highest risk of deteriorating and alerting clinical staff.

McCann said: “In an ideal world, we’d all have our own dedicated doctor sitting with us, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. But, with increasing pressure on healthcare systems and challenges in prioritising competing demands, access to doctors and nurses is at a premium. Our society simply cannot afford one-to-one care – snap40 changes that.

“It allows our world-class healthcare staff to care for many more patients by helping them to prioritise who needs attention most. This contract from NHS England is a recognition of the value our product can bring to health services all over the world.”

NHS Fife’s assistant research and development director, Dr Amanda Wood, said: “NHS Fife has a long history of supporting new technology that can improve patient care and help us improve delivery of services. We are delighted to continue collaborating with snap40. Their product has the potential to change how we deliver healthcare.”

Her comments were echoed by Karen Livingstone, national director of SBRI Healthcare, who said patients were increasingly taking control of their own health and using tools to inform their decisions.

“Artificial intelligence technology is becoming more and more powerful, and will play an increasing role in healthcare over the coming years,” Livingstone added.

“We’re excited to be working with snap40 to explore how application of the technology can monitor patients’ vital signs and help predict patient deterioration.”