News story

10 health start-ups supported through KQ Labs accelerator

Companies working in data-driven health will go through a 16-week programme funded by Innovate UK and run by the Francis Crick Institute.

Doctor with tablet
The KQ Labs accelerator programme will support data-drive health start-ups.

Artificial intelligence and digital technology are predicted to have a wide-ranging impact on health services. It is hoped that the sector will transform, from the treatment of illnesses to prediction and prevention.

To encourage the development and adoption of new, data-driven technology, Innovate UK has invested £400,000 in KQ Labs. The Francis Crick Institute – a centre that focuses on the understanding of the biology underlying health and disease – will run the accelerator programme.

KQ Labs, named after the ‘Knowledge Quarter’ area around King’s Cross, Euston and Bloomsbury in London, will provide guidance and advice for health start-ups working with data.

The 10 companies that will receive support are:

  • Ayuda, whose app helps diabetes patients with insulin management
  • Chromadose, which personalises monitoring of blood levels to deliver oncology drugs
  • ConcR, which uses data to predict cancer evolution and patient response to treatment
  • Cortirio, which has developed a scanner for portable diagnosis of brain injuries
  • Deepscope, the developer of an educational app for ultrasound simulation
  • Heron, the creators of a graphical ‘map of science’
  • LifeEngine AI, whose hospital tool predicts mortality from acute kidney injury
  • Macusoft, whose artificial intelligence system helps guide the treatment of preventable sight loss
  • Mendelian, which has developed an online platform to help speed up diagnosis of rare diseases
  • Vision Game Labs, which uses gaming techniques to diagnose eye disease through home monitoring

Dr Veronique Birault, Head of Translation at the Crick, said:

This is the start of a very exciting journey for the 10 start-ups, and also a great contribution towards building the ecosystem for data-driven health in the Kings Cross area.

Help to progress business proposals

Each start-up will receive £40,000 to take forward their business proposals, a customised framework for developing and progressing their technology, alongside mentoring and coaching from a group of global experts to prepare them for future investment.

These experts will form part of the academy programme, providing insight into entrepreneurship, the health sector, data science and investment strategies. They will lead workshops to address a variety of challenges throughout the programme.

The accelerator programme supports the government’s Industrial Strategy. It embraces emerging technology to transform industries and increase productivity, create new highly skilled jobs and improve living standards.

Chris Sawyer, Innovation Lead, Digital Health at Innovate UK said:

The start-ups all have the potential to make an impact on global health outcomes and will have access to unrivaled support and resources.

These ventures will help shape the future of health in a sector that is a vital part of the government’s modern Industrial Strategy.

The Industrial Strategy is addressing the issue of supporting our ageing society.

Find out more about this and the other grand challenges.

Why better management of health data is needed

Better management, tracking and automated analysis of health data could transform outcomes for patients and also save public money that goes into health services.

The companies being supported are working on ideas that could achieve these goals. Their solutions could be applied to a wide range of diseases and health areas, including:

  • personalised medicine
  • imaging and improved diagnosis
  • management and interrogation of large amounts of scientific data

They will look to improve management of data in tackling illnesses like cancer, diabetes, rare disease and ophthalmology.

Published 1 November 2018