Healthy.io is a health-tech company with a mission to improve healthcare outcomes by turning the smartphone into a regulatory approved clinical device. Its first product line, Dip.io, allows patients to do regular urine tests at home using their smartphone cameras and a digital testing kit and measures 10 parameters, indicating a range of infections, chronic illnesses and pregnancy-related complications.
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With 42m urine tests undertaken by the NHS, urinalysis is the second most common diagnostic test. It is possible to use this technology across a huge range of clinical pathways, for example, the team are working with the East Midlands AHSN on moving Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) testing out of GP clinic and into the community pharmacy setting to reduce pressure on general practice. They are also working with maternity services to offer generic urine testing for pregnant women that need frequent testing but are low risk and therefore don’t need to keep attending clinic to complete the tests.
Dip.io is being used as part of a project at Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester, where patients who are particularly prone to developing UTIs are given kits to take at home when they develop symptoms. The technology aims to speed up diagnosis, treatment and has prevented hospital admission in some cases.
This product is extremely user-friendly, giving patients the confidence to self-manage their condition. Feedback from patients has been extremely positive with a score of 88 being reported by the Net Promoter tool analysing client experience and loyalty – in an environment where over 70 is considered world-class.
This technology has been particularly useful during the Covid-19 outbreak.
Healthy.io also offer a wound management smartphone app called SPOT that is CE-marked, helps clinicians take clinically accurate measurements and capture a standardised digital record of wound progression.
Olivia Hind, Partnerships Director at Healthy.io comments on her relationship with the AHSNs:
"The economic evaluation supported by Yorkshire & Humber AHSN has helped us to build a healthcare economic case and go to other areas demonstrating the financial savings and usability. It has also helped us build up our business case as we expand into the US.
The AHSNs helped us to understand which care pathways to focus on, which geographical areas, which customers - whether it’s Clinical Commissioning Groups or Trusts, and that’s enabled us to fine tune our offering and products and secure additional NHS contracts."
Katherine Ward, Chief Commercial Officer, Managing Director UK and Europe at Healthy.io said:
"Primary and secondary care settings are under extreme pressure, and our technology can help significantly reduce pressure on limited NHS resources. The support the AHSN network gives to diffusing innovation at scale is helping us ensure more patients who require urgent attention can be managed and treated rapidly."
How did the Innovation Exchange help?
Healthy.io has worked with ten AHSNs - Yorkshire & Humber AHSN, Health Innovation Manchester, North East North Cumbria, East Midlands, UCL Partners, Kent, Surrey, Sussex, South West AHSN, West of England AHSN, Oxford AHSN and Innovation Agency (North West Coast AHSN). A member of the Healthy.io team is also a Fellow on the NHS Innovation Accelerator supported by the AHSNs.
The company is one of four companies selected to help improve care in the NHS as part of the Greater Manchester Digital Health Accelerator. The Greater Manchester Digital Accelerator is supporting Healthy.io to grow, prove the benefits of the product and get further exposure and introductions within the NHS. Healthy.io is particularly interested in engaging with programmes of work in Maternity, Pre-operative assessment, recurrent UTI patients, prevention/screening for Chronic Kidney Disease.
The Yorkshire & Humber AHSN commissioned York Health Economic Consortium to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of the service for people with diabetes and hypertension that did not comply with traditional annual testing.
The Yorkshire & Humber AHSN are also helping to support the roll out of this work following a successful joint bid with Leeds CCG to gain funding from NHSX to deploy and evaluate digital technologies. Healthy.io will be providing urine ACR home testing across Leeds CCG for those patients that do not have current readings. In total 10,000 patients in Leeds will have access to this service (assuming a 50% uptake rate). The second wave of the project is to roll out the service across a number of Primary Care Networks (PCNs) across the wider West Yorkshire & Harrogate ICS region. Across this area, an estimated 13,000 patients will have access to this service (again assuming a 50% uptake rate).
UCL Partners have selected Dip.io as a 'Top Innovation. They have worked with Barking Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust who have evaluated Dip.io for albumen to creatinine ration (ACR) in the community for type 1 diabetics – this was brokered by CareCity as part of their NHS Testbed. UCLP are also supporting SPOT, Healthy.io's new wound care app. A 7 month free trial to test the app in community trusts is underway in 2020.
Other AHSNs have supported with pilot projects, signposting, introductions to key people and setting up potential partnership discussions.
Impact & Outcomes
Financial modelling by the York Health Economic Consortium confirmed that adopting Healthy.io’s service for people with diabetes unreceptive to traditional testing is cost-effective from year 1. Home albumin testing can yield cost savings of £15 per patient over 1 year and £461 over 5 years. When adopted across England, the modelling estimated 3,463 cases of ESRD, and 523 deaths would be prevented over 5 years due to an additional 22,946 cases of CKD being diagnosed and save the NHS £209,445,072. The same study concluded that if supporting patients with hypertension is included, NHS cost savings of £660 million could be realised in total.
In 2019, Healthy.io received 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its smartphone-based ACR test to be used in the aid of diagnosing chronic kidney disease (CKD), which affects over 35 million Americans. This is the second FDA clearance the company has received. The company also closed a $60 million Series C funding round led by Corner Ventures with participation by Joy Capital and all previous investors: Ansonia Holdings, Aleph, and Samsung NEXT.
In 2020, Healthy.io was awarded funding as part of a £150,000 'call to action' for new and innovative ways to use digital technology in response to coronavirus and 'beyond' in Wales. The selected technology was a wound management app called SPOT which enables image capturing and semi-automatic in-app measurements via a smartphone camera. The system aims to scan wounds with a dedicated app, the images are then normalised and shared on a secure digital portal which can be viewed by tissue viability nurses, district nurses and GPs.
The company has also been listed on CNBC's 2020 Disruptor 50 list.