Three tech startups have been selected by pharmaceutical giant Pfizer to help tackle pressing health issues facing the National Health Service
An app offering social care on demand, Cera, and another offering prescription deliveries, Echo, along with GiveVision, a startup developing a headset to improve sight for the visually impaired, will join its new healthtech accelerator.
The 12 month programme will see the tech firms guided by the pharma firm and other partners with the ambitious goal of getting them into the NHS and available to patients within the year.
Academics and an NHS chief executive were among the judges selecting the three winning companies, which will have access to a £56,000 grant from Pfizer. No equity will be taken in the startups.
Cera, Echo and GiveVision "stood out with their ability to demonstrate how their technology could deliver real benefits across our health system today" said Pfizer UK medical direcotr Dr Berkeley Phillips.
"Pfizer’s knowledge of and relationships with the UK healthcare system will be invaluable in helping Cera scale over the year ahead," said Dr Ben Maruthappu, co-founder of the startup which has recently inked deals with Uber and Gett to help transport patients and medicines.
"Our aim is to work together to radically improve how homecare is delivered in London and beyond, making it quicker, more reliable, more transparent and of the highest quality."
The startup has raised £2.7m in seed stage funding, from several high-profile backers including: Just Eat boss and newly minted venture capital partner David Buttress, former Lazard and UBS chairman Ken Costa, former standard chartered chief Peter Sands and more.
Echo was launched by former executives of Apple and Lloyds pharmacy and is backed by VC firm LocalGlobe and Rocket Internet entrepreneur Oliver Samwer. And GiveVision is an alumn of the startup incubator Wayra.