Manchester joint venture will trial Morningside’s digital health portfolio

The University of Manchester has formed a joint venture with Morningside to carry out clinical trials of various digital health technologies developed by the investment group’s portfolio companies. 

Health Innovation Manchester and its Academic Health Science Centre are also participating in the JV, which will focus on digital diagnostics and interventions that could play a role in prevention and early detection of disease and helping more patients to receive treatment outside the hospital environment.

Hong Kong-based Morningside is a well-established investor in both the biotech and digital health categories, and its current venture capital portfolio includes several digital health companies.

Aural Analytics is developing a voice analytics platform that aims to diagnose neurodegenerative disorders from everyday speech patterns, while Linus Health is taking a similar approach, measuring voice, speech, gait, cognition and eye movement to try to detect neurological diseases.

Morningside is also an investor in Big Health, which is working on a series of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) apps for mental health conditions like anxiety and insomnia, and Cognoa recently claimed FDA approval for its digital toolkit for autism diagnosis.

The three remaining companies are operating in the primary care arena. Artificial intelligence specialist Curai Health has patient triage and online consultation platform, Suvera’s digital health platform connects GPs to patients with chronic conditions, and Prescryptive Health helps patients in the US keep track of medication pricing and reimbursement options.

There’s no word yet on which digital health tools will be put through their paces in Manchester, but the joint venture will draw on clinical expertise within Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust and Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust.

The city is an ideal location because it has a diverse population, a relatively high burden of illness, good digital infrastructure and a devolved health and social care budget, said the university in a statement.

“A key focus will be the use of digital technologies to transform the nature of services for patients,” it added.

“Developing solutions away from the hospital environment has the potential to empower patients, drive proactive care, reduce the cost of treatment and transform population health outcomes.”

Don't miss your daily pharmaphorum news.
SUBSCRIBE free here.