£2m for monitoring device

Health tech firm raises record seed fund

david-bowie-chris-mccann-stewart-whiting-snap40Health technology company snap40 has secured £2 million in funding in what is thought to be the largest-ever seed round by a Scotland-based startup.  

The firm has developed a wearable monitor linked to software which analyses a patient’s health.

It is led by chief executive and co-founder, Christopher McCann, who left his medical studies at Dundee University to set up the company.

The first tranche of investment, led by Edinburgh-based investor Par Equity, closed at the end of September and will allow the company to grow its engineering and data science team, complete clinical trials and gain regulatory clearance.

This will give it access to the EU market. The company will also open an office in the US next year. 

Mr McCann started the company while working as a medical student on hospital wards where patients are only intermittently monitored.

He witnessed patients avoidably deteriorating due to late recognition of warning signs, and decided to set up snap40 as a result.

Joined by co-founders, David Bowie and Stewart Whiting, he planned an alternative to expensive bed-side monitors which anchor patients to beds. 

Edinburgh-based snap40 uses a single medical wearable device to continuously monitor patients from the upper arm across more health indicators than any other single device on the market.

Crucially, the company then uses this data to identify, in real-time, patients at risk of deteriorating. By alerting doctors and nurses early, they can take action, potentially saving the patient’s life, improving outcomes, and allowing them to return home sooner.

The patient monitoring market is estimated to be worth over $35 billion but remains dominated by a small number of multi-nationals focused on critical care monitoring.

While a number of startups have entered the space, none monitors from a single device, nor provides the breadth of vital signs afforded by snap40, nor are they focused on early detection of deterioration. 

Mr McCann said: “This investment is based on the strength of our product and the progress of our team.

“We are excited to work with Par Equity and the rest of our shareholders as we build snap40 into a dominant player in the global people-health monitoring market. We have a product that can save lives, while providing clinical and economic benefits to health services.”

Robert Higginson, partner at Par Equity, said: “We are delighted to be supporting snap40, a business with an ambitious vision for the future. 

“The team has already demonstrated the ability to deliver to its plan, which is why we are supporting the business from such an early stage.  This is a global market with significant potential and we believe snap40 is the company to succeed.”

The company has already built a core team of five and is recruiting a further four software engineers and data scientists over the coming months, as well as building its commercial team during 2017.

Snap40 is demonstrating the performance of its product in a major clinical trial at a UK hospital and will be on the market in early 2017.

The company has substantial customer interest already, including a contract with NHS England via the SBRI contracting process, the first phase of which has been successfully delivered. 

Photo: David Bowie, Chris McCann and Stewart Whiting (contributed)

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