Vnehealth founders Rayna Patel (left) and Georgina Kirby (right).
Credit: Vinehealth
Oncology startup Vinehealth has announced a raise of $5.5 million (€ 4.9m) in seed funding. 
The round was led by Talis Capital, with participation from previous investors Playfair Capital and Ascension. A number of angels also participated. 
Founded in 2018 by Rayna Patel and Georgina Kirby, Vinehealth is a digital health platform that aims to improve the quality of life and outcomes of cancer patients. 
Using a combination of behavioural science and artificial intelligence (AI), the company’s intelligent digital technology provides highly scalable patient support programmes and collects rich data. 
Though Vinehealth’s app, patients are enabled to better self-manage their medications, side-effects and symptoms, and can regularly enter ‘patient-reported outcome’ (PRO) data to support clinical decision-making, inform service delivery and drive clinical research. This data is valuable to pharmaceutical companies, insurers and hospitals and Vinehealth is a supplier to six global pharmaceutical companies and CROs, including Novartis
Vinehealth also feeds PRO data into its machine learning algorithms to drive personalised support to patients and further improve outcomes. 
The company will use the funding to further develop its product, scale its team and expand in the US. This round of funding will also see Vinehealth’s board become 75% represented by females.
Self-management in cancer is increasingly recognised as critical to improving outcomes and reducing healthcare costs. 
Earlier this year, Italian startup PatchAi partnered with pharma giant Roche Italia to launch its Smart Health Companion (SHC) for patients affected by oncological diseases. 
AI is also increasingly being used in cancer detection. A study by British startup Kheiron Medical Technologies found breast screening AI could assist radiologists in detecting cancer in mammograms. 
Meanwhile, Ibex Medical Analytics recently announced the first deployment in Switzerland of its AI solution supporting pathologists during routine cancer diagnosis. 
Rayna Patel, founder & CEO of Vinehealth, said: “It’s imperative that we start understanding how therapies are affecting patients: for pharmaceutical companies, our technology enables deeper patient understanding which leads to better drugs, greater differentiation and faster licensing, as well as the ability to provide personalised scalable support to patients.”
Beatrice Aliprandi, principal at Talis Capital, said: “We’re hugely excited to be partnering with Rayna and Georgina: we’d been keeping a close eye on Vinehealth’s growth for several months before we invested in the company, given its unique value proposition where healthcare outcomes work in direct correlation with financial outcomes.”
Faisal Mehmud, angel investor, VP pharmaceutical physician, said: “The Vinehealth platform’s ability to efficiently support precision patient activation in an automated manner; rapidly amalgamate rich high volume frequent patient data; use AI to identify clinically relevant patterns that can serve as important patient interventions – combined with an industry-leading interface and user acceptability – will, I believe, make Vinehealth’s tool the benchmark against which other platforms will be measured in the future.”
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