Five Northern startups at the cutting edge of digital healthcare

Charlie Spargo's picture
by Charlie Spargo
HealthTech promises to make healthcare more streamlined

According to the chief executive of Health Innovation Manchester, healthtech “allows commissioners, providers and consumers alike to derive benefits”.

As entrepreneurs and innovators made huge steps in the sectors of fintech, proptech and many more, things were getting started in the region of healthtech – with forward-thinking individuals finding solutions to take pressure from the health service and find new approaches to health and wellbeing.

And as it gains traction, many in the North are standing up and showing off what they can do, with novel digital solutions being launched across the region.

Some are geared towards helping patients care better for themselves, with particular focuses on certain diseases and lifestyle changes. Others allow hospitals, pharmacies and clinics to do their work with greater efficiency.

Push Doctor

Connecting patients digitally with real, GMC-registered GPs

Founders: Eren Ozagir and Matt Elcock

Year started: 2013

Location: Manchester

One of the most high-profile HealthTech startups in the North, Push Doctor aims to get patients’ questions answered as soon as possible and relieve strain on the health service.

Over the course of five years, it’s grown to become the UK's largest digital health provider. It promises fast and confidential advice wherever a patient is; with any prescriptions dispatched as quickly as possible to the nearest pharmacy.

Users can pay a one-off fee for a single consultation, or a £3-a-month subscription qualifying them for cheaper appointments, extended hours, fitness and nutrition content, and access to the whole platform.



Products that provide an early warning system for dangerous microbial infection

Founders: Professor Curtis Dobson and Dr Gordon Barker

Year started: 2012

Location: Manchester

One of the greatest risks facing healthcare professionals is the threat of infection to patients through medical devices.

Microbiosensor’s products are affordable, unique and robust - and fully disposable once used. With a clear, instant colour change, the sensor alerts patients and healthcare providers when an infection has occurred - so it can be handled quicker.

Its co-founder, Professor Dobson, runs the Medical Device Biology Group at the University of Manchester at the same time as leading Microbiosensor’s work. It is yet another successful spin-out of the university’s pioneering work.



Digital healthcare and remote monitoring technology

Chief Executive: Bryn Sage

Year started: 2012

Location: Harrogate

Inhealthcare’s work aims to significantly reduce the pressure on mainstream healthcare services.

Medical teams can build their own digital health services, affordably and simply, and scale them up as necessary – on top of Inhealthcare’s library of existing services that cover care areas including heart diseases, diabetes, stopping smoking, and wound management.

From their Yorkshire base, they distribute their practical services to London, Edinburgh, Manchester, and even as far as Northern Ireland.

Changing Health

Changing Health

Helping patients tackle Type 2 Diabetes sustainably and responsibly

Founder: Mike Trennell

Year started: 2016

Location: Newcastle

Newcastle-based Changing Health was launched by Professor Mike Trenell. Through a specially designed mobile or PC app, patients can access information, coaching, and interactive activities that encourage weight loss, and keep pounds off.

This comes alongside the concurrent positive impacts of weight loss, including better cognition, management of mental illnesses, and even the reversal of Type 2 Diabetes.

Changing Health was featured on BBC1’s How To Stay Young, in which it had huge huge success in improving the health of participants and helping to reduce their body age.

Oh My Mood

Oh My Mood

Creating holistic mental health pathways, and simplifying access to therapy

Founder: Jaime Essed

Year started: 2017

Location: Liverpool

Oh My Mood is an interventions provider, there to make it as easy as possible for people to access therapy options, supported by digital solutions.

They’re committed to evidence-based, blended, multilingual and multidisciplinary choices – co-creating programs with specialists to improve care quality and make it available for all.

NHS mental health providers can draw on the services of Oh My Mood to help find a specialised solution to patients’ unique requirements, and find a way to help them handle their mental illness on their own terms.