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£500k funding for AI-assisted brain trauma recovery platform

The creators of a new healthtech platform called Melo, which helps clinicians and hospital staff to track patients’ behaviour whilst they recover from brain trauma, have raised £500k funding from the GMC Life Sciences Fund by Praetura.

The fund is also supported by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, Cheshire & Warrington LEP and Bruntwood SciTech, with SFC Capital participating in the round.

Manchester-based Decently, which was founded in 2021 by James Burch and James Chapman who boast 20 years’ healthtech and edtech experience between them, will use the funding to help launch Melo across the NHS and private rehabilitation care centres, scale its team and grow awareness of platform, which is already being piloted by three strategic northern NHS Trusts. Pilot trusts include the Northern Care Alliance NHS Foundation Trust, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Melo works by simplifying and streamlining the data capture process and using artificial intelligence to spot trends and behaviour escalation patterns in patients suffering acquired brain injuries (ABI) and injuries caused by non-birth related incidents, such as accidental trauma or a coma.

Clinicians upload patient data based on observations and are given a real-time dashboard as well as reporting tools that make sharing information between staff and departments easier, increasing safety, raising accountability and lowering costs.

Co-founder Burch said: “Acquired brain injury is not a new problem, but the statistics show it is a growing issue, which is causing a strain on both the public and private health sectors. With Melo, our focus is to provide a duty of care to staff who are responsible for looking after ABI patients who may, due to brain injury, express challenging behaviour.

“By using Melo, we can help ease the manual and time-consuming burden of data capture and incident logging on an already stretched workforce, which we know from working closely with various NHS teams over the last 18 months can make a real significant difference. We’re incredibly grateful for the support of the GMC Life Sciences Fund by Praetura and SFC Capital which helps us develop the business to the next level.”

Jessica Jackson, investment manager at Praetura Ventures, who is joining Decently’s board as an investment director, added: “Decently’s launch of Melo is set to have a significant impact on both clinician and patient safety, and is yet another example of how tech innovation can drive improvements within the NHS, which continues to face cost and staffing pressures on a major scale.

“As well as providing investment from the GMC Life Sciences Fund by Praetura, we will be supporting Decently’s founders with more than money support to help scale its team and connect Decently with key healthcare stakeholders while drawing on our track record for backing businesses that have sold into the NHS and the private healthcare landscape. We will also be connecting Decently with our operational partner Mark Horncastle, who was previously a partner and the UK head of healthcare at PA Consulting, where he spent 12 years driving innovation and transformation. This included the scaling of primary care services across Greater Manchester.”

Dr Alistair Teager, consultant clinical neuropsychologist at Salford Royal Hospital, said: “We’ve been working with the team from Decently to pilot Melo on our wards to ensure that it’s designed and built in the right way and ultimately helps us to make better clinical decisions for our patients.”

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