Roundup: COVID symptom checker for frontline staff, mental health tech investments and more briefs

Also, self-care platform Healthily makes three senior hires to clinical advisory board.
By Sara Mageit
05:13 AM
Mental health tech, NHS, Healthily


An automated COVID-19 symptom checker for screening patients before routine appointments saved NHS staff from making more than 350,000 phone calls between late March and November.

A review found the City Health Care Partnership CIC (CHCP) service, developed with technology provider Inhealthcare, identified patients who were potentially at risk and enabled staff to take further action.

The service connects with patients on the morning of their appointments via automated telephone calls and text messages and relays a request to complete a symptom questionnaire. The patient response is analysed and any warning signs are flagged up, allowing nurses to prepare accordingly.


According to capital market company, PitchBook, the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly boosted investments in mental health tech startups, marking a record year for venture capital investment in the sector.

PitchBook data showed 146 deals raised nearly €1.3 billion in venture capital investments as of 10 December 2020. In 2019, the total was €730 million from 111 deals. A decade ago, there were three deals, worth €5 million.

In related news, medical device company Flow reported a 247% increase in sales of its at-home, brain stimulation headset treatment for depression since the COVID-19 pandemic.



The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has announced that it will use the US, Boston-based healthcare analytics company, Panalgo's Instant Health Data (IHD) platform.

EMA will use IHD to undertake rapid analyses of Electronic Healthcare Data (EHDs) currently from the UK, France and Germany, to examine drug utilisation, assess safety and understand how treatments perform in real-world settings.

In order to support public health efforts in the European Union (EU) EMA’s scientific committees will benefit from more rapid support for informed decision-making at the population level, including the risks of medicines, product life cycle analyses, and other clinical insights.


Swiss-based immune-transcriptomics company, Novigenix has announced that a consortium, including PamGene International BV and Radboud University in the Netherlands, has been awarded a grant of up to €1 million to develop a blood-based test to predict response to immune checkpoint inhibitors in cancer.

The aim of the consortium is to develop an in vitro diagnostic (IVD) liquid biopsy test for accurate prediction of response to ICIs, leveraging a multi-omics approach of combining mRNA and kinase activity profiling.

Novigenix leverages its expertise in immuno-transcriptomics and provides AI solutions for the development of  biomarkers and predictive algorithms. Pamgene will provide its experience in Kinome technology, and the Department of Medical Oncology at Radboud University, will lead a clinical network for prospective collection of biological specimens and data interpretation.


Baris Erdogan, currently vice president, site and patient networks, at clinical research data company, Clinerion, has been promoted by the board of directors to the position of CEO as of 1 January 2021.

After a three-year tenure, Clinerion’s current CEO, Ian Rentsch, has decided to step down for personal reasons and to return to his family in Berlin by the end of January 2021.

Erdogan's experience includes management of innovative medical informatics projects and the implementation of end-to-end healthcare IT enterprise information systems, both in the public and private sectors. He joined Clinerion in 2013 and has been the driver of the continued expansion of Clinerion’s global clinical network, currently with a live data reach of more than 33 million patients in 17 countries in Europe, Asia and Latin America.


London-based self-care platform, Healthily, has announced three new senior hires to its clinical advisory board.

GP and clinical lecturer Dr Patricia Schartau, joins Dr Vishal Gulati  who heads up health tech investment for Draper Esprit and Julia Cawthorne, a clinical safety officer and former clinical risk manager at BT Global Health.  

Commenting on the new appointments, Healthily CEO Matteo Berlucchi said: “Over the last year we have seen a huge acceleration in user growth, and we are delighted that our platform continues to attract the best talent to help expand our vision to help a billion people find their health through clinical grade information and technology.”

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