Preventative Healthcare Accelerator Launched by MSD
A new healthcare accelerator fund has been launched thanks to the coming together of Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD) and Spanish telecoms company Telefonica.
Known as Velocity Health, it will be the UK’s accelerator for digital preventative healthcare, and will see MSD in collaboration with the Wayra Open Future start-up programme by Telefonica.
The managing director of MSD, Mike Nally, said: ‘Technology is revolutionising how we manage healthcare and the UK can be at the heart of it. Digital start-ups are at the forefront of this innovation.’
MSD wants to actively invest in these types of businesses in order to harness the emerging talents so that in the future it is as easy to recognise and prevent disease as it is to diagnose and treat it.
A potential £64,000 injection for start-ups that can reimagine healthcare beyond this century is on offer via Velocity Health. MSD particularly wants to pay attention to funding start-ups which are able to address the challenges outlined in the NHS Five Year Forward View that was published in October of last year and set out the future direction for the UK’s health service.
Velocity Health plans to offer a ten-month accelerator programme to a number of start-ups each month, including access to mentoring, coaching, and investments that will contribute to the nurture and growth of each business. Each start-up will be offered up to £64,000, which includes 50% funding with the rest made up of dedicated acceleration services including office space within the Central London located Wayra Open Future Academy.
There is also the potential for start-up’s to gain access to Telefonica’s extensive customer base which totals at more than 300 million, and MSD’s networks both locally and globally.
Gary Stuart, director of Wayra Open Future UK, believes that in order to make a real impact there is a need to have a long term vision and plans for looking ahead into the next century when it comes to delivering innovative healthcare solutions.
Velocity Health’s mission is to give patients the power of better ownership and control over their wellbeing, and the company believes that emerging digital technologies have a vital part to play in enabling them to achieve this goal for the future.