Women continue to push the future of health tech and do their best to get the same funding. The AI-powered digital health platform recently raised £3.8 million in a seed round, and Bristol-based startup OKKO Health, a developer of a self-monitoring eye health app, recently announced the completion of £2 million Seed funding in GBP. Supported the launch of its eye health monitoring app in Germany.
The round was led by Cologne, Germany-based Dieter von Holtzbrinck Ventures (DvH Ventures) from his digital health fund. 2018 Ph.D. Healthtech, founded by Stephanie Campbell, develops a range of vision monitoring apps focused on monitoring macular degeneration.
Maculopathy is the most common cause of vision loss in industrialized countries. In the UK alone, more than 1.5 million people are affected. OKKO’s app offers patients the opportunity to self-monitor their condition through a simple interactive smartphone game. Played regularly, the game can inform clinicians and patients of changes in vision, contrast sensitivity, distortion, and color vision. These data points become clues for clinical intervention.
The funding will support the creation of new aggregated datasets that provide opportunities to better understand how to target macular degeneration through the use of artificial intelligence in the form of machine learning algorithms. The ultimate goal is to make precision ophthalmology a reality and protect vision.
The company has developed a CE marked product in the UK with the support of Innovate UK and The Macular Society. The app is now beta tested, validated through several academic and clinical studies, and piloted by several clinical partners in the UK. Its launch in Germany will enable the collection of market evidence for national reimbursement through studies of hospitals and clinics, a new aspect of the German healthcare system.
Dr. Stephanie Campbell, Founder and CEO of OKKO Health, said: “This financing will support a strong foothold in the German healthcare market and is an important step in our global growth. It brings us closer to our vision of serving the world of people provide predictive eye care and protect our most precious senses.”
Commenting on the funding, Fabian von Trotha of DvH Ventures said: “OKKO is more than just replicating an eye chart on a smartphone, it’s a whole new approach to measuring vision. The team has shown excellent traction so far, in part A testament to their clinical experience. OKKO’s founder, Dr. Stephanie Campbell brings clinical and visionary expertise, which gives her a deep first-hand market understanding of significant value in the digital health space.”
Dr. Claire Novorol, Chairman of the Board of Directors of OKKO and Co-Founder and Chief Medical Officer of Ada Health, added: “This funding round brings OKKO closer to our vision of patient empowerment and precision ophthalmology. The platform enables proactive monitoring and optimization of medical interventions, Blockbuster anti-VEGF drugs, for example. In many cases, medical intervention for macular disease may be too late. By really putting monitoring in the hands of the patient, the frequency of measurements can be significantly increased, generating an early warning signal for treatment.”