EQL, part of the Google Cloud for Startups Programme has been chosen as one of 20 high potential start-ups to take part in the NHS DigitalHealth.London’s Accelerator Programme which will support them to develop and deploy solutions to some of the most pressing challenges facing the NHS.
The programme aims to speed up the adoption of technology in London’s NHS, relieving high pressure on services and empowering patients to manage their health. The programme is uniquely positioned to provide in-depth knowledge of the NHS and wider UK health and care sector to high potential companies in London to help them refine, develop and scale their innovations. It focuses on engagement with clinicians and healthcare experts, working collaboratively to get to the root of health and care challenges and find solutions. It is also part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.
Sara Nelson Programme Director, DigitalHealth.London Accelerator, said: “This year, we received a record number of applications to the DigitalHealth.London Accelerator, and are delighted to accept 20 companies, including EQL, onto the programme. Between them, they have great potential to make a huge difference to the lives of patients and staff – either directly, or indirectly, through improvements to the way the system runs behind-the-scenes. These innovations could help the NHS draw ever closer to delivering a truly digital, inclusive service for everyone.”
Jason Ward, CEO and Co-founder at EQL, said: “Being accepted onto this programme has been invaluable – we have had the opportunity to connect with NHS stakeholders, investors and healthtech innovators like ourselves. Our assigned “NHS Navigator” has shared expertise and advice giving us the information to help us to go on to the next stage in our development.”
Earlier this year, EQL launched its debut product Phio, a chatbot that thinks and acts like a Physiotherapist, initially providing an agile triage tool for all MSK conditions, with a Digital Injury Management tool to follow later in the year. It uses AI and machine learning to be able to constantly evolve and adapt its behaviour to every user, giving it a ‘personality’ and the ability to absorb knowledge. A personalised tone and language are used to enhance engagement and adherence.
Designed to improve patient outcomes via an app, it reduces the need for human intervention thereby increasing efficiency and fast-tracking patient care. Sophisticated algorithms guide users to the appropriate pathway: urgent care for those presenting with ‘red flag’ symptoms; face-to-face care for those not suited for self-managed care; and a Digital Injury Management option for those presenting with low-grade injuries. Phio’s decision tree is underpinned by the latest clinical frameworks and this is closely monitored alongside the collection of vital lifestyle data.
Accessible 24/7 and available in any language, Phio is a fraction of the cost when compared to traditional physiotherapy triage and human-led self-managed care. Phio is an ideal option for companies in the health insurance market and those operating in the private and public healthcare sector. It can complement existing services and is a strong alternative for many telephone based and remote physiotherapy services. It also offers dramatically improved customer journeys and has the ability to radically improve health outcomes.
Since the launch EQL have been inundated with interest from organisations including NHS providers, Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), global insurance companies and Occupational Health providers. There has been a lot of international interest too, particularly from the US and Middle East.