Changing Health, a leading provider of digital behaviour change programmes, has secured £3 million in new funding. The round was led by Shift Invest from the Netherlands, together with renewed investment from existing backers, Tate & Lyle Ventures and the North East Innovation Fund supported by the European Regional Development Fund, and managed by Northstar Ventures.
Spun out of Newcastle University and Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in August 2016 by Professor Mike Trenell, the company combines evidenced psychological tools with technology to enable people to improve their lifestyle habits. It will use the investment to develop existing and new programmes to address a huge unmet need and drive growth in the UK and overseas.
Changing Health provides its programmes to private and public healthcare providers and insurers, and is currently adopted by 30 NHS organisations across the UK to help people with Type 2 diabetes make positive lifestyle changes and better manage their condition. Users progress through a series of app-based learning modules to give them a better understanding of their health, and are then assigned a lifestyle coach, professionally trained in health psychology, to mentor them on regular phone calls and digital interactions for up to 12 months.
This investment will allow Changing Health to launch and scale two new programmes: one for people at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and another for people who need support in managing their weight.
In 2019 Changing Health will launch an industry-leading AI platform for its UK and international partners to deliver an entirely personalised experience for each user. The platform will harness the power of big data to proactively identify the social, environmental or demographic factors most likely to influence users' lifestyle behaviours - "person X feels they are too busy to exercise, most friends drink 3-4 times per week, they live within 500 metres of 3 takeaways," for example - and provide a bespoke intervention for maximum impact.
Shift Investment Partner, Florentine Fockema Andreae, said: "Changing Health is a great example of how a digital innovation can reach large numbers of people in urgent need of lifestyle change. The company is led by a capable team who combine academic expertise with commercial acumen, and that combination has been invaluable as the company translates nine years of scientific research into products that make a real difference in people's lives."
John Grumitt, Changing Health Chief Executive, said: "Changing Health is quickly building momentum as health experts recognise that promoting lifestyle medicine - in a format anybody can access - is the best way to help people live longer, healthier, happier lives. This investment will allow us to reach more people and support them in new and exciting ways."