Deepbridge Capital and Alder Hey NHS Children’s Foundation Trust: A new start up to address healthcare challenges

Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, investment managers Deepbridge Capital and Nova, the Liverpool based digital innovation company, have announced the creation of a unique “innovation partnership.”

The new company is called Acorn and aspires to become a ‘healthcare innovation foundry’, creating and funding digital tools and applications that can improve patient experiences, drive operational efficiency in the NHS and build long term value for investors.

Acorn expects that its products can then be supplied to other NHS Trusts and healthcare delivery systems, with the estimated market value of global health-tech is estimated to be over $30bn per annum.

This start-up collaboration is the first of its kind in the UK and is co-located at Alder Hey, the internationally renowned Children’s hospital in Liverpool.

Acorn is already working on a number of digital products to help teenagers better manage asthma, mental health and on the ‘gamification’ of clinical tools to treat young children with anxiety and phobias. The team is also exploring common operational problems in hospitals, such as obtaining patient feedback or managing complex administrative tasks such as staffing rotas and appointments.

Andy Davidson, CEO of Nova commented:

Acorn is bringing our proven methodology to the market and making innovation an easier concept to deliver. We are looking to work with regional funding and specialist vertical market investment partners to create the first “innovation factory” template in the UK. Our aim is build a substantial innovation as a service business in the next 4 years and we believe the Alder Hey partnership will be a great success that proves the commercial appeal of our model.”   

Savvas Neophytou, Partner and Head of Life Sciences at Deepbridge Capital, added:

“As specialists in providing funding to the life sciences and med–tech sectors, we are delighted to be working hand-in-glove with industry experts at Alder Hey and Nova.  When investing in early stage life sciences companies, investors can find it challenging to understand where their money is being invested.  Investment in Acorn initiatives will therefore allow investors and financial advisers invest with confidence, as well as offering investors the potentially generous tax reliefs available via the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme.”