Newcastle University spin-out Changing Health gets £1m

Changing Health, a spin-out company from Newcastle University and the Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, has raised £1m.

The Finance for Business North East Accelerator Fund, managed by Northstar Ventures, participated in the round.

Alongside the funding, the company also announced a partnership with Nuffield Health, a not-for-profit healthcare provider in the UK. Changing Health also said it had recently grown its team, having hired six people.

John Grumitt, CEO, said: “We’re excited to expand and attract talent to the North East following the investment by Northstar Ventures. Among appointed staff members are business development director Mark Scorringe, who previously worked at global pharmaceutical company Eli-Lilly, and marketing and communications director Jonathan Gwillim, who has over 10 years of experience in healthcare market insight.”

Launched last year, Changing Health uses evidence-based behavioural change techniques in an attempt to improve the lives of Type 2 Diabetes patients.

Professor Mike Trenell, chief scientist at Changing Health and a senior researcher at Newcastle University, said: “Diabetes is currently the single biggest health issue in the UK and the greatest cost to the NHS and other healthcare providers.

“Yet 70% of Type 2 Diabetes can be prevented or reversed with a healthy diet and physical activity. Changing Health addresses this need by reducing barriers to patients accessing the educational programme they need and for the first time making available evidence-based behavioural change tools that improve health outcomes and reduce delivery costs.”

Alex Buchan, investment manager at Northstar Ventures, commented on his decision to support the startup: “Changing Health has taken an established educational programme and, through digitisation, developed a platform that could be a key factor in reducing the number of people living with Type 2 Diabetes.

“It is the only educational programme where trials have shown a direct reduction in key indicators of diabetes and it is encouraging to see the NHS and an established healthcare provider like Nuffield Health be so quick to adopt the technology.

“Furthermore John has an impressive track record of rolling out new technologies and extensive experience of working with healthcare providers, meaning he is ideally placed to oversee the roll out of the Changing Health platform.”