Drayson signs new healthcare IoT deal with Oxford University and NHS Trust

Drayson Oxford University IoT healthcare

Healthcare IoT specialist Drayson Technologies has announced a five-year strategic research agreement with Oxford University and Oxford University Hospitals (OUH) NHS Foundation Trust in the field of digital health.

The new deal, announced this week, builds on an exclusive licensing agreement announced earlier this year by Drayson Technologies and Oxford University. Under that agreement, the organizations agreed to work together on the development, testing and future commercialisation of three clinically validated digital health products.

The three products are SEND, a system for vital-sign observations in hospital patients; GDm-health, a system for managing diabetes in pregnant women; and EDGE-COPD, a system for the management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Read more: Qualcomm Life: Remote patient monitoring is a tonic for healthcare challenges

New deal

Under the new deal, the University of Oxford and OUH NHS Trust will receive £5 million worth of equity in Drayson Technologies, as part of the company’s just-closed Series C funding round. The company, meanwhile, has the option to license intellectual property developed by Oxford University’s head of engineering science Professor Lionel Tarassenko and colleagues in the field of digital health. To date, Drayson Technologies has raised over £41 million.

According to a public statement from the company, the strategic research agreement “ensures that the technologies can be commercialized so that they can bring benefit to patients across the NHS and overseas, but it also means that some of the profits will come back into the NHS Trust and University of Oxford to benefit more patients and fund more research.” Drayson Technologies added that it intends to sponsor further research and clinical validation of new digital health products over the next five years.

Results so far from current product line-up have been encouraging, with Oxford University suggesting that they could deliver “significant improvements in patient health outcomes and reduction in costs for the NHS.”

For example, tests of GDm-health involving over 1,000 patients saw a 25 percent reduction in clinic visits, when evaluated at the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust. Similarly, tests of EDGE-COPD, which was developed with support from the Department of Health and the Wellcome Trust through the Health Innovation Challenge Fund, showed a 17 percent reduction in hospital admissions during a year-long clinical trial.

All three products use machine learning technologies, developed at Oxford University’s Institute of Biomedical Engineering, to analyse data and provide decision support and patient safety information to patients and healthcare professionals.

Read more: HIMSS17: US healthcare industry connects dots between AI, personalized care and precision medicine

Technology transfer

According to Dr Paul Ashley, head of technology transfer in life sciences at Oxford University Innovation, digital health has “enormous potential for patient benefit and economic savings.”

“This strategic agreement between the University and Drayson Technologies will allow us to build on the existing licensing agreements… Combining the innovation and insight of the Department of Engineering Science and the Trust with the resources and expertise of Drayson Technologies provides great opportunity for new, groundbreaking technologies that could have a significant impact on healthcare around the world,” he said.

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