Growth of Britain’s digital health startups restricted by NHS


With most of the funding for health services in the UK going to the NHS directly, digital health startups in Europe are moving to the US to develop their service.

With limited funding for these startups in Britain, venture capital investors in the U.S invested $4billion into these projects last year, twice as much from the year before. Although no concrete data to support this, it is believed that the funding for startups such as these in Europe is less than €100million.

The difference in funding means there are less opportunities for European entrepreneurs. Based in an area which is a hotbed for creativity and innovation, the shortage in funding means that is less likely that a startup will be able to evolve into a major employer.

The problem facing digital health startups is that the NHS covers al health expenses. Therefore, for a startup to sell something to the NHS, startups must aim to get on one of the lists which the government maintains, which cover everything from pacemakers to ambulances. Getting on to one of these lists can prove tricky for any startup, which is one of the reasons why the NHS can be such a stumbling block for many startups searching for investment.

Even with the NHS predicting a £30million shortfall by 2021 and saying it is counting on innovation to cut costs, these hurdles mean it will take longer for startups to reach the nations medical systems.