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Joining the dots in a neglected healthcare field

Tritone Health wants to put the right data in the right place to improve outcomes

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Hello there,

There are few things this newsletter likes more than an a startup successfully addressing an underserved niche.

And, based on the early interest it’s seeing, Tritone Health is one to watch in that regard. Scroll down to read all about them.

If you’re going the the Web Summit in Lisbon next week, let me know. It would be great to meet up with more PreSeed Now readers in person.

While I’m there, I’ll be moderating a panel called What Do Investors Really Want? I’m looking forward to digging into that one!

– Martin

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Tritone Health is joining the dots in a neglected healthcare field

Sometimes an idea comes along that would never have occurred to most people, but is an obvious opportunity to the right person.

That seems to be the case with Tritone Health, which, despite being less than a year old, says it is already working with the NHS and is eyeing international expansion.

The startup is, as CEO and founder Naveed Iqbal puts it, “working in healthcare to improve the lives of people with learning disabilities and autism.”

How are they doing that? Through improved data collection to provide psychiatrists and neurologists with more granular information about the patients’ health and wellbeing than they can otherwise obtain.

This, Iqbal says, will help join up the dots more effectively than can be done right now, leading to better outcomes, earlier.

“We're trying to connect the social and mental health with the medical health to find out why there's a deterioration, because it's often connected, but it's often neglected in healthcare,” Iqbal explains.

How it works

In practice, the product takes the form of a personal diary app the startup is developing. It’s designed for use by people with learning disabilities and autism, or by their carers.

Patients will record details like how they’re feeling, and their physical activity. Caregivers can also record measurements like weight and blood pressure. All of this data will then be available to doctors via a dashboard, meaning they have a lot more information to work with when the patient walks into the clinic.

Medical data collection startups founded by doctors are not exactly a rare commodity, so what’s the big opportunity here, especially in such a specialist field?

Iqbal sees learning disabilities and autism as a beachhead market for Tritone Health. According to charity Mencap, there are 1.5 million people with learning disabilities in the UK. UCL research estimates the autistic population of the UK to be 1.2 million. And that’s before you consider international figures. 

Once Lancaster-based Tritone Health has mastered serving this market, Iqbal wants to expand into fields like dementia, severe mental illnesses, and brain injuries.

“This is an area of neglect, but they need the same annual health checks in primary care and secondary care which are not being done at the moment. So once we start looking at these other spectrums… this is going to be a huge market area for us,” Iqbal says.

The story so far

Iqbal noticed the need for something like Tritone Health in his role as a GP.

He says he was frustrated with stats like people with learning disabilities being more likely to die prematurely, with around half of those deaths being avoidable. And he saw how pressures on the health service contributed to these outcomes.

“Annual health checks were being rushed because of the pressures in primary care. We lacked important information about [patients’] lives, what's happening at home, what their mental health is like, and we were often making judgments based on limited information; what we call ‘diagnostic overshadowing’.”

He observed that the patients generally already used mobile apps such as Facebook, while carers already collected a lot of the information a doctor would need, just on paper and not in a way they could access. 

“So we said why can't we build one common platform where any doctor in a hospital or primary care can get that same information?”

Iqbal got started on Tritone Health as a solo founder, and was recently joined by CTO James Walkerdine. Walkerdine previously co-founded Relative Insight, a text analysis company with offices in the UK and US, and which undoubtedly counts as one of Lancaster’s most successful tech startups.

Iqbal oversees the medical and industry side of the business, while Walkerdine brings his startup experience to the tech and operational side. The pair are now beginning to build out an in-house team.

While the startup is less than a year old, Iqbal has already lined up a pipeline of NHS contracts. Walkerdine says that as a result, Tritone Health has already generated £180,000 in revenue.

The startup has a target of being rolled out across 60% of NHS England integrated care boards by December 2024, with the system being used in primary care, hospitals, and secondary care contexts.

And Iqbal says a pilot project is being lined up for early next year in the USA.

“At the moment we've got sick care, not health care, often when it's too late. The pandemic exposed a lot of inequalities because people with learning disabilities were six times more likely to die from Covid,” says Iqbal.

“Now there's a drive towards prevention, which is why America and the UK are looking into this. If we can save on costs, if we can prevent hospital admission, if we can spot early signs of disease, that's going to be the real return on investment. And now seems to be the perfect time for it.”

Go deeper on Tritone Health

Read more about their funding and investment plans, vision, competition, and challenges:


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