Accelerated transition to virtual hospital
Byteflies raises 4.5 million euros to lead the way
The healthcare sector has discovered the benefits of remote patient monitoring in recent years. The sector is ready to structurally deploy these solutions to provide fully virtual monitoring of patients throughout their care path. Wearables specialist Byteflies, which currently already works with 35% of Belgian hospitals, wants to facilitate this evolution by remotely monitoring patients before, during and after their admission to the hospital. To accelerate further growth and make the underlying patient data platform accessible for virtual monitoring, the company raised 4.5 million euros from investment fund Sensinnovat, several business angels and VLAIO.
In recent years - and partly driven by the pandemic - many hospitals discovered the advantages of remote patient monitoring, where a patient is followed up in his own environment (transmurally) with smart technology. Now they are ready to enter the next phase where remote patient monitoring can be deployed anywhere it is clinically relevant. The structural deployment of virtual monitoring allows hospitals to focus even more on specialised care solutions.
Christophe Mouton, CEO of Maria Middelares Hospital and General Hospital Sint Vincentius Deinze in Belgium: "The hospital of tomorrow will rather be a "hybrid" concept with a combination of physical and digital care pathways. To achieve this, we need a synergy between the hospitals, which will function as a control room from which everything is monitored and controlled, and the industry, including scale-ups such as Byteflies, which in turn facilitate cooperation with the other healthcare actors such as GPs and home care specialists."
Scale-up Byteflies aims to be at the forefront of this trend that is taking place in the healthcare sector. It can build on its experience of recent years. Today, the scale-up already supports 35% of Belgian hospitals with specialised remote patient monitoring solutions such as smart patches for monitoring patients with epilepsy, heart problems or Covid. It will now commit to the structural implementation of remote patient monitoring for all disease states. The aim is to help improve patient care by giving stakeholders access to remote monitoring tools, real-world data and relevant clinical insights.
Co-CEO of Byteflies Hans Danneels: "We are already working with a lot of hospitals and healthcare specialists today. We clearly sense the willingness to use remote patient monitoring much more widely. On the one hand, they see the benefits for the patient and on the other because the pressure on our healthcare system remains extremely high, partly due to staff shortages. By making hospital admissions virtual to a large extent, we can relieve that pressure while also ensuring comfortable and safe follow-ups for patients. Our ambition is to assist a patient throughout the entire process: before, during and after hospital admission and to offer a virtual hospital."
To make the remote patient monitoring capabilities available to all patients, Byteflies has secured growth financing of 4.5 million euros. For this, the scale-up can once again count on the support and trust of angel investors such as Louis Jonckheere and Pieterjan Bouten (Showpad), Mathias Geeroms (Ota Insight) and Joris Van Der Gucht (Silverfin). The biggest investor for this round is Sensinnovat, the investment vehicle of the De Winter-Chombar family, which is strongly committed to healthcare innovation, among other things.
Françoise Chombar, Sensinnovat: "We are convinced that Byteflies has all the competencies to contribute to the healthcare model of tomorrow. With its unique combination of hardware and software, it can bring great added value to patients and healthcare staff, both in terms of efficiency but also in terms of accuracy. In addition, this will also reduce a lot of repetitive work for healthcare staff and consequently reduce the pressure on and cost of the healthcare system."
Reducing pressure on healthcare is one of the great added values that remote patient monitoring can offer. The sector is faced with a shortage of care staff, forcing as many as 8 out of 10 hospitals to reduce their care services.
Co-CEO of Byteflies Hans De Clercq: "Today, healthcare personnel spend an average of several hours a day monitoring patients (e.g. in the context of Early Warning Scoring) and analysing data. This is work we want to help them with so they can spend more time caring for the patient. Therefore, it is very important to not only focus on the technology but more importantly on how this technology fits into the care process. The smart patches and monitoring tools deployed by Byteflies not only provide real-time data to healthcare providers but also help interpret it quickly, using AI analytics."
Byteflies is working towards a future where healthcare is fully personalised and preventive. The solution allows long-term and synchronised measurement of vital parameters and digital biomarkers with user-friendly patches, independent of where you are and optimised for your specific needs. Byteflies is actively working on wearables for people with epilepsy, sleep disorders, cardiorespiratory and neurodegenerative conditions, and monitoring acute viral infections.
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