Awell, a digital health platform to build, operate and continuously improve clinical workflows, has secured $5m in seed funding.
The round was led by Octopus Ventures, with additional participation from S16, and angel investors including healthcare veteran Lord David Prior, former chair of the UK’s National Health Service (NHS).
Awell is used by clinicians to reduce the manual burden of traditional paper-based workflows, and to manage different technologies used in patient care on one platform. It also enables users to swiftly design and continuously update clinical workflows.
Inefficiencies in traditional workflows used to manage care can compromise patient wellbeing and increase strain on care teams. Research from SAGE has shown that paperwork is the single biggest perceived time waster by doctors and nurses.
Meanwhile, a rapid increase in the amount of published medical research has led to a gap between scientific research and clinical practice. A recent study showed that clinicians would need over 26 hours per day to follow national care guidelines for an average number of patients.
Awell tackles this problem by equipping medical teams to automate clinical workflows such as triage, patient onboarding, and care plans, while synchronizing data between different systems.
A study by AZ Delta found that a single lung cancer care process implemented by Awell increased overall patient survival by 55%. The company’s users include healthcare providers in the US such as Patina Health and Parsley Health.
Founded by Belgian entrepreneur Thomas Vande Casteele, Awell has seen monthly active patient numbers grow by 522% in the first six months of 2023. Since launching in July 2022, Awell has also led the development of a ‘CareOps’ community, which includes more than 3000 healthcare operators committed to continuously improving care flows and increasing the quality of patient care.
Commenting on the announcement, CEO & Founder of Awell Thomas Vande Casteele, said: “When you or a loved one gets hospitalised, it becomes painfully obvious how broken current clinical workflows are. Overwhelmed doctors wade through endless admin, patients juggle a different point solution for each medical condition, and care teams are forced to stay up-to-date with more medical research than they can handle.
“Our journey is inspired by these challenges faced by care teams across the world. We are on a mission to drive real change in the sector, supporting those on the frontline of healthcare by making care flows work harder than care teams. We’re delighted by recent customer growth in the US and across Europe, and nothing epitomizes the need for a solution to continuously improve care flows more than the rapid growth of the CareOps community in such a short space of time.”
Awell will use the funding to further increase product innovation and grow its team. It will target expansion in the US, particularly in growing relationships with traditional care organizations. The company also plans to make targeted investments in R&D to enable customers to tackle increasingly complex clinical workflows.
Prior to founding Awell, Vande Casteele set up an ecommerce and digital marketing business whose clients included Samsung, Audi and Nestlé.
Matthieu Vallin at Octopus Ventures stated: “Clinical workflows and patient pathways are broken in much of today’s healthcare environment. Thomas and his team have built an exceptional platform for providers and digital health companies to build, test, and deploy clinical workflows efficiently, while integrating seamlessly into their existing stacks.
“Awell has the potential to drastically improve care delivery while enabling healthcare organizations to improve operationally. Octopus is thrilled to play a part in supporting Awell as the company transforms how digital health is built and delivered to patients.”