16 November 2021

Autumn 2021 Budget Announcement - Investing in NHS Digitisation

Written by Megan Dempster

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the Autumn budget a few weeks ago which included significant spending plans to digitise the NHS over the next three years. This was particularly interesting for LGB Investors who had recently been invited to participate in a private placing for Feedback plc, an AIM-quoted digital health company creating a SaaS offering intended to capitalise on the NHS’s long-overdue digital transformation.

Feedback is extremely well positioned to benefit from this announcement, having invested £7m in its core technology ‘Bleepa’ in the last two years, with over £10m invested into the Cadran technology on which it is based. Bleepa is the only clinician communication system that is CE marked for medical image display, which puts it in a unique position compared to its competitors.

Currently clinicians in the NHS do not have a suitable way of communicating with each other as the NHS is reliant on old technology such as fax machines and pagers. This has lead to non-compliant tools such as WhatsApp being used for communication and the exchange of images (e.g. x-rays). Images exchanged on platforms such as this are not saved to patient records and are often low resolution and difficult to view. This is technically unsatisfactory and causes legal and medical risks to the process.  

Feedback has developed tools for manipulating and managing medical digital imaging, which is produced at ultra high resolution (under the DICOM standard) and with a hard-to-manage format. The Bleepa technology offers a secure communication system for clinicians, which is GDPR compliant, protects from malpractice litigation and is compatible with the NHS’s many legacy software systems.

Bleepa is already installed in five UK Hospital Trust sites, and has recently been included in one of three new Community Diagnostic Hub (CDH) pilot schemes. The chancellor’s announcement last week confirmed £2.3 billion will be spent over the next three years to transform diagnostic services with at least 100 CDHs across England.

The oversubscribed placing, raising a total of £10.7m for the Company, was announced on 2 November 2021. The shares were offered at a discount of 11.9% to the average trading price over the previous ten days, and were EIS-qualifying. Since the placing, which took place at 0.7p, the share price has risen sharply to circa 1.2p at the time of writing, an increase of approximately 70%. This could be due to further media attention highlighting the NHS radiology waitlists and in particular the government’s “£248m investment in technology to digitise the NHS and speed up the way tests, images and results are shares between hospitals, labs and GP surgeries over the next year”.

If you are interested in becoming a client of LGB and hearing more about investment opportunities such as this, please get in touch here.

Furthermore, we continue to work with companies in the digitisation, the new age consumer, the future of healthcare and the decarbonisation sectors. We would be pleased to hear about compelling companies with validated business models in this space.

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