A remote monitoring service for cancer patients that restores quality of life

Cancer patients can now monitor symptoms and take their own blood tests in the comfort of their own home. Entia delivers a remote monitoring service designed to reduce the need for hospital visits, spot treatment side effects earlier, and ultimately improve a person’s quality of life and outcomes.

Posted on: 20/09/2023

Entia’s CEO and founder Dr Toby Basey-Fisher developed the technology when he witnessed first-hand how gruelling it was for family members with debilitating side-effects to then have to visit clinics to evaluate their health and receive care. He also saw how challenging it was for clinicians to proactively identify patients in the community that needed their attention most.

His response was Liberty, a world-first service that challenges this reactive system. Toby says, “Rather than waiting for things to go wrong, we can now capture and share patient data with a healthcare professional so they can understand a patient’s condition in real-time. They can then triage individuals that are deviating from what’s expected, helping patients receive appraised care sooner, avoiding unplanned hospitalisations and improving their chances of survival.”

Toby founded Entia in 2015 and spent the early years in product development. But it was funding in 2019 from Innovate UK’s Biomedical Catalyst that proved transformational. It helped Entia prioritise its work in oncology and conduct vital feasibility studies. “This funding was incredible and a huge enabler for us. As well as de-risking the idea with other investors, it unlocked valuable data through our work with key partners like The Christie NHS Foundation Trust and The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust. It gave us deep insights into the problems we were actually trying to solve.”

Phil Frost was one of the patients in the trial, having been diagnosed with bladder cancer in 2019. He explains, “I had absolutely no concerns about using the technology. If this means that patients in future won’t have to come to The Christie to have their blood tested but can do it from the comfort of their own home, then I think that is a wonderful innovation.”

So how does it work? Liberty allows people to take blood tests, track their symptoms, and monitor vitals from home. This data is sent to clinicians through a secure cloud network and insights are visualised through the Liberty dashboard. Built-in analytics flag any patient that requires more urgent or more specialist attention and can alert healthcare professionals to any untoward side-effects, so they can adjust the care accordingly. It means patients don’t have to wait for a routine appointment or for something to become an emergency to be able to get the care they need. And fewer hospital appointments also make more effective use of NHS resources and budget.

Entia’s work has attracted the attention of investors and global pharma. In 2022, the team secured £16m investment in a funding round led by BGF and Parkwalk. It has also entered into an agreement with Pfizer who are looking for more innovative ways to streamline treatment pathways and improve patient outcomes with Liberty. The two businesses are now working together to secure regulatory approval and commercialise the service.

The relationship with Innovate UK extended well beyond the first grant. Over the last four years, Entia has received over £1.1m in funding and has benefited from added value support in the form of connections and support around R&D and commercialisation. Toby reflects, “Innovate UK was there from conception to actual delivery. It’s safe to say, none of this would have happened without Innovate UK backing us.”

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