Combining a technology platform and scientific knowledge to improve healthcare in the Netherlands
Ancora Health, a Dutch start-up specialising in preventive health and lifestyle therapy, is to work closely with the TechMed Centre of the University of Twente (UT) to enable personalised e-health. Combining Ancora’s technology platform with UT’s scientific knowledge and expertise will result in a unique partnership. The aim is to provide lifestyle support to people with lifestyle-related health risks and so help them to manage chronic diseases or prevent these from occurring. Encouraging effective interventions at an earlier stage of disease can reduce the pressure on the healthcare system.
The partnership between Ancora and UT’s TechMed Centre is expected to significantly increase the impact of new e-health technologies on the care of people with chronic diseases by providing personalised healthcare solutions and implementing them on a larger scale. The two parties hope to give a boost to Dutch healthcare by developing solutions for holistic modelling as a tool for diagnosis, remote patient monitoring, and digital coaching in the treatment of diabetes and osteoarthritis using artificial intelligence.
The partnership will bring technologies for both treatment and prevention to the market. In addition, Ancora and UT will conduct research into healthcare technology economics and funding models. E-health has the potential to drastically improve healthcare, particularly in the area of prevention. Personalised e-health can be of huge benefit to people with unhealthy lifestyles, as they are often overlooked by the regular healthcare system. The reason is that neither they nor the system classifies them as ‘ill’. The partnership between Ancora and UT can help to improve early identification and so prevent the development of chronic diseases. Personalised e-health can thus play an important role in increasing the years of ‘self-perceived good health’ of a large part of the Dutch population.
Life expectancy in the Netherlands is 82 years, however, the number of years of ‘good health’ is only 61. This means that most people spend their latter years with at least one chronic condition. One explanation for this is that Dutch healthcare is a primarily reactive system. If the risk of preventable diseases is identified at an earlier stage, health professionals can intervene earlier and prescribe targeted lifestyle interventions. This will also help reduce the pressure on medical professionals.
“About 1.1 million Dutch people suffer from type 2 diabetes and many more have other lifestyle-related diseases, so there is an urgent need for healthcare professionals to become more efficient and proactive. Ancora and UT are taking up this challenge together,” says Sridhar Kumaraswamy, CEO of Ancora Health.
“By deploying the right technology, doctors will soon be able to see who is most at risk, monitor their patients’ development more closely, and deploy personalised interventions, all resulting in better health outcomes for more people,” adds Remke Burie, director of UT’s TechMed Centre. “Because the doctor and patient can see exactly what is needed and when healthcare will become much more proactive. We are very much looking forward to working together with Ancora and helping to provide better healthcare in the Netherlands, today and in the future.”
Ancora Health is a Dutch start-up specialising in preventive health and lifestyle therapy. Ancora helps people take control of their own health, well-being and performance by providing them with health insights based on a scientifically proven health check. More than 1,000 data points are obtained through measurements, tests and holistic analyses of parameters like DNA, urine, blood, lung capacity and heart function. The results are used to provide healthy dietary and lifestyle recommendations and warn of health risks.
The University of Twente is a renowned technical university in the Netherlands and its Technical Medical Centre (TechMed Centre) is fully dedicated to improving healthcare through personalised technology. This ambition is achieved by providing excellent educational programmes (BSc, MSc, PhD & Lifelong Learning programmes) ranging from Biomedical Engineering and Health Technology Implementation Sciences to Technical Medicine, and by conducting excellent research programmes in areas such as Health Robotics, eHealth Technologies, Medical Imaging and Health Technology Implementation. The University of Twente is one of the most entrepreneurial universities in Europe with a high-standing reputation in the facilitation of start-ups and scale-ups. The University has an established ecosystem of incubators, accelerators, business developers, legal advisors, private investors and VC firms. The TechMed Centre and its partners in healthcare have an extensive track record of transforming new know-how and solutions into healthcare practice.