Global Healthcare player, Bupa joins forces with start-up Vigil

Leading healthcare provider Bupa has joined forces with mHealth start-up Vigil Monitoring and Spark Ventures to develop innovative solutions that will help address the growing challenges of age care and health care.

Bupa is an acknowledged global health care leader. Spark Ventures, the incubator and accelerator arm of Spark New Zealand, offers significant technology capability and market reach. Vigil Monitoring is developing services to improve health outcomes and reduce health-care costs through digital technologies.

Vigil Chairman Keith Oliver says that the addition of Bupa will help Vigil better respond to the growing challenge affordable healthcare delivery as populations change across the world.

“We need new health delivery models using digital technologies to address worsening macro health-trends and help reduce health-care costs. Technology is the key to unlocking new models of care. The potential benefits to New Zealanders are enormous.”

The numbers don’t lie. Statistics New Zealand projects the population aged 65 and over to grow to over 1,000,000 by 2031. By 2051, around 1.18 million people are expected to be aged 65 and over in New Zealand. The consequential pressure on health services will be profound unless we change the way we deliver care.

”There’s no denying the fact that the cost of healthcare and especially age care services is rapidly becoming unaffordable in the developed world. We need to drive cost out of delivery and improve efficiency, all the while focussing on the needs of people who are living longer.”

Sir Ray Avery, Vigil Founder and board member says “ Vigil mHealth is a great example of applied innovative Kiwi technology in the global healthcare arena. It heralds a new era in the care of our aging population allowing them to live independently in the community with Vigil mHealth watching over their wellbeing”.

Bupa plans to partner with Vigil and invest $5 million in exchange for a 25 per cent stake in the business.

MD of Bupa Care Services NZ Grainne Moss says Bupa “was attracted to Vigil because of its ability to think innovatively and challenge many of the assumptions on how to best serve the changing face of health care.”

Bupa wasn't “only providing investment for the start-up, but will use Vigil’s lean canvas and customer validation models to develop innovative offerings for our customers across NZ, Australia and globally”.

Spark Ventures CEO Rod Snodgrass agrees that this opportunity was too good to pass up.

“The demand for smarter digital health solutions will only grow as the population ages. Vigil offers medical monitoring solutions using digital technologies with many applications and with global potential. The addition of the global muscle and capability of Bupa will help realise that.”

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