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MSD outlines its AI needs in tech start-up programme

Continues its Velocity Health work with Wayra UK

Pharma artificial intelligence AI

Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD) has set out some of its UK digital health needs, with artificial intelligence and machine learning topping pharma firm’s areas of interest.

MSD, known as Merck & Co in the US and Canada, is two years in to its digital health start-up programme with accelerator Velocity Health, an accelerator that’s part of telecoms firm Telefonica.

The partners’ 2018 programme is on the look out for start-ups using technology to support disease and illness prevention, and will have a particular focus on those harnessing artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Previously the digital heath programme has focused on certain therapy areas, with diabetes and cancer covered in its first two years.

Dr Junaid Bajwa, director of healthcare services at MSD, said: “As a company, MSD is deeply committed to scientific discovery, working in partnership with the healthcare system and scaling innovation.

“Velocity Health 2018 aims to build on the achievements of the previous two years of Velocity Health and work with start-ups that truly complement the future of healthcare delivery. The NHS has made digital excellence the cornerstone of its future model and we must embrace this if we are to have a healthcare system fit for the 21st Century.”

The two firms say they want to be a part of “this new exciting era of health tech to support the NHS in providing a health system ready for our digital age”.

Gary Stewart, director of Wayra UK and Telefónica Open Future_ (UK), said: “Breakthroughs in artificial intelligence and machine learning are changing our lives in ways never previously thought possible, and it makes sense for us to seek brilliant entrepreneurs who can harness the power of data to improve the NHS and healthcare services globally, potentially transforming the lives of billions.”

Velocity Health will offer two start-ups up to £68K investment each in funding and a 10-month accelerator programme.

* Start-ups can apply here and applications are open until January 4

6th December 2017

From: Healthcare

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