Cotswold Health Technology (CHT) is a proposed spinout from the University of Oxford; its first product, GaitThaw, uses AI and vibrational cues to help people living with Parkinson’s overcome gait difficulties and regain independence in their lives.
Almost half of the ten million patients living with Parkinson’s globally develop freezing of gait (FoG), a condition that renders spontaneous walking all but impossible. FoG is embarrassing, frustrating and debilitating. It also doubles the sufferer’s likelihood of having falls compared to their non-Parkinson’s peers. These falls are frequently associated with serious injuries.
The existing products for FoG are rudimentary and fail to address the market needs. The CHT founding team – Dr James Cantley, Dr Dongli Li and Dr André Hallack – has conducted extensive market validation work in Parkinson’s (comprising of around 200 meaningful conversations with patients, physiotherapists and clinicians), initially through the University of Oxford’s BioDesign programme and subsequently through the ICURe business accelerator programme, which provided funding for wide-ranging, field-based research, in particular with people living with Parkinson’s and those charitable organisations that provide essential support to them and their families. A recently finished 4 month clinical study attested the efficiency of GaitThaw to improve walk quality on people with Parkinson’s disease.
The team has been further strengthened by the addition of Andy Hill, a senior executive from the medical technology industry with extensive experience in bringing new and disruptive technologies to market in Europe and the USA.
The global target addressable market values at more than £2bn and Based on our business model and assumptions about sales growth and market penetration, a 20% market share in the UK, EU and US markets would equate to annual recurring revenues of c. £100m.
It is proposed that initially GaitThaw will be made available directly to end-users on an annual subscription basis with orders placed via CHT’s website or Amazon. The subscription will cover online customer support and advice, a free return and replace service for devices that fail, are lost or broken.
CHT plans to work with Parkinson’s charities in each of its target sales territories to reach its customers. People living with Parkinson’s and the charities that support them are motivated and active in increasing awareness of the disease, lobbying for better care provision and supporting clinical research. Parkinson’s charities will be a key element in CHT’s user and healthcare provider engagement strategies.
In parallel with the initial launch in the UK and Europe, CHT will undertake the health economic studies required to support reimbursement of the technology by healthcare providers. This model for driving reimbursement and adoption has been very successfully exploited by Abbott Laboratories in the diabetes setting with its FreeStyle Libre flash glucose monitor for continuous glucose monitoring.