DvH Ventures leads OKKO's £2Million pre-seed round
OKKO Health, a developer of eye health self-monitoring apps, today announced the close of a pre-seed round of £2Million GBP to support the launch of its eye health monitoring app in Germany. The round was led by Dieter von Holtzbrinck Ventures (DvH Ventures), based in Cologne, Germany from its Digital Health Fund.
OKKO Health, founded in Bristol, UK in 2018, has developed a range of sight monitoring apps focussing on the monitoring of macular degeneration. Macular disease is the leading cause of sight loss in the developed world. It affects over 1.5 million people in the UK alone. OKKO’s apps provide patients with the ability to self-monitor their condition through a simple interactive smartphone game. Played regularly, the game can inform clinicians, and patients, of changes in visual acuity, sensitivity to contrast, distortion, and colour vision. These data points become cues for clinical intervention. The funding supports the creation of brand new aggregate datasets, providing opportunities to better understand how to pinpoint treatments for macular degeneration though the deployment of AI in the form of machine learning algorithms. The ultimate aim is to make precision ophthalmology a reality, and protect the sight of millions of patients.
The company has created a CE marked product, co-developed with The Macular Society in the UK. The app has now undergone beta testing, has undergone several academic and clinical studies, and has been piloted in the UK. Its launch in Germany will enable the gathering of market evidence for national reimbursement, a novel aspect of the German health care system, through studies in hospitals & clinics.
“OKKO doesn't simply replicate the eye chart on a smartphone, it’s a whole new way of measuring sight. And the team has shown excellent traction to date, partly testament to its clinical experience. OKKO’s founder, Dr. Stephanie Campbell, has both clinical and vision science expertise, and this gives her deep, first-hand, market understanding which is hugely valuable in the digital health space.”
“This funding round brings OKKO one step closer to our vision of patient enablement and precision ophthalmology. One area this technology can support is the timing for medical interventions in macular disease, such as the blockbuster anti-VEGF drugs. In many cases, pharmaceutical intervention can come too late for those with macular disease. By putting monitoring literally in the hands of the patients, the frequency of measurements can be dramatically increased, creating early warning signals for treatment.”