Vitrue Healthcare, the UK-based musculoskeletal (MSK) healthcare startup, has successfully completed a £1.5m funding round led by Hambro Perks, with participation from Crista Galli Ventures, Howard Ventures, and leading angel investors from the Healthtech and HR tech space. The investment will be used to help drastically reduce rates of MSK pain with end-to-end solutions for people at every stage from the working environment through to the clinic.
Around 30-40% of the adult population, and 65% of desk workers, currently experience MSK pain. Vitrue’s own research found that 28% of people work at a workspace with substantially increased MSK health risks – and the issue has been hugely exacerbated by the recent shift to remote and hybrid working.
MSK issues accounted for 30% of all work-related ill health in 2019/20 and 27% of all days lost due to work-related ill-health. An estimated 480,0000 workers were affected by MSK health problems during this time, resulting in almost nine million working days lost. In addition, presenteeism, where an employee is at work but with reduced productivity due to pain, can cost around three times as much. As a result, an employer with 1,000 desk-based employees can lose between £600,000 and £800,000 a year to MSK issues alone.
Vitrue’s ground-breaking technology uses AI algorithms for the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of MSK conditions, either in the home, using a standard webcam to assess a desk worker’s posture, or in a clinical setting, using custom depth sensor technology to guide rehabilitation after joint surgery. Following assessment, each person is provided with a bespoke report which shows their MSK health risk factors, how they compare with their peer groups, and what they can do to reduce the risk. In cases where pain is present, Vitrue’s products guide the person through simple, clinically proven pain reduction programmes.
Founded in 2018, Vitrue Health is led by an experienced team, including co-founders Shane Lowe and Alex Haslehurst. The funding from this investment will be used to further grow the team and accelerate the rollout of the product globally.
Shane Lowe, CEO and co-founder of Vitrue Health, said: “MSK conditions are the primary cause of health-related absenteeism in the workplace today. Our world-leading products have the potential to completely transform the diagnosis and treatment of these conditions, and this investment will enable us to bring our products to more end-users and eventually improve the day-to-day lives of millions of people living with painful conditions, both at home and at work.
“We are grateful for the support from Hambro Perks and our investors in this round, all of whom share our vision for how transformative Vitrue products will be for the lives of people and businesses everywhere. We look forward to working with them to grow and build the company.”
Alex Haslehurst, CTO and co-founder of Vitrue Health, added: “By developing a proprietary, AI-based technology, we have created a system that’s easy to use, convenient, and accurate, and that has truly global potential. From providing desk assessments for remote workers, to providing treatment plans for post-operative patients, our products will bring benefits not only to the two billion adults living with MSK conditions, but also to the businesses everywhere whose productivity and profitability it impacts.”
Nick Sharp, head of Hambro Perks’ EIS Fund, said: “We are delighted to be backing Alex, Shane, and the Vitrue Health team with both our EIS and Leaders Funds. Their products are game-changing for the diagnosis and treatment of many common health conditions, as well as providing a convenient and accurate way for employers to meet their legal obligations to check that desks and workspaces are suitable for employees, and thereby reduce MSK-related absences.”
He concluded: “Hambro Perks is dedicated to enabling innovation, and Shane and Alex are prime examples of the sort of visionary entrepreneurs we want to work with.”