Teleatherapy gets HSE approval after trials of its tech for Parkinson’s patients

2 May 2023

Aoife Carolan with Teleatherapy user Danny Owens. Image: Ger Rogers

Teleatherapy recently raised €700,000 in pre-seed funding from Enterprise Ireland and private investors to grow its business.

Cork-based medtech start-up Teleatherapy has reached a significant milestone with its software performing well in clinical trials conducted by the HSE in Laois and Offaly.

Teleatherapy makes tech that helps provide speech therapy for people with Parkinson’s disease. In February of this year, the company raised €700,000 in pre-seed funding from private investors and Enterprise Ireland to expand its business.

The company has been working with the HSE and Health Innovation Hub Ireland to pilot its tech in a clinical setting in January. The HSE’s speech and language therapists trialled Teleatherapy’s platform on patients.

Teleatherapy’s founder Clare Meskill is herself a speech and language therapist. She founded the company to devise a tech-based product to make delivering care to Parkinson’s patients easier and more expedient.

Speech and language therapists can use Teleatherapy’s app to prescribe exercises to patients and monitor their progress.

Meskill, who founded the start-up in 2020, said that it was great the company could collaborate with the HSE “to build and improve the platform as we learn together”.

Of the speech and language therapists Teleatherapy worked with on the trials, she said that “their enthusiasm and dedication has been fantastic”.

Aoife Carolan, speech and language therapy lead on the pilot, said she had noticed improvements for patients and professionals alike.

Carolan has worked with Teleatherapy since 2022 to trial its tech in her department.

“I have noticed that clients are more motivated to practise consistently as they know their HSE clinician is monitoring the quantity, quality and frequency of their practice at home – with obvious results evident in terms of their speech function and less need for face-to-face routine reviews.”

She noted that the tech also helped with therapists’ caseload management. “There is good potential for waiting list reduction with an initiative of this nature. It also means there is more time during face-to-face sessions to focus on more complex or bespoke issues, outside of the daily therapy which we now know is being completed well and consistently with the aid of this app and the feedback it gives us.”

“This is a great Irish product with the potential to impact Parkinson’s patients globally,” said Dr Tanya Mulcahy, director of the Health Innovation Hub Ireland. The hub works with a number of companies each year to test innovations at the HSE.

Following the successful pilot, Teleatherapy is now looking to work with other HSE clinics.

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Blathnaid O’Dea was a Careers reporter at Silicon Republic until 2024.