Health-tech start-up named ‘Most Investable Business in Ireland’

11 May 2012

SilverCloud Health, a new Irish start-up that provides a cloud-based platform for healthcare professionals to deliver therapeutic programmes to people, has been named the Most Investable Business in Ireland’ at the Software Investment Forum.

Six companies were shortlisted for last night’s forum, which was jointly run by the Irish Software Association and Irish Venture Capital Association. Each of the start-ups had to pitch to a panel of venture capitalists and angel investors.

It was SilverCloud Health, a new start-up based at the NDRC, which scooped the top accolade.

The spin-out has come up with a platform to enable healthcare professionals and organisations to create and deliver computerised therapeutic and wellness programmes for people who may have illnesses from depression and anxiety to addictions and long-term Illness.

Health tech game-changer?

With its technology SilverCloud is aiming to be a game-changer for the health and wellness space, in a time when health budgets have been slashed. Another aim of its platform is to help people manage illnesses such as depression in the long term.

The company was spawned from the Technology Enhanced Therapy project, which was led by Dr Gavin Doherty in collaboration with Dr John Sharry. The project was a joint translational research project undertaken by NDRC with Trinity College Dublin’s (TCD) School of Computer Science and Statistics and the charity Parents Plus at the Mater Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service.

“We are delighted to receive this award and I am confident that it will help us take the next step in our progression as a business,” said SilverCloud CEO Ken Cahill last night.

Now the company is aiming to generate international sales.

Dr James Callaghan, associate director of Trinity Research & Innovation at TCD, spoke about the genesis of SilverCloud.

It was when Trinity computer scientist Gavin Doherty, an expert on human computer interaction in healthcare, along with Dr David Coyle from his team joined up with John Sharry of Parents Plus, with an idea for an online system to support mental healthcare, said Callaghan.

“Gavin’s and John’s idea was to revolutionise the healthcare sector by providing programmes that cover the full spectrum of health and wellness from depression and anxiety to addictions and long-term Illness,” he said.

Callaghan said that by forming a team with Ken Cahill and project researchers James Bligh, Karen Tierney and David Coyle, they have now developed SilverCloud to a stage where these research ideas will have a societal and economic impact.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic