Teleatherapy bags €700,000 to grow Parkinsons speech therapy platform

9 Feb 2023

Teleatherapy co-founders, CEO Clare Meskill and CTO Dave Calnan. Image: David Creedon

Founded in 2020 by Clare Meskill, Teleatherapy aims to better connect speech therapists with Parkinson’s disease patients to reduce waitlists.

Cork start-up Teleatherapy has raised €700,000 in pre-seed funding to bring its speech therapy platform to more people with Parkinson’s disease.

The funding came from private investors and Enterprise Ireland, which will be used to help expand the company’s team and its product.

Founded in 2020 by Clare Meskill, Teleatherapy has developed a platform to better connect speech and language therapists with patients that have Parkinson’s disease.

The platform lets these professionals prescribe exercises for clients, which can then be completed at home through an app on their phone or tablet. This product is designed to save time for speech therapists and reduce waitlists for patients.

Teleatherapy CEO Meskill is a speech and language therapist and said she recognised the need for this type of service when working with Parkinson’s disease patients.

She said the disease can cause patients to lose their ability to communicate which can be “incredibly isolating and impact people’s ability to participate in everyday life”.

“Voice is a huge part of our identity,” Meskill said. “We are empowering individuals with the skills needed to maintain their voice and slow down progression.

“Our technology enables speech and language therapists to support their clients with Parkinson’s disease remotely and improve outcomes between therapy sessions.”

Teleatherapy began offering the app to individuals with Parkinson’s disease in July 2021, before growing the pilot group with the support of the Parkinson’s Association of Ireland.

Dave Calnan joined as a co-founder and CTO toward the end of 2022 to lead the technical development. The start-up, based in University College Cork, is currently a team of four with plans to expand further.

Last month, the start-up began a pilot with the HSE in partnership with Health Innovation Hub Ireland. The company plans to hire speech and language therapists to increase the number of clients who can avail of the service. Teleatherapy also plans to expand to NHS clinics in the UK throughout 2023.

“We are delighted with the progress seen to date and this funding will help us build upon this momentum and bring our technology to help as many people as possible,” Meskill said.

Last year, Meskill and other start-up leaders spoke to about the benefits of working in Ireland’s regional co-working hubs.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic