The UK government has announced a £10m investment to develop 29 new breast cancer screening units.
The units will be directed to areas where they are most needed to increase capacity and speed up diagnosis and treatment.
The announcement follows concerns voiced by the charity Breast Cancer Now over a decline in breast cancer early-stage diagnosis as a result of the pandemic.
The data has shown a dip in the rate of early, stage one and two, breast cancer diagnosis – a sharp contrast to the years leading up to the pandemic when early diagnosis rates were rising.
The government’s latest investment is hoped to reverse the trend, allowing more women to be screened earlier and access care closer to home.
“Last year 100,000 people were diagnosed with cancer at stages one and two. This is the highest proportion on record but we want to do better still,” said Minister of State for Health, Helen Whately.
“These breast cancer screening units will mean more people can get checked for cancer, closer to home.
“Most people will get the reassurance of an all-clear but for those who are diagnosed, catching their cancer early is the best thing we can do.”
As part of the investment, the government will provide 16 new mobile breast screening units, 13 static units, 58 live remote access upgrades for existing units and 10 software upgrades in areas with existing units to carry out ultrasounds and X-rays.
The funding is now in place for NHS trusts to spend within the 2022 to 2023 financial year and the timing for delivery of units will be individual to each trust.
Steve Russell, NHS national director for screening and vaccinations, said: “Screening is vital in detecting breast cancer early and getting better outcomes for patients, and this further investment is great news for improving access to breast screening services for women across England.
“This funding will help increase screening rates among women from communities and regions where uptake is lowest by improving facilities in both fixed and mobile locations, making it easier for more women to get checked, and we encourage anyone invited for a screening to take up their appointment without delay and help us catch cancers earlier when they are easier to treat.”
Ciarán Norris, head of campaigns and public affairs at Macmillan Cancer Support, said: “We welcome any intervention that helps to speed up diagnosis and improve access to cancer screening services, particularly in areas where they are most needed, as we know the earlier someone is diagnosed the better their outcome is likely to be.
“Alongside this, we also look forward to working with the government on steps to grow and sustain the cancer workforce, to ensure our cancer services can provide timely treatment and care for everyone living with cancer, both now and in the future.”
Breast screening is one of the best ways to spot a cancer that is too small to feel or see. Each year more than two million women have breast cancer screening in the UK through the NHS Breast Screening Programme.
Tech4Eva launches its fourth edition and call for application
Tech4Eva is searching for entrepreneurs ready to address the unmet health needs of women worldwide
Tech4Eva, a pioneering accelerator programme dedicated to the femtech sector, is opening its call for applications, inviting femtech start-ups to join its mission to improve women’s health.
The programme is searching for entrepreneurs ready to address the unmet health needs of women worldwide, promising to help entrepreneurs to take their start-ups to the next level.
What is Tech4Eva?
Tech4Eva, is a joint programme between EPFL Innovation Park and Groupe Mutuel for companies developing innovative technology solutions to improve women’s health globally.
What is Tech4Eva looking for?
Applying to the Tech4Eva accelerator programme is a pivotal step for any femtech start-up looking to elevate its impact and reach in the women’s health sector.
Here is an overview of the benefits the programme offers:
- Strategic refinement: Sharpen your business model and go-to-market strategy with expert guidance, positioning your start-up for sustainable growth and success.
- Enhanced visibility: Participate in roadshows to showcase your innovative solutions, broadening your exposure to key stakeholders in the Tech4Eva femtech ecosystem.
- Direct connections: Gain invaluable access to a network of investors and potential customers.
- Personalised coaching: Receive targeted technical and business coaching tailored to your start-up’s unique challenges.
- Peer learning: Benefit from Peer2Peer sessions that foster exchange of insights and experiences with fellow founders.
- Community engagement: Become an integral part of a global femtech community, connecting with like-minded innovators committed to transforming women’s health.
The time is now
This is more than a call for applications, it’s a call to action. The Tech4Eva accelerator programme offers more than growth – it offers a chance to be part of a movement set to redefine the future of women’s health.
If your start-up is ready to take the next step, your time is now. Apply here to join the Tech4Eva programme now.
Investors launch female-focused angel network in the north of England
The Leeds-based group aims to build a diverse investment community for women entrepreneurs in the north of England
Two UK-based businesswomen have launched an angel investment network to back women-led start-ups in the north of England.
Co-founded by Jordan Dargue and Helen Oldham, Lifted Ventures was launched based on research showing that female-led businesses generate on average double the revenue for each pound invested, despite receiving minimal funding.
Funding has been identified as a top barrier for women in tech and business, with the Alison Rose Review revealing that less than one per cent of all venture funding goes to all-female-founded start-ups.
Dargue and Oldham, who led the NorthInvest angel network and co-founded Fund Her North and Women Angels of the North, said they came together to this new venture to build on their work in closing the early-stage gender and ethnic funding gap in the UK.
The Leeds-based group aims to build a diverse investment community for women entrepreneurs in the north of England, planning to create networks for angels and supply its capital to women-led startups.
“Too often the conversation focuses on disparity, gender funding gaps, barriers and challenges. Lifted Ventures is focusing on opportunity,” said Oldham, co-founder of Lifted Ventures and board member of the UK Business Angels Association, told UKTN.
“One of our main aims is to educate and inform investors on the proven business benefits and greater economic returns which result from supporting female-founded businesses.”
Lifted’s angel networks, Oldham said, would include education programmes to support new and experienced investors who want to gain a better understanding of how to back female-led businesses.
“We understand that female-led businesses and women angels need tailored pathways to ensure that they’re successful,” explained Jordan, co-founder of Lifted Ventures.
“The education programmes we’re developing aim to provide investors and founders alike with the practical resources and knowledge they need to ensure success.”
She aded: “We believe that investment should be accessible to everyone, irrespective of their background, ethnicity, gender, neuro or physical diversity.”
US maternity clinic raises a US$28m to expand nationally
Oula plans to expand its hybrid care approach and launch new services for those in their reproductive years
The US maternity care clinic Oula has raised a US$28m in funding to introduce new services and expand nationally.
Oula aims to brings together the best of midwifery and obstetrics to deliver, what the start-up describes as, “whole-person” care.
Since its launch in 2021, the clinic, which can currently be found in three locations in New York City, has focused on providing a better care experience for women, combing modern medicine with a more personalised approach.
Now, with nearly US$50m in total funding, Oula plans to expand its hybrid care approach to more markets beyond New York City and launch new services for those in their reproductive years.
“The power of Oula’s collaborative approach to care is that patients feel seen and heard during a transformative moment in their lives, health systems are able to address the evolving expectations of their communities and we can move the needle on unacceptable outcomes and disparities in maternal care,” explained Adrianne Nickerson, co-founder and CEO and of Oula.
Elaine Purcell, co-founder and COO of Oula, said: “We’ve not only proven that this model works, but that it’s what patients from all backgrounds, birth preferences, and income levels are looking for.
“Whether you can afford concierge care or are on Medicaid, we are building a modern and compassionate pregnancy care model that delivers better outcomes than the system has proven to do. We deserve better and yes, you can have it all.”
Clara Sieg, partner and founding member at Revolution Ventures, which co-led the funding round alongside Maverick Ventures, said: “Pregnancy outcomes in the US have consistently deteriorated over the past two decades.
“Oula is solving this mounting crisis by reimagining the maternal experience with midwifery-first, team-based care supported by virtual wrap-around services and a tech-enabled platform.
“We are excited to partner with the team as Oula scales its care model and empowers women to receive personalised, trusted support throughout pregnancy.”
David Singer of Maverick Ventures, added: “We are thrilled to back a company that effectively aligns the needs of mothers, health systems and payers, and breaks the false binary between unmedicalised and hypermedicalised care.”
Instead of waiting for the standard eight-week ultrasound, Oula allows patients to book an appointment as soon as their positive pregnancy test, supporting patients in the postpartum period.
The clinic also plans to introduce pre-conception coaching visits and expanded miscarriage support options in the coming year.
Joanne Schneider, Oula’s chief experience officer, said: “Oula is distinct in the pregnancy landscape today not only in redesigning the standard pregnancy and birth experience, but also in filling the gaps where the medical system typically fails patients: early pregnancy care and postpartum. Even when there aren’t any medical needs, these are times when people need emotional support.
She added: “Miscarriages are extremely common, so I was shocked at how isolated I felt when I had my own miscarriage. It’s not considered a big deal medically, but it’s a very big deal when you are going through it.”
- Women’s cancer innovation to take centre stage at Femtech World Awards
- Tech4Eva launches its fourth edition and call for application
- Investors launch female-focused angel network in the north of England
- US maternity clinic raises a US$28m to expand nationally
- Irish clinic launches menopause app to help researchers develop new treatments
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