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Bupa, Vigil Monitoring and Spark Ventures seek health solutions for NZ

Bupa has teamed up with mobile health start-up Vigil Monitoring and Spark Ventures to find solutions to age care and health care issues.

Bupa is a global healthcare provider, Vigil specialises in real time health monitoring and alert technology, and Spark Ventures is the arm of Spark New Zealand that invests in technological advancement.

In partnering with Vigil, Bupa plans to invest $5 million and receive a 25% stake in the business.

Grainne Moss, Bupa Care Services NZ, managing director, says Bupa “was attracted to Vigil because of its ability to think innovatively and challenge many of the assumptions on how to best serve the changing face of health care.”

She says Bupa wasn’t “only providing investment for the start-up, but will use Vigil’s lean canvas and customer validation models to develop innovative offerings for our customers across New Zealand, Australia and globally.”

Rod Snodgrass, Spark Ventures, CEO, says, “The demand for smarter digital health soltuions will only grow as the population ages. Vigil offers medical monitoring solutions using digital technologies with many applications and with global potential. The addition of the global muscle and capability of Bupa will help realise that."

Statistics New Zealand predicts the population aged 65 and over in New Zealand will be more than 100,000 strong by 2031, and 1.18 million by 2051. This will put an unmanageable amount of pressure on healthcare unless the way care is delivered is changed.

Keith Oliver, Vigil, chairman, says technology is the key to unlocking new models of care. “We need new health delivery models using digital technologies to address worsening macro health-trends and help reduce health care costs,” he says.

"We need to drive cost out of delivery and improve efficiency, all the while focussing on the needs of people living longer," he says.

Sir Ray Avery, Vigil, founder and board member, says, “Vigil mHealth [mobile health] is a great example of applied innovative Kiwi technology in the global healthcare arena.”