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Case Study: Orcha

The campus survey revealed that despite the challenges of the year, Sci-Tech Daresbury’s companies experienced sales growth of 14% during 2020, often due to their products and services being created in response to the demands of the pandemic.

ORCHA, the healthcare app reviewer for example, built a Covid-19 App Library to ensure easy access to quality digital health information and resources at home. An ORCHA report published mid-2021 by BMJ Open showed there were significant increases in the use of digital health tools during the pandemic. Searches for health apps by healthcare professionals increased by 343% following the first lockdown..

ORCHA’s internationally unique app service saw huge demand from both governments and private organisations who utilised its products to support individual citizens both during the uncertainties of 2020, and with an eye on incorporating them into new healthcare models in the post-coronavirus age.

ORCHA’s Chief Executive, Liz Ashall-Payne, who started her career as an NHS speech and language therapist, said: “The use of health apps has massive potential. This is the tip of the iceberg – a cultural shift is coming.

“With NICE having introduced guidance on digital health, it was inevitable that 2021 would be the year when health and care staff would embrace the full potential of apps – and it goes way beyond video conferencing. We will start to see digital approaches being integrated into care pathways. For example, an app like FibriCheck allows patients to check their heart rhythms, using a medically certified system. They’ll be able to detect arrhythmias and avoid complications like stroke.

“With multiple thousands of apps now available on unregulated app stores, it is essential that each and every one is rigorously tested to ensure they are clinically safe and responsible with our personal data.

ORCHA is proud to be playing such a pivotal role in this most important of sectors from our home in the Liverpool City Region.”
ORCHA also plays a key role in the North West HealthTec Cluster. Based at Sci-Tech Daresbury, the Cluster was first initiated through a formal partnership between STFC, the Innovation Agency and the North West Coast Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) – and since its inception in May 2019, the Cluster has gone from strength to strength.

The investment in new facilities reflects Sci-Tech Daresbury’s commitment to supporting more companies to follow in the footsteps of firms such as ORCHA, Arcis Biotechnology and Perfectus Biomed to scale up their presence within the campus in order to maximise their full growth potential. It is Sci-Tech’s ‘home for life’ ethos that enables companies to easily scale on site from start-up space in its early days of operation to having its own building as the business grows.