Talking Medicines receives £1.1 million to scale up data tech platform

Lead investor Tern Plc, which specialises in the Internet of Things (IoT), contributed towards a syndicated funding round of £1,100,000 for Talking Medicines, alongside The Scottish Investment Bank, Scottish Enterprise’s investment arm.

As a result, Tern CEO Al Sisto will join the board of directors at the data company.

The funds will be used to support the launch and roll-out of a new AI data platform, which will translate what patients are saying into actionable pharma grade intelligence by providing a global patient confidence score by medicine.

Talking Medicines has now raised £2.5 million to date, including three previous seed funding rounds with previous investors, including SIS Ventures and the Scottish Investment Bank.

Capabilities from Talking Medicines leverage AI, machine learning (ML) and natural language processing (NLP) tools, which measure patient sentiment to determine key needs, with conversations and behaviours of patients at home being captured and analysed.

Social media and connected devices are used to build data points, in order to determine trends and patterns of patient sentiment across medicines. Pharmaceutical companies can then use these insights to to make patient-centric marketing decisions, driving more effective medicines and marketing spend.

Formed in 2013, Talking Medicines has been recognised with a number of awards, including Rising Stars 2.0, a competition to select the rising stars of UK tech.

Most recently, the business was chosen to join Tech Nation’s Applied AI 2.0 Growth Programme, designed to champion and support ‘the UK’s most exceptional deep tech scaleups’.

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“We are delighted that Tern is joining our investor group, and Al Sisto will be bringing his wealth of experience to the Board,” said Jo Halliday, CEO of Talking Medicines.

“Now more than ever we passionately believe that big pharma needs a systematic way to make data driven decisions through accessing high grade social intelligence driven from the patient.

“This investment will scale our team and the development of our AI, ML, NLP tech tools to translate what patients are saying into actionable pharma grade intelligence through our global patient confidence score by medicine.”

Tern CEO, Al Sisto, commented: “We are truly excited to add Talking Medicines to our portfolio. It is a company that brings expertise in artificial Intelligence and machine learning to our portfolio with its platform, and is solving a critical problem for an industry that spends around $30 billion on marketing annually, whilst lacking systematic data tools that can structure patient sentiment from social channels.

“The Talking Medicines platform, with its natural language processing and differentiated technology, provides pharma companies with the ability to find meaningful and valuable insights from the c.50% and growing proportion of the world’s population who are active on social media. This gives Talking Medicines’ clients the ability to capture valuable measurements and insights about their products from the voice of their own patients.

“We look forward to working with the Talking Medicines team as the proceeds of our investment are used to scale the business.”

See also: Advancing precision medicine into everyday practice – John Carew, Managing Director and Health Industry Data Science Lead at Accenture, speaks to Information Age about precision medicine and its potential to impact the everyday practice of medicine