Pfizer Ltd announced that Dr Sai Lakshmi’s Echo and Ben Maruthappu’s Cera will join GiveVision to form the first cohort of healthtech start-ups to be supported by the Pfizer Healthcare Hub: LondonThe three start-ups will work with Pfizer to identify the areas they can most benefit from support over the next 12 months, with the aim of helping them towards getting their technology adopted in the NHS within a year. The start-ups will have access to Pfizer’s network of partners, like the NHS, who share the goal of improving experiences for doctors and outcomes for patients.

The Pfizer Healthcare Hub: London is a new initiative from Pfizer which aims to support established start-up companies innovating at the cross-section between health and technology to grow. Echo, Cera and GiveVision were chosen following a rigorous selection process including an initial application and a judging day hosted at Pfizer’s UK head office.

The chosen start-ups were selected by a panel of judges including Vice President of Swansea University, Prof. Marc Clement; Dr. Sam Barrell, Chief Executive of the Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust; Daniel Dickens, CEO of The HELIX Centre at the Institute of Global Health Innovation, Imperial College London, and Anna King, Commercial Director at the Health Innovation Network and Digital Health London.

Pfizer UK’s Medical Director Dr. Berkeley Phillips said: “We were deeply impressed by the quality of healthtech start-ups operating in the UK who applied to be a part of the Healthcare Hub. It was an incredibly tough decision to narrow the shortlist down to a final three, but Echo, Cera and GiveVision stood out with their ability to demonstrate how their technology could deliver real benefits across our health system today.

“We’re excited to be working with them over the next year as part of our wider programme of digital innovation and look forward to seeing the impact of their technology on clinicians and patients.

About the winners

  • Cera – A technology-enabled home care provider. Cera works to provide consistent, transparent and comprehensive care using automatic matching, online care reports, competitive pay and strategic partnerships.
  • Echo  – A simple, free and secure app that lets you order your NHS prescriptions and get medication delivered to your door.
  • GiveVision SightPlus is a wearable headset developed to help improve vision for certain forms of visual impairment.

Dr Ben Maruthappu, co-founder and president of Cera, said: “Pfizer’s knowledge of and relationships with the UK healthcare system will be invaluable in helping Cera scale over the year ahead. Our aim is to work together to radically improve how homecare is delivered in London and beyond, making it quicker, more reliable, more transparent and of the highest quality.

“Our partnership with Pfizer will also be instrumental in helping us deliver medicines and new therapeutics to the elderly, which could be life-changing,” he added.

Stephen Bourke, co-founder and CXO of Echo, said: “We’re thrilled to have been selected by Pfizer to take part in the first year of the Healthcare Hub. We passionately believe technology can make life easier for patients and doctors alike and look forward to working together toward a system that promotes innovation to drive efficiency, cost savings and better health outcomes.”

About The Pfizer Healthcare Hub: London

The Pfizer Healthcare Hub: London is the latest in a global network of Pfizer innovation hubs, joining existing centres in New York, Berlin and Tel Aviv. New hubs are also being launched simultaneously in Stockholm, Sydney and Toronto. For further information, visit