Success! You're on the list.

Success! You're on the list.

Vitrue Health wins its next $4M to address UK musculoskeletal issues

Dr Shane Lowe and Alex Haslehurst of Vitrue Health. Picture Credit: Vitrue Health.

London-based Vitrue Health has just announced it’s secured $4m (£3.2m) in a funding round, to expand its work on musculoskeletal (MSK) issues in the workplace. MMC Ventures and Hambro Perks led the round, with Simplyhealth Ventures, Crista Galli Ventures, and Chris Bruce also involved.

Founded in the UK in 2018 by CEO Dr Shane Lowe and CTO Alex Haslehurt, Vitrue began life offering a product called EVVA, helping trained physiotherapists assess their patients’ musculoskeletal issues in a clinical environment. EVVA is now used across both Europe and the US in hospital and clinical environments.

The rise in musculoskeletal issues

The arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic changed the world of work forever, with ergonomics becoming increasingly important, particularly for those forced to work remotely. Every kitchen table, every couch, became a potential workplace to ensure the world’s economy ticked over.
That brought with it a serious challenge for companies that cared about their staff’s MSK welfare. Vitrue developed a new service to meet the need of the time – VIDA.

VIDA is the Vitrue Interactive Desk Assessment, an online platform that can remotely assess the ergonomics of anyone’s office set-up (at home or on-site), without special visits to any clinic.

That’s of particular importance in the UK post-pandemic, as the country’s National Health Service has seen waiting lists and waiting times lengthen. That can leave workers at risk of deteriorating MSK health, and employers at risk of falling foul of the Health and Safety Executive’s Display Screen Equipment Regulations (DSE) – which apply to everyone who uses a screen for more than an hour at a time on any given day.

That’s a lot of people.

And the combination of the new remote working culture, which has outlived its pandemic necessity and developed into a significant new form of work-life balance, and the reduction of exercise that can accompany a homeworking culture and breed obesity, have resulted in a new epidemic of MSK complaints in the UK.

As of 2023, around 39% of the UK’s workforce worked from home (including other non-office environments) some or all of the time, while 65% of British employees are reported to suffer from some degree of MSK pain.

That makes sense of a new Guardian analysis that claims that post-pandemic, almost a million people in the UK alone are too sick to work due to their musculoskeletal issues – with a corresponding welfare bill of around £1.4bn per year.

That’s up by 25% on pre-pandemic levels.

AI and ergonomics

Little wonder then that Vitrue is finding additional funding – its total raised to date is $7m (£5.56m). Since its setup in 2018, Vitrue has partnered with both the NHS and BUPA, aiming to reduce the 30 million workdays lost across the UK to MSK pain and issues. Any technology that can claim to address that lost productivity will have little trouble raising funding.

After all, Vitrue could be said to be providing a triple benefit:

  • Staff – get early assessment of developing MSK issues, allowing for rapid remediation.
  • Businesses – are immediately rendered fully DSE-compliant by using VIDA.
  • The public purse – benefits by heading off MSK issues before they become serious, lightening the benefit burden.

What’s more, Vitrue’s VIDA platform is a hot sell to tech investors, using a combination of computer vision and AI to perform its posture and ergonomics assessments, which can usually be delivered in 30 seconds across a whole workforce, both on-site and remote.

Dr Lowe and Alex Haslehurt combined a PhD in advanced motion capture technology and a Masters in biomechanics to develop the company’s ergonomics and MSK-assessment tools.

This latest funding, from venture capitalist firm MMC Ventures, should allow Vitrue to “reduce the financial and health costs for employers and their teams,” Dr Lowe explained, announcing the company’s new support.

Related Posts

Get daily funding news briefings in the tech world delivered right to your inbox.

Enter Your Email
join our newsletter. thank you