The health tech sector is bustling in our community with the brightest minds in tech using their skills to create pioneering solutions to tackle an array of health problems across the board. The South West sits on the cusp of innovation in all things health tech – from providing vital education tools to mitigate mistakes, to ensuring people can live independently with assisted living tech, the tools out there today that improve our health and wellbeing are truly groundbreaking. 

At techSPARK we want to recognise the achievements of the fantastic health tech sector working here in the region by highlighting some of the startups, SMEs and scaleups to watch in health tech right now. 


three autonome app screenshots in iPhone frames - far left is skills and activities, middle is feedback on your own confidents with these tasks, far right is household chores. Autonome Logo at the top

AutonoMe combines Educational Technology and one-to-one support to improve outcomes for vulnerable people in Social Care settings. The AutonoMe app gives vulnerable people access to personalised, instructional video programmes to develop and maintain their independence and prepare for employment while presenting Social Care and Education providers with real-time data to evaluate impact and progress towards independence.

The platform is being used by organisations across the UK including London Borough of Barking and Dagenham, Devon Council, Telford & Wrekin Council, Shropshire Council, City of Bristol College, Weston College and many more. Investors have also recognised the value of the solution, as the AutonoMe team successfully secured £400k last year.

William Britton, Founder and CEO of AutonoMe, tells us, “Providing vulnerable people with access to tools and resources that help them develop important life skills is vital to allowing them to live fuller, more independent lives. This is what drives everything we do at AutonoMe.”


Science Creates member, CytoSeek is on a mission to use cell membrane augmentation tech to unlock the potential of next generation advanced therapies. CytoSeek spun out of the University of Bristol and in 2019 closed a seed round of just over £1M to apply its technology to the field of immuno-oncology, and more recently the team raised £3.5m, led by Science Creates. CytoSeek also took home the Best Startup Award at the 2022 SPARKies.

The startup is now engaged in proof of principle studies for multiple product candidates and is seeking to enhance cell therapies against solid tumours. Solid tumours account for the majority of deaths from cancer and are notoriously difficult to treat, even with existing immune cell therapies, because the tumour suppresses immune cells’ ability to kill cancer cells. CytoSeek’s technology is designed to not only help target the immune cells to the solid tumour, but also to improve their cancer cell killing ability.


This Medtech startup is unlocking control for your electronic devices from your earphones by “eAR Control”. Earphones enabled with “The eAR Control” sensor will replace your computer mouse, control your mobile phone, provide a new 3 Dimensional interface for AR and VR headsets and replace health and fitness monitoring, all from usual consumer earphones.

The innovative tech is a patented sensor that detects movements of your ear drum, providing control, and health and fitness monitoring, all from one sensor embedded in standard earphones and hearing aids. It certainly impressed our Silicon Gorge judges as Earswitch was named one of our Autumn Edition winners.

Most significantly, Earswitch could award the privilege of communication to those with Motor Neurone Disease, are Locked-in after a stroke or have severe cerebral palsy. The use expands beyond this into the consumerism market, making the startup multi-faceted and incredibly exciting.

" More importantly - some people just want to communicate. If you have Motor Neurone Disease, are Locked-in after a stroke or have severe cerebral palsy. "


Elvie is the revolutionary global health and lifestyle brand developing iconic products for women. Elvie’s products include Elvie Trainer, a Kegel trainer to strengthen pelvic floors and Elvie Pump, a silent wearable breast pump. In October 2020, the company brought to market two new breastfeeding products, Elvie Catch and Elvie Curve.

Founded in 2013 by Tania Boler, Elvie brings together a team of world-class engineers, designers and business minds. Elvie opened its tech and product hub in Bristol in 2019.  Since the launch of Elvie Pump on the catwalk of London Fashion Week in September 2018, Elvie has experienced hyper-growth. The business grew 6x in 2019 and almost doubled in 2020 – Elvie raised £58m last year to keep this growth on track.

Tania Boler, CEO and Founder of Elvie, says, “Elvie has already revolutionized every category it has entered – but we know that we have barely scratched the surface of what is possible for women’s tech.”


Healthtech startup Forth was founded in 2016 by CEO & co-founder, Sarah Bolt, with an ambition to help users optimise their health through biomarker tracking. The Chepstow-based healthtech firm prepared to capitalise on the growth in the female science and technology market when it announced a further £1.6m funding in 2021 to support the launch of its ground-breaking female health product.

Sarah tells us, “Today, more and more people are realising that understanding and measuring your body’s biochemistry is key for a long and healthy life.

“For women, in particular, gaining a unique insight into how their hormone levels fluctuate throughout their unique cycle can give women the support they have been lacking and help to close the gender health gap.”


Bristol-based Milbotix has been working on revolutionary ‘Smart socks’ that track rising distress in the wearer to improve the wellbeing of millions of people living with dementia, non-verbal autism and other conditions that affect communication.

Founder Dr. Zeke Steer quit his job and took a PhD at Bristol Robotics Laboratory so he could find a way to help people like his great grandmother, who became anxious and aggressive because of her dementia.

Milbotix’s smart socks track heart rate, sweat levels and motion to give insights into the wearer’s wellbeing – most importantly how anxious the person is feeling. The product joins the list of tech for good initiatives happening across the city.

They look and feel like normal socks, do not need charging, are machine washable, and provide a steady stream of data to carers, who can easily see their patient’s metrics on an app. Our judges for the Silicon Gorge Pitching Competition 2022 saw the real potential of this tech and design, as Milbotix is one of the winners of the investment competition.

OKKO Health

OKKO Health has developed smartphone software that accurately measures sight by combining strong vision science with deep clinical insight and with games technology. OKKO is building datasets to predict deterioration ahead of time. As a result, OKKO’s users will benefit from accurate and on-time treatment, reducing visits to hospital considerably.

It is no surprise that OKKO has gained attention from investors and leading pharmaceutical companies. In 2019, OKKO received a £225K investment from Bristol Private Equity Club (BPEC), one of the most active investors in the South West, who followed on in OKKO’s Winter 2020 raise (£900k total). Furthermore, OKKO was selected as one of Bayer’s ‘G4A ophthalmology companies’ which also gave them access to further funding through an extensive loan.

OKKO Health was also featured as one of the main contributors to the success of SETsquared raising 10% of total investment in the South West.

OKKO Health Team

Open Bionics

Open Bionics develops medical devices that enhance the human body. Its first product was the Hero Arm for people living with a below-elbow limb difference, with the ambition to turn disabilities into superpowers. 

The Hero Arm is an advanced prosthetic arm for adults and children and the world’s most affordable multi-grip prosthetic arm, with multi-grip functionality and empowering aesthetics. Samantha Payne, co-founder of Open Bionics explains, “Our hand is super light, easy to make, open source and dexterous.” 

People can choose custom prosthetic covers for their Hero Arm. The stylish magnetic custom prosthetic covers for the Hero Arm will allow you to mix and match your bionic arm based on your personality and mood. Open Bionics has over 50 different colours, designs and textures. 


Paranimo is a mental health technology company that matches people to the right support whilst reducing the time and complexity it takes to get that support. Paranimo firmly believes technology can bring people together and empower them to take control of their mental health and wellbeing.

Co-founder Matt Vamplew says, “If we can crack what makes a great client and therapist match, that’s a hell of a thing to do. We already have a successful pilot study under our belt proving its effectiveness as well as charity and SME clients. Our Business-to-Business model working with these groups means we can make a positive difference on a larger scale which for me is the most exciting bit. We are now raising investment to help us achieve our ambition of providing support however, wherever and whenever people need it!”

Paranimo’s long-term plan is to become the delivery partner of mental health support to all major charities and organisations, before moving into the insurance innovation space using Paranimo as a claim’s prevention tool with health and income protection insurers.