Portugal-based digital health startup Knok raises $4.97 million to provide healthcare for patients using 5G telemedicine solutions
The global pandemic has changed the way patients see doctors. A recent report from McKinsey & Co. estimated that physicians saw between 50 and 175 times more patients via telehealth than they did prior to the pandemic. Many doctors also turned to telemedicine as a way to remain engaged with their patients during the period.
Today, telemedicine is not also changing the face of medical care but also making healthcare accessible to millions of patients in areas that wouldn’t have been otherwise possible. The trend has also created opportunities for digital health startups hoping to provide innovative solutions and better care for patients. As the demands for telehealth services increase and more patients look to telehealth solutions than ever before, investors are also pouring millions of dollars into promising startups.
One of these startups is Knok, a Portuguese digital health startup that provides an app-based healthcare platform offering patients a holistic solution for their health. Knok supports patients through a combination of AI chatbots, video calls, face to face appointments at home, and integration with hospitals in one single application. Knok also enables healthcare providers and insurance players to connect doctors with patients through video.
Today, Knok announced it has raised $4.97 (€4.4M) in a new investment round co-led by Armilar and Triple Point. The round also includes participation from previous investors, the Social Innovation Fund and Social and Environmental Impact Fund MSM (Mustard Seed MAZE). The fresh funding will be used to enable healthcare and insurance providers to connect doctors with patients through 5G telemedicine solutions.
Knok was founded in 2015 by José Bastos, an economist, and João Magalhães, a medical doctor, to create a platform that allowed patients and doctors to be connected efficiently and safely. Knok’s platform allows the provision of video and telephone consultations as well as the collection of an array of health data, with a vast and experienced number of medical staff with several specialities.
Since its inception six years ago, Knok has served more than 2 million patients on 4 continents. Knok is currently active in 12 countries, the platform also has more than 3,100 active doctors across 9 medical specialities. Knok also added the new investment will also enable the company to utilize 5G technology to guarantee greater accessibility for patients and facilitate flexibility for medical staff.
Jose Bastos, CEO, and Co-Founder of knok, says that “knok is entering a new development phase following this investment round. The set of excellent investors that joined the round will accelerate the national and international expansion of our integrated health solution. It will also strengthen our presence in Spain, Brazil, and other countries in Latin America, whilst we’re opening new markets like India, the UK, and Italy.”
5G technology has a high data output capacity and low latency, which will improve access to healthcare, especially for those living in remote locations. Beyond this, 5G will bring greater flexibility to medical staff, who will be able to provide these services through a reliable and secure mobile network.
Jorge Graça, CTO of NOS, stresses that “investing in Knok is an essential milestone for the NOS 5G Fund. This is the only Portuguese fund committed to supporting tech start-ups that can make the most of 5G and its potential. Healthcare is one of the areas that will benefit most from this technology, allowing the best experts in any part of the world to connect with patients and contribute to the democratisation of healthcare access.”
5G will also enhance collaboration between medical professionals, promote the sharing of documentation and medical records, and enable cooperation between several specialists in the same consultation, all remotely. With the new generation of mobile networks, Knok’s solution will also have the possibility of extending to medical specialities that require high image quality for observation, such as dermatology.
João Magalhães, CTO and Co-Founder of Knok, says that “NOS is a fundamental partner for our technological strategy. We are very excited about having their support and know-how in 5G. This partnership will allow us to bring our product to another level, making it more and more differentiated at the global level. “