Nader Alaghband, Founder and CEO at Ampersand Health: Digital Therapy for Inflammatory Conditions

Ampersand Health is a social purpose company emerging from collaborations between doctors and patients at The Royal London and King’s College Hospital. Our mission is to help light the path to sustained remission for patients with conditions like Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Inflammatory Arthritis and Inflammatory Dermatitis.

Our personalised digital therapeutics use CBT, ACT and behavioural science to improve patients’ mental health and quality of life. These evidence-based digital support programmes are a safe, simple first-line option for clinicians looking to help patients live better.

At the same time, using high-frequency objective PRO data, biomarker and blood test information, and lifestyle insights, we help clinicians build a higher-fidelity picture of how patients are doing, making it easier to focus resources on those with the greatest clinical need.

About 30 hospitals and 50,000 patients have signed up to help us reimagine the future of care for people with IMIDs and other rare diseases.
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How did you come up with the idea for the company?

In 2015, my co-founders, Gareth Parkes and Bu Hayee, started developing ideas about how to transform the patient experience in their hospitals, The Royal London and Bart’s Health. They noticed that in contrast to the unpredictable cycles of relapses and remissions that characterise IBD – which is their area of focus – the way care was delivered was routine, predictable and inflexible.

As a result, this more traditional model of care led to a series of unmet needs for patients – who needed a more responsive, reactive and personalised mode – and a range of inefficiencies for clinicians who would routinely see patients who were well, while being unable to see patients who were unwell in a timely fashion.

We set up Ampersand Health and My IBD Care to address this need for better comms and remote monitoring of patients but quickly realised that our approach – using a combination of dCBT, ACT and other evidence-based approaches – had the potential to address a range of other second-order symptoms and issues, particularly the quality of life and mental health of our patient population.


What advice would you give to other aspiring entrepreneurs?

I wouldn’t give other entrepreneurs advice. We’re all on a journey.

What can we hope to see from Ampersand Health in the future?

This month we are excited to announce the launch of our new digital therapeutic (DTx) My Arthritis, for people living with inflammatory arthropathies. We have already seen great success with My IBD Care; our DTx that is used by tens of thousands of people worldwide, as well as by NHS Trusts across the UK, to transform the long-term management of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).

We are looking forward to making a positive difference to those patients that suffer with inflammatory arthritis, as well as supporting a new model of care to help healthcare systems address Covid bounceback and other longer-term and structural issues with care for long term conditions.