UCL Centre for Digital Innovation


Ethera Health: Bringing UCL scientists and clinicians together to improve patient care

Born from a collaboration between academic practitioners at UCL Hospitals Medical Professors and UCL Computer Science, Ethera Health is revolutionizing patient care and healthcare efficiency

Ethera Health

12 September 2023

Ethera Health Ltd is a UK-based medical technology company specialising in digital tools to enhance patient care and healthcare efficiency. born out of a cross-disciplinary initiative between academic practitioners at UCL Hospitals Medical Professors and UCL Computer Science, the company's primary focus is to address the challenge of increasing patient monitoring capability while reducing patient time spent in the hospital after critical surgery, thus freeing up hospital beds.  

Their leading product, Halo-X, is a cloud-based platform that facilitates progress tracking and recovery assessment in clinical pathways post-acute interventions and chronic disease settings. Through remote health monitoring and advanced analytics, the platform offers clinical insights to support decision-making and improve care services. With the bespoke, dedicated support provided by the CDI’s Impact Accelerator programme, Ethera Health accelerated the development of their flagship product, refining and tailoring it for their target patient group while building a robust and secure AWS cloud platform.

The challenge

In the UK, where approximately 10 million operations take place annually, and post-procedure complications pose significant challenges for both patients and healthcare providers. These operational challenges lead to readmissions, placing strain on limited hospital beds.

The pressing situation has been further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused waiting times for surgeries to increase dramatically, with 10% of patients now waiting over 12 months. To cope with the increasing demand and hospital bed shortages, NHS trusts have had no choice but to divert 3.5 million operations to the independent sector in the past year.

The inception of Ethera Health originated from a randomised trial called iROC, which was featured in JAMA in May 2022 (Catto et al. 2022). This trial demonstrated how remote patient monitoring (RPM) data and performance indicators can be used to measure difference in patients who recover well and those who face complications during post-major surgery recovery.

The solution

Recognising the importance of addressing post-surgery complications, hospital stay duration and readmissions, Ethera Health developed their innovative solution – the Halo-X platform, featuring a patient app interface available on Android and Apple. With a strong focus on patient engagement, the development team tailored the user experience to specific pathways, enabling structured patient reported outcomes and recording of symptoms and wellness data.

Halo-X seamlessly integrates with IoT health devices, including the company's proprietary biometric sensor called MyLoopa. This wearable device continuously transmits heart rate metrics and activity data, which patients wear throughout their journey—from pre-surgery to home recovery. Utilising the company’s Connected Surgery algorithm, the transmitted biometric data is thoroughly analysed to identify early warning signs of deterioration. This enables timely interaction with a specialist response team, facilitating prompt intervention.

Ethera’s Connected Surgery solution with the MyLoopa device is a cost-efficient way to release bed days without sacrificing quality of care delivered across the NHS. One of the key features of Halo-X is its ability to integrate with existing electronic health record (EHR) systems, allowing healthcare providers to access patient data in real-time. 

The complete remote monitoring solution is supported by a data engine using a range of analytics tools such as contextualised reporting and running bespoke algorithms developed using ML technology to predict outcomes. Powered by these scientifically backed algorithms, Ethera ensures safe early discharges for patients to continue their care at home, resulting in reduced hospital readmission rates and shorter lengths of stay.

CDI Impact

The CDI Impact Accelerator programme provided Ethera Health with the right AWS cloud capabilities, enabling the team to optimise their offering while operating on a robust and secure AWS-based platform. The hands-on consultancy involvement of UCL and AWS experts allowed for flexible migration and helped the team foster public trust while rapidly implementing new features during the initial product-market fit phase. As a result, they attracted commercial projects and embarked on pioneering ventures both in the UK and internationally.

The CDI experience also trained the Ethera team on how to deploy serverless prototypes, facilitating iterative design with clinicians without heavy infrastructure needs. Utilizing AWS-based open-source projects like AWS FHIR Works enabled them to model interoperable integration scenarios.

Moreover, they refined their value proposition and crafted a well-defined communication strategy during the bespoke AWS Working Backwards workshop - an exclusive offering available to UCL CDI Impact Accelerator programme members – a crucial step for effectively engaging with partners and investors. With AWS's support, Ethera Health met stringent security requirements, ensuring database encryption, secure networking, IAM, and secure microservices.

Overall, Ethera Health accelerated its product development in accordance with the best practices of responsible digital innovation. The company equipped itself with secure, scalable tools and technologies, while also establishing the right partnerships and customer base to ensure a lasting impact in improving critical patient outcomes.

Ronnie Stafford Ethera’s CTO summarises their experience at CDI:

“The CDI is an ideal incubator for us to gain access to technical and business knowledge that can support our growth. IDEALondon workspace was needed and access to the AWS team was important as well as the mentors, advisors, and industry experts who helped us. Being accepted into a reputable incubator program like the UCL CDI is also a validation and provides credibility as we go forward with partners and for funding.”


  • Catto JWF, Khetrapal P, Ricciardi F, et al. Effect of Robot-Assisted Radical Cystectomy With Intracorporeal Urinary Diversion vs Open Radical Cystectomy on 90-Day Morbidity and Mortality Among Patients With Bladder Cancer: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA. 2022;327(21):2092–2103. doi:10.1001/jama.2022.7393