Touch Surgery has been crowned the UK’s leading health and medical technology for 2020.

An independent judging panel and our readers voted in the inaugural 100 HealthTech Pioneers ranking for 2020 – and the London-based platform came out on top after securing backing from both.

The platform, created by business Digital Surgery, is helping improve planning for surgical procedures using immersive technologies. With $90m of funding behind it, founder and CEO Jean Nehme now has plans to introduce truly smart robotics into operating theatres.

Nehme – who on his first day as a junior doctor managed to stab himself with a needle he had just used to take blood from a HIV positive patient – said taking top spot was a welcome recognition of the importance of surgery, which is “sometimes forgotten in healthcare”.

“It’s a very important part because it is curative,” he explained, adding: “I’m incredibly thankful to people for recognising the technology.

“Everybody on the list is a winner, and that’s a cliche to say – but making healthcare better is not just an exercise in making better technology but helping people in their time of need.”


Dr Julian, an app connecting people with mental health problems with therapists, was second ahead of pregnancy app Baby2Body, which provides personalised coaching in health and wellbeing.

The top trio from London were followed by Liverpool start-up Hy-genie, which has embraced sensor technology to ensure hand hygiene compliance among hospital staff.

Accurx (London), ORCHA (Daresbury), Zesty (London), Andiamo (London), Adapttech (Birmingham) and the Electrospinning Company (Didcot) made up the top 10.

Among those making the top 20 were Liverpool’s Aquarate, which has developed smart mugs to monitor patients’ hydration, and Hero Wellbeing, a Leeds firm which supports employee wellbeing.

You can see the full top 100 ranking, which was voted on from a long-list of around 200 disruptive companies, here.

The judging panel was comprised of:

  • Corby Ganesh, portfolio director, HETT
  • Abeyna Bubbers-Jones, CEO, Medic Footprints
  • Nick Prentice, global community support, One HealthTech
  • Lauren Bevan, head of health & social care, BJSS
  • Jonathan Symcox, editor, BusinessCloud