Digital health

Digital health is an exciting area of growth, where advances in data-driven technologies can be harnessed to develop new medicines and improve healthcare outcomes.

As specialists in the Life Sciences and Technology sectors, we are ideally placed to support your digital health projects.

Our clients are engaging in all aspects of digital health.

They are the technology companies launching software apps and AI models in the highly regulated healthcare space. They are pharma companies leveraging AI to design and deliver the next blockbuster drugs. They are medical device firms creating new data-driven digital products. They are public health bodies partnering with the tech industry to do more with health data.

We help them navigate the complex intersection of Life sciences and Technology – from rapidly evolving regulatory challenges, use of (often sensitive health) personal data in a compliant way and the protection and exploitation of IP, through to the collaborations, partnerships and investments required to bring digital health projects to market.

Our digital health team is drawn from across our Life Sciences and Technology groups, with specialists covering regulatory, IP, data privacy, corporate and commercial matters. They have a passion for the digital health space and its impact on society, and engage regularly by hosting and speaking at events and running digital health training sessions for clients and industry.

Experience

Commercial & transactional

  • Advising a world-renowned AI company on the launch of several AI models designed to accelerate scientific research and solving some of the biggest challenges in biology, covering contractual, privacy, IP, competition and regulatory issues. We have also advised this client on strategic collaborations with pharma and research institutes where the deployment of AI on specialist scientific datasets promises to revolutionise scientific research.
  • Advising a leading medical technology manufacturer on the IP, contractual, commercial and regulatory aspects of its launch of new digital solutions, which include automated surgical tools, cloud-based clinical platforms and patient and clinical communications tools.
  • Advising Genomics England, a company set up by the UK Department of Health to manage a £300 million project to map 100,000 human genomes. The project has sequenced up to 100,000 genomes from NHS patients with cancer, rare inherited diseases or infectious diseases and to use the data to assist in the treatment of the patients and to facilitate research to improve the diagnosis and treatment of such diseases.
  • Advising Smith+Nephew on its digital transformation programme, including the development and commercialisation of its range of digital products and services, from automated robotic surgical tools to cloud-based clinical data platforms, advising on IP protection, commercial contracting and data privacy compliance.
  • Advising University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust on a strategic research and innovation collaboration with Microsoft Research to develop and apply advances in AI and digital technologies for the future of healthcare delivery in the NHS.
  • Advising a global pharma company on its strategic partnership with an AI technology provider to accelerate scientific research and drug development programs in oncology and hepatology by leveraging technologies in digital pathology.
  • Advising a global pharma company on its global agreement with a techbio company to co-develop and commercialise a first-in-class drug-device combination in the field of haematology which is set to provide much needed personalised therapies for patients.

Data protection & privacy

  • Advising a leading technology provider on its collaboration with an NHS Trust to develop a healthcare app for the NHS Trust. We assisted the technology provider in responding to requests from regulators and provided ongoing commercial and ethical advice relating to the app.
  • Advising The Francis Crick Institute, on the data protection, IT and commercial aspects of their cloud-based Trusted Research Environment service, designed to facilitate collaborative joint research projects on large omics and clinical datasets with research partners.
  • Advising a large multinational pharmaceutical company in relation to a genetic data research project involving NHS patient data. We advised on all the data protection and related contract issues.

Regulatory

  • Advising a leading technology company on the qualification and classification of various software products under the respective EU and Great Britain medical devices regulatory frameworks, on interactions with Notified Bodies and competent authorities and on the conduct of clinical investigations in the EU and UK.
  • Advising a top 10 pharmaceutical company on its regulatory approach when partnering with digital health companies and commercialising digital health solutions alongside its medicines, including helping to develop policies and processes for managing such risk, as well as assessing the regulatory status of each new digital health proposals. 
  • Advising a leading AI drug discovery company on its research projects, including the procurement of cancer tissue from multiple global sites to train AI systems, including GDPR and Human Tissue considerations. 
  • Advising numerous digital health companies on the regulatory status of innovative digital health solutions and the development of regulatory strategies and pathways (and appropriate claims). 

Corporate

  • Advising on the spin-out of Neu Health from the University of Oxford and its seed fundraising from Oxford Science Enterprises. Neu Health's platform uses AI to measure disease progression of patients with Parkinson’s disease and Dementia by analysing clinically relevant symptoms inputted by patients into its proprietary mobile app. 
  • Advising Syncona and Cambridge Innovation Capital on their Series A investment into Mosaic Therapeutics Limited, a spin-out from The Wellcome Sanger Institute, which utilises machine learning and statistical methods to pharmacologically screen therapeutics across hundreds of patient-derived cancer models. 
  • Advising Oxehealth on its spin-out from the Oxford University Institute of Biomedical Engineering in 2012 and all subsequent equity and debt-investment rounds. Oxehealth’s Oxevision tool, in conjunction with an infrared camera, allows staff to measure patients’ vital signs, take observations and visually confirm a patient is safe, without having to interrupt them. 

Resources

Our team of experts often share their knowledge and insights through events, annual publications, podcasts and article series.

Key contacts

What others say

“Bristows is a very good firm, particularly in coordinating multi-jurisdictional litigation. They have a good network of colleagues across Europe.”

Chambers and Partners Europe 2024

“The team at Bristows can always be relied on to provide balanced, pragmatic and business-savvy legal advice and solutions. We received strong support from partners and associates across a range of different business needs.”

Chambers and Partners 2024

“They are really great, client-centric, and very knowledgeable about the industry. The Bristows team comes up with pragmatic solutions, and adds a personal touch to advice. They have a solid team across the board. I do not see them as just there to make a profit. They are efficient and true partners.”

Chambers and Partners Europe 2024

“They have a clear understanding of what our business wants to achieve and that underpins all their advice. They know when to involve the business stakeholders and are able to tailor their approach to that audience and suggest solutions that take key business drivers into account.”

Chambers and Partners 2024

“Bristows has a comprehensive IT practice with powerful resources for major commercial transactions and complex litigation. It advises many of the world’s leading technology companies, and also sophisticated blue-chip buyers of IT services. It is especially adept at providing counsel on the most current and cutting-edge issues in the technology space. Bristows houses experienced advisers on digital advertising and cloud computing matters.”

Chambers and Partners 2024