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Telea (formerly Teleatherapy), founded by Clare Meskill in 2020, is a MedTech company that provides voice therapy to individuals with Parkinson’s disease via a care management platform. Parkinson’s is the fastest growing neurodegenerative disease with 90 per cent of people with Parkinson’s experience changes to their voice.

Through the Telea app, patients can get access to care at home, practicing in their own time, with real-time feedback from their speech and language therapists. Telea is designed to save time for speech therapists and reduce waitlists for patients.

Clare studied Speech and Language Therapy at UCC and initially came up with the idea for Telea during her third-year work placement. There, she witnessed first-hand the power of intensive voice therapy on adult patients with Parkinson’s disease: “I wondered why there wasn’t a Duolingo or some sort of app where people would be getting this therapy all the time, so they didn’t need to wait for an in-person session,” she explains. With her degree and a wealth of experience and training, Clare decided to turn her idea into a business. She applied for and was accepted into the IGNITE programme. 

IGNITE is open to recent graduates in any discipline and includes essential workshops and seminars, entrepreneur guest speakers, mentoring, funding and workspace offered on a flexible basis to provide the skills and knowledge to run a start-up.

“There was quite a structure in IGNITE, that we learned how to develop our roadmaps and set ourselves small targets along the way, to hold ourselves accountable. I think that whole process of development and creating milestones definitely helped,” Clare adds.

Telea raised €700,000 in pre-seed funding in 2022 from Enterprise Ireland and private investors and brought on Dave Calnan (previously with Workvivo) as co-founder and CTO to lead the technical development. In 2023, they completed a successful pilot with the HSE, rolled out sites with the NHS in the UK and explored the US market. Over the next year, Telea will continue to onboard more clinics and become more established to maintain growth.

This case study originally appeared in UCC Innovation's Impact Report for 2023, which can be read here

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