Meet the innovator: Nick Mayhew

Blog

Post Title

In this edition, we caught up with Nick Mayhew, Sales and Marketing Director at Bleepa; a revolutionary medical imaging communications platform.

Pictured above: Nick Mayhew

Tell us about your innovation in a sentence.

Bleepa is a revolutionary medical imaging communications platform, providing an easy-to-use, high-quality tool to enable remote and secure communications between frontline clinicians and teams.

What was the ‘lightbulb’ moment?

The initial lightbulb moment came from our CEO, Dr Tom Oakley. Just about every time I speak to a clinician, we receive another idea though. Their feedback is invaluable – I must have spoken to at least 200 clinicians since I joined and that’s a lot of ideas.  I really feel like we are representing them and I feel obligated to make Bleepa work and embed it in the NHS.  We passionately believe that Bleepa can empower every clinician working in a healthcare setting.  Given our heritage, we knew that we could create a mobile-based clinical-grade communication tool that provided diagnostic imaging, associated annotations and reports at a quality that would make a real difference to the day-to-day lives of clinicians in both primary and secondary care.

Since launching Bleepa it has been used to routinely seek second opinions, manage inpatient referrals, provide high-quality multi-disciplinary team meetings and manage COVID-19 care pathways, amongst others. It has been amazing to see the far-reaching impact to date and we look forward to growing this impact with as many hospitals and community diagnostic centres as possible.

What three bits of advice would you give budding innovators?

  1. The most important thing for any start-up or innovator is to really spend time talking to your potential customers to identify their needs and challenges.
  2. Understand customer pain points and ensure that your solution meets those needs, you need to be able to demonstrate and evidence as early as possible the positive outcomes and benefits of your innovation.
  3. Be driven, enthusiastic and very, very focused.

What’s been your toughest obstacle?

We’ve been very lucky in finding a forward-thinking trust that understood the benefits of collaboration. Finding an early adopter who supports and believes in your product and is willing to put that belief into practice within an often risk-averse healthcare environment is the biggest challenge for most tech companies and we were lucky. Through collaboration, you need to find ‘early adopter’ doctors willing to work with you to grow and develop your product and shout about your successes. We were very lucky to find an amazing champion in Georges Ng Man Kwong, Chief Clinical Information Officer and Respiratory Consultant, at Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust and his enthusiasm helped us engage with their clinical teams across the hospital to co-develop Bleepa in its early stages.

What’s been your innovator journey highlight?

There are so many passionate, inspiring people who work within healthcare, particularly the NHS. Working with customers and clinicians who are really progressive, want to break the mould and have a really strong vision of how digital innovation can improve the way they work and deliver real benefits to patients drives all our teams forward. Whenever we speak to frontline clinicians about Bleepa we get such great feedback recognising how it can help make their working life easier, save time on referrals and relieve many of their pain points.

Best part of your job now?

For my role leading the sales and marketing team, it has been great to reach the point of brand awareness where NHS organisations, commercial suppliers and key individuals are approaching us because they’ve heard about Bleepa and recognise how we can help their organisation to improve clinical communications. It is really rewarding to see that shift to predominantly inbound requests and enquiries.

If you were in charge of the NHS and care system, what’s the one thing you’d do to speed up health innovation?

As a software-as-a-service company, we are constantly battling against the lack of some of the simpler technical infrastructure that other businesses would take for granted – decent WiFi and mobile network coverage, users being able to use their own mobile device securely for work. Digital innovation would be much faster and easier to adopt if some of these basic technical requirements were already in place for frontline clinicians.

A typical day for you would include…

Lots of conversations with customers, our development and operations teams.

I am very lucky – we have a wonderful, talented and committed team at Bleepa. It’s a very vibrant environment with lots of very bright people, so it keeps me very much on my toes.  I’m involved in all sorts of projects: from scaling up our involvement in the community diagnostic centre programme in the UK to shipping out equipment for a tuberculosis screening programme in India with funding from Amazon Web Services.

Where can we find you?

Visit our website bleepa.com or follow us on Twitter @BleepaMe and LinkedIn.

New transatlantic partnership announced for companies working to improve digital health

News

Post Title

The DigitalHealth.London and Cedars-Sinai Accelerators, two of the world’s top Accelerator programmes, today announced their new partnership supporting the international adoption of some of the US and UK’s best health tech companies.

It means patients in both the UK and US should benefit quicker from health tech innovations. The partnership will also utilise the deep healthcare knowledge and networks held by both organisations, to support companies who have taken part in either of the Accelerator programmes, to navigate and gain traction in a new global market. The companies will be given the opportunity to learn from and support their global peers, hear from experts in the new market, showcase their products/services to key international stakeholders and attend webinars on the respective healthcare systems.

Jenny Thomas, Programme Director, DigitalHealth.London, said: “At DigitalHealth.London we are dedicated to supporting the growth and development of high potential digital health companies who are meeting the challenges facing health care systems today. The Cedars-Sinai Accelerator shares this goal, and it is our joint vision to work together to accelerate the adoption of the best healthcare solutions internationally.”

Anne Wellington, Managing Director, Cedars-Sinai Accelerator, said: The Cedars-Sinai Accelerator supports innovation that will improve healthcare, not only for our own patients and clinicians but by advancing technologies that benefit our global community. We are thrilled that this collaboration with DigitalHealth.London will foster support and adoption of the most transformative solutions from the US and UK!.”

Dr Tim Ferris, Director of Transformation at NHSE, said: “Some of the world’s most exciting digital health work is happening here in the UK. The NHS has a lot of knowledge to share, and there is also much we can learn from other countries. It is vital we use these connections to promote effective ways of improving patient care and work environments for busy NHS staff.”

DigitalHealth.London’s Accelerator aims to speed up the adoption of technology in London’s NHS, relieving high pressure on services and empowering patients to manage their health. It works with up to 20 SMEs over a 12-month period, giving bespoke support and advice, a programme of expert-led workshops and events and brokering meaningful connections between innovators and NHS organisations with specific challenges. The NHS delivered programme, funded in part by the European Regional Development Fund, has supported some of the biggest and most effective digital innovations now being used by the NHS in London. Companies including LIVI, Oxehealth, Patchwork Health, Echo, Sweatcoin, and Health Navigator have all been through the DigitalHealth.London Accelerator programme. To date, the Accelerator has supported 122 innovative digital health companies, with 591 additional contracts secured and 1498 jobs created by those companies during Accelerator support. £2.06 billion of investment has been raised by these companies to date and for every £1 spent on the programme through the AHSNs, it is estimated £12.70 is saved for the NHS*.

The Cedars-Sinai Accelerator is transforming healthcare quality, efficiency, and care delivery by helping entrepreneurs create, grow and scale their innovative technology products. This three-month program, based in Los Angeles, California, provides companies with $100,000 in funding, mentorship from more than 300 leading clinicians and executives, access to Cedars-Sinai, and exposure to a broad network of entrepreneurs and investors. Since 2015, the Accelerator has helped more than 60 companies transform healthcare delivery and patient care. Examples of companies supported by the Accelerator include WELL Health, Aiva Health, Health Note, Diligent Robotics and AppliedVR. UK-founded alumni of the Cedars-Sinai Accelerator include Lumeon, Lantum and Virti. Accelerator alumni have gone on to collectively raise more than $500M in investment and are in use at thousands of hospitals and clinics across the United States and around the world.

Further information

Find out more about DigitalHealth.London and the fantastic work that they do to support innovators.

Explore more

Meet the innovator: Grace Gimson

Blog

Post Title

In this edition, we caught up with Grace Gimson, Co-Founder and CEO at Holly Health; your personal health and motivation coach, in your pocket.

Pictured above: Grace Gimson

Tell us about your innovation in a sentence.

The Holly bird 🐦 becomes your personal health and motivation coach, in your pocket, providing you with the daily direction and support to feel psychologically and physically better!

What was the ‘lightbulb’ moment?

Experiencing my challenges with burnout, and struggling to keep on top of my physical and mental wellbeing through a busy career. I also saw the same thing happening to so many people around me. Luckily I found a way out, through being consistent and deliberate with daily habits like getting enough sleep, getting outside for walks, and taking time to give my brain space. Then I wanted to help others to find their way too.

What three bits of advice would you give budding innovators?

  1. Believe in yourself, everyone is making it up as they go along, it’s a tough journey but stick to your guns as your unique insights and experiences are what set you apart.
  2. Remember that you won’t be able to last the journey unless you take care of your own physical and mental health along the way. Set boundaries to avoid burnout.
  3. Take and seek help and support in the areas you’re less sure about. Even just one conversation with someone who’s been through it before can make all the difference.

What’s been your toughest obstacle?

In the early stages, with a tiny team, it’s a difficult balancing act. Some weeks I feel like I’m doing five different jobs, and I want to do them all well. But the reality is you have to prioritise, be realistic, and set really clear goals with yourself, being ruthless about things that don’t move you closer to them. I often still overfill my calendar and should say no to things more often.

What’s been your innovator journey highlight?

Hearing the stories of others finding their health and wellbeing path with the help of Holly Health. Especially receiving feedback that it’s changed people’s mindsets for good because I know personally that when you cross through that barrier, there’s no going back!

Best part of your job now?

I get to learn about psychological medicine every day. It’s so exciting combining psychological science with technology to innovate beyond what’s been possible before!

If you were in charge of the NHS and care system, what’s the one thing you’d do to speed up health innovation?

I’d use my influence to go to the school education system, to change up the curriculum. I believe the future survival and success of the NHS comes from encouraging preventive health approaches (for both physical and mental health) from the earliest point possible.

A typical day for you would include…

A bit of deeper or creative work first thing in the morning, when fresh. This could involve some product design planning, or company goal setting. Followed by lots of remote meetings, for example; a team check in, a podcast episode recording, a partnership chat with a healthcare provider, an investor conversation. Then a few hours of emails and admin. I end the working day by preparing for tomorrow!

Where can we find you?

Visit our website hollyhealth.io or follow us on LinkedIn.

DigitalHealth.London publishes “Driving digital: Insights and foresights from the health and care ecosystem”

News

Post Title

When DigitalHealth.London was created five years ago, the digital health landscape was a very different place, as were the challenges facing the NHS. To celebrate their fifth birthday, DigitalHealth.London started a five-week conversation with NHS and social care staff, industry, patients and academics. Today, DigitalHealth.London publishes “Driving digital: Insights and foresights from the health and care ecosystem”, a fascinating look at the sector’s learnings from the last five years and the opportunities for the next five years in digital health.

The free-to-access publication features exclusive quotes and/or videos from Sir David Sloman, NHS Regional Director for London, Matthew Gould, CEO of NHSX, Patrick Mitchell, Director of Innovation, Transformation and Digital at Health Education England, and Professor Trish Greenhalgh, Professor of Primary Care Health Sciences at the University of Oxford – plus many more NHS and social care staff, digital health companies, patients and academics.

Topics in the publication include NHS digital health adoption, tackling digital exclusion, the importance of co-design, challenges of health tech evaluation, AI for workforce support, growth of remote monitoring and international opportunities.

Jenny Thomas, Programme Director at DigitalHealth.London, said, “We are proud of what DigitalHealth.London has achieved over the last five years in supporting the growth of digital health innovation in London and of how much we have learnt. But we know that there is still more to be done. That is why we wanted to celebrate our 5th birthday by starting an open discussion with groups from across the healthcare sector. Thank you to everyone who took part in what was an enlightening conversation, and we hope that those reading these insights gain as much from it as we did.”

Dr Timothy Ferris, Director of Transformation at NHS England and Improvement, said, “DigitalHealth.London has brought together voices from across health and social care – staff, patients and service users, industry and academics – to reflect on learnings from the last five years and the future of healthcare. This publication provides invaluable insights for how we can work together towards the goal of improving people’s care. I would encourage leaders, clinicians and decision makers in health and care to read, share and take action.”

Sonia Patel, Chief Information Officer at NHSX, said, “The digital health landscape has changed dramatically over the last five years, and it is clear from the insights shared in DigitalHealth.London’s 5th birthday publication, that as a sector we’ve learnt an incredible amount. As a Londoner, I’m particularly pleased to see progress in tech and data to support a multicultural, diverse community. It is also apparent that, while we’ve still got a way to go, the future is bright for digital health in London and beyond. If you’re working in digital health, this is a must-read.”

Further information

Explore more by reading “Driving digital: Insights and foresights from the health and care ecosystem.”

Read now

Meet the innovator: Max Kersting

Blog

Post Title

In this edition, we caught up with Max Kersting, Co-Founder and CEO at Regimen; a digital certified health program for erectile dysfunction.

Pictured above: Max Kersting

Tell us about your innovation in a sentence.

We’ve developed the world’s first CE-certified guided health program for erectile dysfunction (ED), effective for three out of four members within only 12 weeks.

What was the ‘lightbulb’ moment?

I’ve had erectile dysfunction in my early 20s. Pills, injections, even surgery did not work. With a few excellent urologists, we’ve created a strict program that helped me to overcome my issues – including pelvic floor and cardio exercise, lifestyle modifications, mindfulness, vacuum pump training, supplements, and pills. It worked!

With Regimen, we offer access to such a personalised holistic program to everyone who struggles with ED.

Together with healthcare professionals, we can not only help clients struggling with ED, but also identify those with elevated risk for cardiovascular disease or mental health issues, and prevent severe health events including heart attacks, strokes and depression.

What three bits of advice would you give budding innovators?

  1. Focus on your clients: it took us two years to build a program that was excellent in terms of efficacy AND retention. Nobody needs a program that theoretically works but that your clients don’t use.
  2. Use your first user cohorts as partners: understand their real needs and build for them.
  3. Understand your economic case, in the short, medium, and long term. There might be a direct-to-consumer market that helps you make revenue, quickly. But to work with healthcare organisations, you also have to understand the needs of doctors, and payers to be able to cater to them.

What’s been your toughest obstacle?

Convincing doctors to try something new, beyond the blue pills (although, every doctor who refers Regimen is raving about their client feedback). If you’d like to offer Regimen to your patients, please get in touch with our Director of Partnerships Giordano Blume, we are looking forward to hear from you.

What’s been your innovator journey highlight?

The emails from our clients. It is always a very happy moment to read how our work changes the lives and relationships of thousands of people around the world.

Best part of your job now?

Being able to inspire guys who lost hope to take care of their most intimate health. I really love the feedback of our clients.

If you were in charge of the NHS and care system, what’s the one thing you’d do to speed up health innovation?

Centralise and at the same time lower the barriers for reimbursement to make digital innovation accessible to those who also feel too ashamed to see their doctors.

A typical day for you would include…

Working with our amazing team on new features, understanding how we can grow faster, and learning from healthcare professionals and our users how to improve Regimen, in the long run.

Where can we find you?

Visit our website joinregimen.com or follow us on Instagram or LinkedIn.

DigitalHealth.London Accelerator opens for applications

Call out to the next generation of digital innovation to transform health and care.

Digital products and services have provided vital innovation, support and capacity to the NHS during the Covid-19 pandemic and will continue to do so as the healthcare system moves forward into the subsequent recovery phase of the Covid-19 response. DigitalHealth.London has opened applications to their flagship Accelerator programme for the next generation of digital health companies to transform health and care.

Now in its sixth consecutive year, the NHS delivered programme, funded in part by the European Regional Development Fund, has supported some of the biggest and most effective digital innovations now being used by the NHS in London. Companies including LIVI, Oxehealth, Patchwork Health, Echo, Sweatcoin, and Health Navigator  have all been through the DigitalHealth.London Accelerator programme. Many of the digital products and services who have provided vital innovation, support and capacity to the NHS during the response to Covid-19 have come through the Accelerator. From enabling remote GP appointments, to transforming NHS temporary staffing and patient facing self-management apps, the Accelerator has supported some of the best digital innovations now being widely used. The need for innovations to solve the problems which face the NHS as it continues to be under pressure and as it recovers from the pandemic, remains vital.

To date the Accelerator has supported 122 innovative digital health companies, with 411 additional contracts signed by those companies during Accelerator support. For every £1 spent on the programme it is estimated over £14 is saved for the NHS*. DigitalHealth.London is passionate about the importance of diversity and inclusion in the long-term success of innovation and transformation within the NHS. To date 15 per cent of the companies supported have been founded by women, 22 per cent have been owned by innovators who identify as Black, Asian or minority ethnic and 2 per cent by a person with a disability*. DigitalHeath.London continues to work to ensure the Accelerator programme is diverse and encourages innovators who identify as being from a minority group to apply to the programme.

Jenny Thomas, Programme Director, DigitalHealth.London Accelerator, said: “The last year and a half in the NHS has seen profound challenges but also incredible progress. NHS Staff and patients have been introduced to new ways of doing things through digital health, and technology has enabled many key services to continue during the Covid-19 pandemic. I am extremely proud of the companies and NHS organisations we have worked with and the role they have played during the pandemic and the vital roles I know they will continue to play as we start to look at supporting the NHS to recover. I am very excited to announce the opening of applications to be part of the next cohort of innovators on the DigitalHealth.London Accelerator programme – innovators who we will support in being part of this next, pivotal stage for our healthcare system.”

Dr Rishi Das-Gupta, Chief Executive, Health Innovation Network, said: “I am delighted that applications are open for the sixth cohort of the DigitalHealth.London Accelerator. Over the years we have seen so many success stories come out of the programme – innovations that are now making a significant positive impact on health outcomes and ongoing challenges like workforce pressures. The depth of support offered to innovators over a 12-month period is really impressive, providing bespoke assistance and advice through events such as expert-led workshops and facilitating meaningful connections between innovators and NHS organisations with specific challenges.

I look forward to contributing to the development of what I’m sure will be another outstanding cohort of innovators this year. I would urge anyone thinking of applying to join the DigitalHealth.London Accelerator 101 Webinar on Wednesday 4 August at 12:30pm and find out more about the programme and how it might benefit you.”

Theo Blackwell, Chief Digital Officer for London, said: “DigitalHealth.London’s influential Accelerator programme is helping London establish its place as one of the most exciting digital health and care hubs in the world. I am delighted to continue to support the Accelerator as it opens for applications again and I’d urge any digital health innovator who has a product or service that could support the NHS in this challenging time to consider joining this programme.”

Tara Donnelly, Chief Digital Officer of NHSX, said: “The DigitalHealth.London Accelerator programme is a key player in helping the NHS and social care to make the most of the opportunities digital technologies bring.

“This has never been more important as the NHS looks to recover from the pandemic and I look forward to seeing the next group of innovators bringing their solutions to London’s NHS.”

Phoebe Allen, Quality Improvement Manager, Planned Care, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Working on the ground in the NHS I have witnessed first-hand the rapid progress of digital technology within our healthcare system over the last year. Without some of these innovations the delivery of many services would have been nearly impossible and it is clear that digital technology has a huge role to play in the future of improving patient care and helping the NHS to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic. The DigitalHealth.London Accelerator programme helps connect innovators to NHS teams with an unmet need and provide them with the knowledge they need to truly understand the challenges face by the NHS, its staff and its patients.”

Dr Mridula Pore, CEO and Co-founder, Peppy, Accelerator programme 2020-21, said: “The DigitalHealth.London Accelerator has been instrumental in fostering the perfect environment for Peppy to grow in the NHS. The guidance we have been given, connections brokered with decision makers in NHS organisations and policy makers, and the support we have received from our NHS Navigator has all led to wonderful new opportunities and meaningful growth of our company. We are truly grateful for our Accelerator experience and would like to wish all companies applying good luck in what is a hugely competitive and valuable programme.”

Anas Nader, Co-Founder, Patchwork Health, Accelerator programme 2019-20, said: “We’re so proud of how widely our technology has already been embraced across the NHS and the impact we’re having on the lives of thousands of clinicians. We were delighted to join the 2019-20 cohort of DigitalHealth.London’s Accelerator, a brilliant programme speeding up adoption of digital health innovations in the NHS. The programme has provided us with opportunities to connect with industry experts as well as other healthtech innovators. I’d encourage companies like ours with good ideas and big ambitions to apply.”

DigitalHealth.London’s Accelerator aims to speed up the adoption of technology in London’s NHS, relieving high pressure on services and empowering patients to manage their health. The programme is for digital health companies with a product or service that has high potential to meet the challenges facing the NHS and social care today, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and as detailed in the NHS Long Term Plan. It works with up to 20 SMEs over a 12-month period, giving bespoke support and advice, a programme of expert-led workshops and events and brokering meaningful connections between innovators and NHS organisations with specific challenges. The companies that are successful in getting onto the Accelerator programme are chosen through a rigorous and highly competitive selection process, involving expert NHS and industry panel assessments, interviews and due diligence checks. Companies successful in gaining a place on the programme usually have a product or service that has already been piloted in the NHS and is ready to scale. Through-out the 12 months the programme focuses on engagement with different elements of the health and care system. Company suitability is assessed based both on product maturity (meaning products that are ready to be trialled or bought that have high potential to meet NHS challenges) and on the company’s capacity to benefit from the programme (meaning companies have enough time and staff to engage).

Join a discussion with the Programme Director, an NHS Navigator and some of the SMEs who have been supported by the programme on the DigitalHealth.London Accelerator 101 Webinar on Wednesday 4 August at 12:30pm.

We're here to help

Get in touch for more information about the Accelerator.

Find out more about the programme

Sara Nelson named as new Deputy Chief Nursing Information Officer for NHSX

Photo of Sara Nelson

DigitalHealth.London’s Sara Nelson, who leads the flagship Accelerator and Digital Pioneer Fellowship programmes, joins NHSX.

Sara Nelson has been announced as the new Deputy Chief Nursing Information Officer for NHSX.

Sara is a Registered General Nurse who has worked in the NHS for over 29 years. She has a wealth of experience in operational and digital nursing leadership having undertaken a number of roles including senior nurse for digital at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust.

More recently Sara has undertaken leadership roles at DigitalHealth.London as an NHS Navigator, Programme Director of the Accelerator and most recently as the Deputy Programme Director of DigitalHealth.London leading the Digital Pioneer Fellowship.

The Digital Pioneer Fellowship supports 37 frontline NHS staff delivering transformation projects through digital innovation. Under Sara’s leadership, both the Digital Pioneer Fellowship and the Accelerator programme, achieved an increase in applications. The Accelerator also experienced an increase in applications from digital innovators identifying as BAME and was recognised as one of the top eight Accelerator programmes for women founders in Europe.

She has been widely recognised as a digital health leader speaking at conferences, writing thought leadership articles and above all building and supporting teams of NHS staff.

Sara has achieved her Post Graduate Diploma in Digital Healthcare Leadership through the NHS Digital Academy and is currently undertaking her MSc dissertation to identify the key factors for a successful CNIO.

Dr Natasha Phillips, Chief Nursing Information Officer at NHSX, said:

“Sara’s appointment by NHSX is another important milestone in the establishment of a strong nursing and midwifery digital leadership community – one which is vital to ensure a nursing and midwifery voice at all levels of digital transformation across the system. The breadth of experience and track record across digital innovation that Sara brings with her is outstanding and I am delighted to welcome her to the team”

“I feel privileged to take up this role working as part of NHSX with the CNIO Natasha Phillips and the CNO team to shape the future of nursing at this pivotal time.”Sara Nelson

Zoe Lelliott, Chief Executive at the Health Innovation Network, said:

“We’re delighted for Sara and know she’ll be brilliant in this well-deserved role.”

Sara Nelson, Deputy Chief Nursing Information Officer at NHSX, said:

“This new national Deputy CNIO role signifies the growing recognition of nursing and midwifery involvement in digital health. I feel privileged to take up this role working as part of NHSX with the CNIO Natasha Phillips and the CNO team to shape the future of nursing at this pivotal time.

“I am one of the many nurses and midwives who did not have computers or technology, as we now know it, when we started and I have seen real benefits to staff and patients, when technology is brought in correctly and is well designed with consideration of patients and staff. This has led me to move away from the traditional nursing leadership roles and towards increasing my understanding of technology and the commercial sectors – growing my knowledge of the barriers and opportunities we can elicit.

“I am looking forward to understanding how we can work together nationally, regionally and in our organisations to bring together that collective voice that listens and learns and is not afraid to speak up.”

Sara will take up her new role part time from 11 January and full time from March.

Find out more about the Accelerator programme

Click the button below to find out more about the Accelerator programme.

Accelerator webpage

Find out more about the Digital Pioneer Fellowship progamme

Click the button below to find out more about the Digital Pioneer Fellowship programme.

Digital Pioneer Fellowship webpage