Meet the innovator: Carey McClellan


In this edition, we caught up with Carey McClellan, CEO and Clinical director at getUBetter; an evidence-based, CE marked, digital self-management platform for all common musculoskeletal injuries and conditions. 

Pictured above: Carey McClellan of getUBetter

Tell us about your innovation in a sentence.

getUBetter is an evidence-based, CE marked digital self-management platform for all common musculoskeletal injuries and conditions.  Our aim is to provide true local self-management support, helping patients to trust their recovery and have the confidence to use less healthcare resource.

We help organisations, such as Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG’s), to provide a digital first approach for their MSK pathways. Each element of the pathway is configured to the local health system and delivered to their population.

What was the ‘lightbulb’ moment?

During my PhD and clinical work, it became clear to me that digital health technology for musculoskeletal injuries and conditions focused on specific silos of care which did not solve the problem created inefficiencies and was not in the patient’s best interest.   I realised it was possible to develop a whole pathway solution, enabling organizations to deliver a digital first approach to MSK care whilst avoiding silos and preventing over treatment.

What three bits of advice would you give budding innovators?

  1. Never give up – it takes a long time in the NHS and keep turning over new stones.
  2. Learn to listen and never judge people too quickly.
  3. Your team are crucial to your success. They will often have better skills in areas than you – so let them do what they know best.

What’s been your toughest obstacle?

Getting evidence-based technology adopted by the NHS is hard. Proving it in one geographical area does not mean it will automatically flow into the next.

What’s been your innovator journey highlight?

Seeing your idea and technology being used by organisations, clinicians and patients.

Best part of your job now?

Being part of a great team.

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

Enable proven technology from one area be adopted without starting the process of evaluation again. Provide some central matched funding for Digital Health Technology (DHT) adoption.

A typical day for you would include..

Every single day is different and varied but very busy…..

Where can we find you?

For more information, visit their website at or follow them on Twitter @getubetter

Self-management could help ease the high demand on GPs

Self-management could help ease the high demand on GPs

To help ease the high demand on GPs across south London, self-management is a priority in the NHS 10-Year Plan and focuses on key areas like diabetes prevention and management, cardiovascular, asthma and respiratory conditions, maternity and parenting support and online therapies for common mental health conditions.

Individuals need support to build the skills and confidence necessary for effective self-management of longstanding conditions, and health professionals need to be aware of and trained on the available supportive tools, taking account of any inequalities and accessibility barriers their patients may face.

Research presented by Self Management UK[1] shows that, on average, people living with a heath condition spend just three hours per year with their healthcare team—the rest of their time is spent self-managing these conditions. NHS organisations need to work closely with local authorities and other partners to provide the support and guidance to help south Londoners self-manage properly.

There are many interventions available to help support the self-management of common conditions, some of which are:

  • education for specific health conditions;
  • peer-led courses;
  • online self-management tools;
  • telephone support and telehealth; and
  • self-monitoring of medication and symptoms using digital technology.

How can innovation help? 

You can help respond to our local needs by addressing the following challenge statements:

  1. How might we maximise digital solutions to support self-management of health risks and chronic conditions?
  2. How can digital solutions emphasise patient responsibility and, acting in conjunction with the provider community, move beyond education, enabling individuals to actively identify challenges and solve problems associated with their illness?
  3. What are the barriers to public awareness and successful patient uptake of these self-management solutions?

We’d love to collaborate with you on these challenges. Please get in touch with Karla Richards if you have a digital solution for health and care self-management, including for long-term conditions, mental health, heart disease, COPD etc.

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