I attended an amazing evening with some truly inspirational and passionate innovators who together are making Healthcare of the future today.

A collaboration of KPMGs High Growth Technology Group and the healthcare tech innovators Meetup.com group Health 2.0 London, HEALTHTech 2015 was a great opportunity to learn more about numerous successful start-ups as well some of the investors who will fund the tomorrow’s world of digital Healthcare.

The evening began with some networking where one of the interns in my team, Hira, and I spoke with some very interesting people. One such individual is Matt Hartley of Healthforgewhich is a “cloud platform for healthcare app developers”. Matt explained how his start up is trying to help healthcare innovators build their apps without the stress of figuring out how to ensure their solution works in a modern, interoperable healthcare ecosystem. This then means that the app development team can focus more on the UX and core business they are developing. Definitely a business to keep an eye on.

Our first speaker was Robbie Hughes, founder and CEO of Qinec which is a digital health company using real time data to personalise the patient journey for optimal healthcare outcomes. He’s been busy since 2005 and his company is gone from strength to strength. However, he did explain some of the challenges and indeed mistakes he has faced over the years. I can’t lie, his presentation was pitched so perfectly and he handed the audience some real gems.

A great point he made was the fact that so often clinical staff want something new, but for it to be exactly the same as the old. Which is ridiculous, but sadly very true, especially for disenchanted clinicians.

Robbie also discussed some of the really under-appreciated problem with pilot studies; they don’t just take up a lot of time to do them, but it often keeps your best staff members busy too. If a product is really good, often you will know so because of research done before and during development, meaning the product can just be released. It’s also free to the business having a pilot done, but stops you from earning money, which is not useful for a start up with little income or reserves.

We were also reminded that Customer Acquisition Cost which is a measure of how much needs to be spent to gain a new customer, is not just measured in money but in time as well. So seniors and executives can often push for work to be low cost and fast, but this isn’t always the best option.

All in all, it was really great start to the evening.

Next was Dr Nasrin Hafezpaast from Outcomes Based Healthcare (OBH).  As co-founder and CTO of OBH, she is driving forward the adoption of an outcomes based approach to healthcare. It was refreshing to see a fellow medic who has also embraced IT, but she unlike me has a computer science degree too. And as one of Management Today’s “35 women under 35”, she is surely a leader to align yourself with. Her company has received some much needed funding recently from the Outcomes Data Lab and Sense 360 to the tune of £1m and £100k respectively.

Then the audience was graced with the presence of James Balmain, who is Co-Founder and CEO for Zesty. “Zesty allows patients to book healthcare appointments, on any device, in under 60 seconds.” which James had the great pleasure of telling the audience. We were well and truly impressed by the achievements of Zesty, which don’t just include receiving over £10m investment over 4 the last years, but also the impact Zesty has had on improving outpatient appointment efficiency. If they were the sole supplier of healthcare appointment management solutions, they estimate they could earn £810m. So just reaching 10% of the market would make them a very successful company.

Three smaller businesses looking for further investment then pitched some of their exciting work. Breaking Free explained how they are transforming access to evidence-based treatment for addictive behaviours. What struck me was how dated the solution looked, but it was running very successfully which only further highlighted how unimportant UX is to investors and big businesses.

I was much more intrigued by Cambridge Bio-AugmentationSystems which is going to changing the way we treat amputees. Their solution involves a socket fixated to the bone of the stump which skin can grow in to and around. With such a secure seal to prevent infection, the “twist and click” system for attaching a new prosthesis is slick, reliable, and will have a realistic lifespan of two decades. With an $8bn estimated market in 2020, the future is very bright for this start up.

Finally Bleep Bleeps impressed us with their family of devices which made being and indeed becoming parents all that easier. Their products include cameras to check on sleeping little ones, a male fertility tester and an ultrasound scanner. The devices are delightful to look at as each has an easily identifiable face.

Before ending the evening with pizza and doing some networking, I offered the final question to the panel of investors on the night, by asking what their views were on UX and optimising the aesthetics and usability. I received a disappointing yet anticipated answer from both Imperial Innovations and Apposite Capital who not only said that UX wasn’t really that important but also explained that clinical staff, doctors especially were expecting clunky software solutions. Robbie gave are more balanced answer though, explaining that it is indeed important to have a product that makes money but  that one must strike that balance between usability that leads to a product delivered quickly rather than delaying and not selling to anyone. It was James however who echoed my own personal view, prove to the investors how usability will earn them more money, and they will still invest. Ultimately, investors want to invest in a business that will give a return, otherwise they would be simply donating and will soon run out of money.

I thoroughly enjoyed myself at the event, and eagerly await the next one.

Thanks for reading.

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