UK’s Best SME Mobile Health App Competition – finalists announced

This reviewer participated as a judge in the first round of this competition, sponsored by Patient-View, myhealthapps, techUK and the Department of Trade & Investment. From this, four finalists were chosen who will go forward to the second part of the competition at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona (“MWC 2015”) in the first week in March.

The twelve competitors were:

11health – an app and device for determining when an “’ostomy” bag is full and needs emptying. Blue-toothed to a mobile or nurse station. It has transformed the lives of patients that have to use these and continues to save nursing time too.

23 Ltd – a website builder that has diversified into behaviour change to stop smoking. Ingenious business model though as yet untested (as the app is still all free). Impressive trial results to date from 60k users.

Care Systems Integration Ltd – Caring Cloud is the app they offer, which sits on a PC/tablet/smartphone used by a relative or other carer of an older/frail person. Through the app the carer can buy any of a range of sensors – pill dispensers, temperature sensors, panic buttons etc., fit them themselves in the older/frail person’s home and then monitor them through the app. They are adding three-way triaging (carer/cared-for person/professional). A well thought through the business model  and a slick app. 200 users now.

Digital Algorithms Ltd – an integration, accepted by the HSCIC, of info from all four GPSoCs that converts it into nice clear pictures and descriptions, to make patient records easy to understand by patients. All patient records can be accessed, including test results etc. The quality of the graphics on mobiles is particularly impressive.

endoscope-i Ltd – an ingenious piece of hardware that fits on an iPhone (only) to create an endoscope. This is then partnered with a rather clever app that expands the field of view and offers a wide range of secure transmission options.

MediBioSense – offering a stick-on sensor patch plus nice app to measure vital signs eg when patients are in hospital. It has some similarity to the Toumaz products, though with a reusable sensor, so substantially reducing cost. The first time I’ve been able to see the presenter’s heart & respiration rate throughout the presentation!

PROSTaid – a prostate cancer information app provided free by a charity. It is a really useful app that was excellently presented by some creative and amusing theatre.

Therapy Box  – bearing an outward similarity to Caring Cloud, above, with a range of options on a tablet, this group of apps focuses on people with communication needs and communication therapy needs, such as people with neurodegenerative diseases. They have extremely clever anticipatory typing apps, can adopt to any mode of input as neural systems collapse (puff, eye blink etc.) and even have a ‘voice banking’ system so you can record your voice whilst you can still speak, so that when you cannot, your PC can talk for you.

Tiyga Health – stands for Time Is Your Greatest Asset – a nice system for gathering data from old people on the intensity of pain, or indeed of any other analogue feeling they might have (eg stomach ache, headache), for use by doctors. Very well presented.

Total Mobile – a total mobile support system for nurses and other professionals that captured all the data on a patient. Ideal for primary care district nurses/community matrons. Meets a really important need for peripatetic care delivery, very well. Since this event, an announcement has also been made that Total Mobile has been shortlisted for a GSMA award at MWC 2015.

Virtually Free – a recent start-up with three CBT-based mental health apps that meets the NHS’s drive for mental health support very well. Impressive results from tests they have done – full RCT just starting. Carefully designed so it can use text messages on not-so-smartphones in eg Africa. (Note the title refers to the delivery mechanism “virtually” and the desired effect it has on users, “freeing” them from phobias – services are charged for.)

Yecco Ltd – now pivoted from the original offering of a social care, free-to-user, app (making money from equipment sales & advertising) to a telehealth offering that is very open, where she is now getting good traction (first installation in Leeds). Only achieved her first NHS sale by presenting in India and overheard by a UK government minister!

The judges had an extremely challenging task as all twelve were very impressive apps (and in some cases kit as well). The finalists chosen after much debate were: Yecco Ltd, 11health, Therapy Box and Total Mobile

More details and copies of all but one of the presentations (as Digital Algorithms gave a live demo) are here.


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