The MedBIC opens doors for start-up

Healthcare technology business Digital Clipboard is one of The MedBIC’s occupants who have benefited rapidly from the Proof of Concept scheme. In a short time, the company has refined and developed the most advanced digital note-taking platform for healthcare practitioners. This is the story of their progress through partnership.

Digital Clipboard seizes on a growing opportunity to adopt Electronic Health Records (EHR) across the healthcare sector. Until 2013, however, when founder Brian James bridged the gap, taking initial clinical notes was still archaic. Practitioners were either still using inefficient and error prone paper or glued to clunky computers. Brian worked with clinicians to get targeted feedback.

As Brian recalls:

“We wanted to make sure that our solution – based on simple and portable iPads was easy and intuitive to use.”

As you would expect with an iPad, you see it, use it, understand it and after two or three minutes, you start to use it intuitively. The company was introduced to The MedBIC by Professor Tony Young, Director of Innovation at the Postgraduate Medical Institute and NHS National Clinical Director for Innovation, and since then progress has accelerated rapidly.

“We became occupants in early November 2014 and I am still amazed at what we achieved in just the first two weeks,”

Recalls Brian.

“Through the Proof of Concept scheme, we received £10,000 of in-kind support and raised £70,000 in match-funding from another of the university’s initiatives (the Smart Money for Bright Businesses ERDF-funded programme). The Low Carbon KEEP Knowledge Transfer programme also allowed us to employ a researcher, sourced through Anglia Ruskin’s Postgraduate Medical Institute.”

The partnership story continues.

“We also hope to collaborate with two other occupants at The MedBIC, who have complementary businesses to ours,”

says Brian.

“Digital Clipboard’s rapid progress illustrates how the Proof of Concept scheme makes a huge difference to fledgling businesses. It is also a compelling advertisement for the power of collaboration .Each new occupant is personally introduced to existing ones,”

explains Aideen McCambridge, Manager of The MedBIC.

“This gives all the businesses under our roof the opportunity to network with like-minded people and explore new ways of thinking and working.” This was certainly true for the team at Digital Clipboard, who were formally introduced to another occupant, FutureNova, at a networking even. The target market for Digital Clipboard’s clinical note-taking mobile app was originally perceived to be healthcare professionals in the musculoskeletal field, such as chiropractors, osteopaths and physiotherapists. Having seen FutureNova’s surgically-sterilised tablet cover, Brian was inspired to adapt the product, opening up the market much wider to embrace many types of healthcare professionals and NHS clinicians.

“The great thing about working at The MedBIC is how it has helped me to connect with like-minded people and given me access to funding opportunities I didn’t even know about,”

says Brian.

“Inside The MedBIC is a village of innovators; a tribe of like-minded people. It’s because of this set-up that we are now considering working with the NHS, revealing a whole new way of thinking. And that’s the difference I feel with this innovation centre. People like Aideen McCambridge are providing information, and you have the feeling someone is looking out for you and trying to help you to get the best support and advice.”