In our latest interview in our series of 20 interviews in 20 days, we speak with Georgia Nelson from Inhealthcare to explore how the company has responded over the past few weeks, the impact on health tech and more.
Could you tell me a bit about yourself and your organisation?
I am senior business development manager at Inhealthcare, a UK market leader in digital health and remote care technologies. My role involves a bit of everything: growing our business, aligning what we are doing to NHS and government strategy for health and social care, account management and some product and pathway design. I love it!
Could you tell me about your journey into your role?
I joined Inhealthcare as a product specialist in 2014 when we were a start-up backed by the award-winning Yorkshire entrepreneur Peter Wilkinson. It was a very technical role which helped me to understand the technology behind our services and how they can transform the NHS. It was a great foundation for me to grow and develop with the company.
How has your organisation responded over the past few weeks during the COVID pandemic?
It’s all systems go at Inhealthcare. As a financially strong and mature digital health company, this is our time to make a real difference for our NHS partners in the fight against coronavirus. We are very busy helping health and care providers look after patients with long-term conditions and minimise face-to-face contact to protect everyone from the risk of infection. There is a lot of demand for our services.
What impact has COVID-19 had on health tech?
The pandemic has turbocharged the take-up of new technology by the NHS. Digital transformation is happening in weeks, if not days, rather than years. Health tech used to be a choice. Now it is a necessity. The response from the NHS has been inspirational in every respect. Patients are enjoying the reassurance that remote care brings. I don’t think we will ever go back to the old ways of doing things.
Could you tell me about one of your projects over the past 12 months?
In September, we successfully rolled out a new digital service with NHS immunisation teams in England to manage the entire schedule for vaccinating children at school. Parental consent is a necessity for school vaccinations but many NHS providers are locked into labour intensive paper-based procedures. Our service reduces risk, improves accuracy and reliability of data and saves thousands of hours in administrative tasks, allowing experienced staff to focus on working with more vulnerable groups.
What are you working on at the moment and what is coming up over the next 12 months?
My big focus at the moment is the scaling out of the services we provide for patients at home and in care homes across Scotland and Northern Ireland. Coming down the track in the next few weeks I will be involved in a number of similar projects in England and Wales. Our remote care technologies allow the NHS to keep a watchful eye on the wellbeing of people living in the community and bridge the gap between health and social care. We recently added services that monitor people with COVID-19 symptoms to enable health care professionals to intervene when risks emerge and hopefully save lives.
Can you tell me about some of the challenges and successes?
The fragmented nature of the NHS has been challenging in the past as it can make it difficult to spread the adoption of proven technologies across different areas. But the approach to health tech is changing as a result of the coronavirus crisis and the recognition we need to do things differently. Decision-making cycles are speeding up. For me, success is seeing our NHS partners benefiting from our services by being able to spend more time with those patients who need the most care and attention.
Can you tell me about one thing (career or personal or both) you are most proud of?
I am proud of the part I have played in helping establish Inhealthcare as a UK market leader in digital health and remote care technologies. I am proud to be able to use my knowledge and skills to support the NHS during these difficult times. Personally, I am proud to be doing the job I am doing. Not bad for someone who left school at 17 and didn’t go to university!
What’s the best piece of career advice you have ever received?
Know your worth and never doubt your own abilities.
What advice would you give to anyone aspiring to work in health tech?
You have to understand the NHS and how it works. The health service has many components. Take the time to research how they all fit together and where you can add value. There are lots of companies out there with similar, me-too products. To succeed, you need to be unique. Find your USPs.
What’s your go-to entertainment programme at the moment?
I am watching Game of Thrones. My favourite character is Daenerys Targaryen because she is a strong leader.
Is there anything you would like to add?
It is good to see women doing well in our sector. I left school without many qualifications but always wanted to be successful and have a big career. You achieve success by working hard and working your way up.