Healthtech start-ups 'need more collaboration'
The government should do more to encourage collaboration between public and private sector organisations and tech start-ups in the healthcare sector.
That is the view of Rich Westman, founder and CEO of pioneering digital health company Kaido, which turns health data into ‘meaningful, actionable insights' that can be used by patients, clinicians and businesses.
The Kaido Insights platform takes in data from self-monitoring devices such as wearables and apps, along with user-generated data sources like smartphones and social media feeds, to build a holistic health profile for an individual.
It then uses a combination of artificial intelligence and the expertise of health practitioners to analyse the data in context and deliver crucial insights.
Westman told BusinessCloud that the government could support businesses like Kaido by encouraging more public and private sector organisations to collaborate with start-ups.
"Particularly in healthcare it is a massive challenge to get your first contract and thus prove concept.
"Start-up incubators provide a fantastic platform to learn how to develop your business but do not necessarily provide you with opportunities to interact with and sell to potential future clients.
"Public's Gov Tech incubator is a fantastic example of an initiative exploiting this need."
Kaido is based in Birmingham, where Westman says there is "a hive of support and activity around start-ups".
"From Innovation Birmingham to Silicon Canal to the recent West Midlands Urban Challenge there is a real ecosystem developing and I hope this trend continues, to attract more businesses and investment into the region," he said.
Kaido expanded its offering in January 2018 with the launch of Kaido Wellbeing, described as the first truly personalised corporate wellbeing solution for employees.
Powered by the Kaido Insights platform, businesses can use the workplace wellbeing solution to provide personalised health support to all staff members.
Westman says the firm has been "growing sales steadily ever since".
The entrepreneur also discussed some of the key challenges for the business going forward, starting with cashflow in the short term.
"As a B2B business dealing with large corporate and NHS contracts, it makes it hard for us to invest how we want to into the businesses growth," he said, adding that access to talent will also be a challenge in the near future.
"We’re now looking to access funding and talent to help us get to the next stage in our journey. There are some exceptional people in the region but they are also in high demand."