Technology has been driving change in many, if not all, industries. From the traditional businesses to comparative newbies like Augmented Reality and Cloud Technology, every field has received its fair share of startups improving, disrupting, revolutionising, and reinventing how things are done. Healthcare hasn’t been an exception. In fact, it is forecasted that $102bn (£79bn) will be spent on HealthTech by 2020.
Taking into account the growing interest towards HealthTech startups, just recently two of them made into our list of the initiatives with great potential, we decided to meet the founder of one of the most successful HealthTech startups TickerFit. Avril Copeland is not just a founder and CEO of TickerFit, but also an adventure racer. Her startup “empowering health professionals and patients” is a cloud-based application looking to improve Healthcare by offering a follow-up post-hospital treatment.
TickerFit allows health professionals provide personalised lifestyle interventions for each patient by monitoring client’s current health status. Results are tracked in real time, thus the outcomes can be easily measured and analysed. It is a tool for patients too. On the one hand, TickerFit enables professionals to prescribe and monitor a patient’s recovery remotely. On the other hand, patients receive personalised programme to support them during their recovery via their smartphone. Once received, the patients can follow the plan at their own pace. TickerFit was launched in Dublin by Copeland who is a native to the industry. She is a chartered physiotherapist and exercise scientist and founded the startup with technologist Greg Balmer.
You have been part of Wired Health 2016. Tell us more about the experience.
It was incredible to be part of WIRED Health conference. I have been an avid reader of their magazine for a few years now so to get the opportunity was above and beyond. Their conferences are definitely something special. I have been at many conferences, but the environment they create, the calibre of speakers and attendees really makes you feel part of, and on the cutting edge innovation.
TickerFit is three years old. What have been the three most important learnings you acquired?
It’s been an exciting journey. First of all, I’ve learned that the business is most definitely about people. It’s about networking, not just on a superficial level, but really getting to understand and know potential partners and customers. Secondly, entrepreneurship equals uncertainty. Finally, execution is everything.
What do you wish you knew before you started TickerFit?
It would be helpful to be aware of the fact there are no overnight successes!
How is TickerFit transforming the industry? Is exercise physiology being improved by technological solutions?
There are so many amazing innovations in healthcare. Some things I can’t even get my head around! At TickerFit we are transforming the way rehabilitative care is delivered to patients. Our goal is to enable healthcare professionals extend their reach to support their patients in a more efficient and effective manner.
“Our goal is to hire smart, great, skillful people who want to work in TickerFit for the right reasons.”
How helpful was your previous career as a physiotherapist in executing your startup idea?
Physiotherapy is a wonderful career. Chartered Physiotherapists are so highly qualified and have such a valuable insight into patient behaviour. We spend so much time with patients when they are in the ward, from the moment they are admitted or just out of surgery, to the day they go home.
For most chronic conditions, health outcomes are based on the 90% of time and decisions patients make when they are at home. After building such a strong health enhancing relationships in the hospital, why wouldn’t we continue on that care to support the patient at home? The idea for TickerFit came from my time working on the wards.
Which user testimonial made you proud?
A few days ago, one of our healthcare professionals told us that by simply checking the health professional’s dashboard, she knew something was not right with one of her patients. She phoned the patient and as it turns out the patient has developed a very serious, life-threatening condition. She was able to advise him to go straight to his cardiologist. It makes all our work to date so worthwhile.
You have just participated in the Wayra conference held in Madrid. Tell us more about it and your experience at Wayra UK.
We are currently part of the WAYRA/Velocity Health Cohort. Velocity Health is a programme supported by Telefonica and MSD UK. We just returned from WAYRA Bootcamp held in Madrid and Barcelona. It was an incredible week! The goal of the week was to introduce the current WAYRA cohort to Telefonica in Spain and identify any opportunities for our company to work with Telefonica. It was an incredible and fruitful week.
What role does company culture play in hiring?
Culture is paramount. I was lucky enough to be part of the Google For Entrepreneur’s Blackbox programme in San Francisco in May. Google funded 15 female founders from around the world to come to SF and learn from the brightest minds in the States about running and scaling a business. It was incredible. One of the afternoons was spent in Eventbrite. We met with the founder and force of Eventbrite, Julia Hartz. It is amazing to see how Eventbrite has evolved, and how their ethos is carried through in everything they do.
My co-founder Greg and I, while we have complimentary work skills, in many ways are very closely aligned in our beliefs and how we see the company progressing and maturing. Our goal is to hire smart, great, skillful people who want to work in TickerFit for the right reasons.