Summit 2018: MyWay Digital Health - Our Journey

“The Entrepreneurial Scotland / STV Summit is a great venture to support the showcasing and celebration of entrepreneurship across Scotland. Scotland is a great thriving environment for entrepreneurship. Making this more visible to a wider audience will hopefully encourage people to build their own businesses creating jobs and wealth for the Scottish economy.”

“The Entrepreneurial Scotland / STV Summit is a great venture to support the showcasing and celebration of entrepreneurship across Scotland. Scotland is a great thriving environment for entrepreneurship. Making this more visible to a wider audience will hopefully encourage people to build their own businesses creating jobs and wealth for the Scottish economy.”

What is your company called?

MyWay Digital Health

What do your companies/brands do?

MyWay Digital Health makes online software systems / apps to improve health. Our main product is My Diabetes My Way (MDMW), an online platform and mobile app to support people to self-manage diabetes. It gives people access to their NHS record, home recorded data, delivers automated advice, care reports, communication tools and access to over 200 multimedia education resources. MDMW was made by the University of Dundee and runs across Scotland with over 40,000 registrants. MyWay Digital Health is a University of Dundee spin out company commercialising MDMW outside Scotland. MDMW can improve outcomes for people and save the NHS money. One in ten people across the world have diabetes and diabetes treatment currently costs £1.5 per hour in the UK. Our solution aims to help people avoid diabetes complications and transform the way diabetes care is delivered.

How did you get started in entrepreneurship?

Despite being a medical doctor and a clinical academic by background, I have always had an interest in innovation, working with industry and entrepreneurship, experimenting with building companies, products and money making ventures from a young age. Building a business offers an opportunity to make a difference on a scale not possible by other means, and this is the main driver for me. I am passionate about improving health, saving lives and can see the huge potential that technology has to transform health care. Launching My Way Digital Health was a no-brainer. My co-founder Scott Cunningham and I had supported the development of a great product 'MyDiabetes MyWay' for over a decade in Scotland. It was winning international awards and getting great interest from the rest of the overseas; there was clearly a demand for what we were doing.

What have you and your companies learned from the journey so far?

Growing a company is challenging and people are the most important thing. Building a team who support the core values and vision of the business is key. We are lucky to have attracted staff who share our vision to make a difference. Many of them have personal links to diabetes. It is also important to make the most of every opportunity for funding, networking and advice. Scotland is an amazing ecosystem and we have benefitted from many schemes like Converge Challenge, Scottish Edge, Unlocking Ambition/ Scottish Enterprise, and been supported by the Digital Health Institute, Investing Women and many others. Passion and personal drive are key, but you need to build a network of a support; try to learn form the best in the business, and don't be afraid to ask them for help…you'll be surprised by how often people say yes!

Since launching, what have your companies achieved?

Since launching in January 2017, we have secured almost £3 million in Innovation Funding (Innovate UK), Accelerator Funding, and contracts in NHS England (areas including Greater Manchester, North West London and Somerset). We are gradually expanding to other sites in England and now looking at overseas contracts (focusing on USA, Middle East and Nordics). We have grown the team to 18 people (12FTE) with offices in Dundee and Edinburgh. We have won many national and international awards including the European e-health adopters awards, Diabetes UK self-management award, and won Scottish Edge funding. We've been selected for a number of highly competitive programmes, supporting our growth including; NHS Innovation Accelerator, the Digital Health London Accelerator, and are one of 20 companies selected for high growth potential to be part of Scotland First Minister Unlocking Ambition programme. We are leading a £1m innovation programme in collaboration with the NHS and Scottish Universities to support the use of Artificial Intelligence in diabetes care.

Favourite moments from the journey so far?

My favourite moments on the journey so far include:

1. Securing our first commercial contract- you can never be sure your business is going to work until someone actually buys your product!

2. Winning our first international award- getting external validation and respect from your peer-community is really gratifying and helps build moral in the team and builds credibility and impact.

3. A trip with AccelerateHER (Investing Women) to Silicon Valley. I was able to meet with some amazing people who have supported the growth of major tech giants like Google, Apple, Uber and LinkedIn, and even visited Richard Branson's Spaceship company in Mojave. The insights and learning around how to build a global market leading company were amazing, and resulted in a complete mind-set change for me. Our goals and aspirations are now much more ambitious.

What's next on the agenda?

We are working closely with Scottish Enterprise, SDI and external advisors to consolidate our presence in the UK and grow our presence in overseas markets, including Europe, USA and the Middle East. In the Middle East, 1 in 4 people have diabetes, and diabetes is crippling the economy through treatment costs and social burden. We are also looking at raising external investment to grow the company more quickly and realise our potential. We are increasing our product range to cover clinician facing platforms and increasing our use of artificial intelligence to drive more automated treatment advice.

Follow MyWay Digital Health on LinkedIn and Twitter.

STV and Entrepreneurial Scotland have joined forces to launch a new initiative celebrating entrepreneurship across Scotland. The 2018 Summit Entrepreneurship Awards will showcase inspirational stories which explore the entrepreneurial mindset, illustrate brilliance and highlight the value to our country’s economy and broader society. STV and Entrepreneurial Scotland are calling on innovators, visionaries and game-changers – no matter what stage they are at in their journey – to come forward and take part. 

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