KTN interviews Dr Debbie Wake, CEO of MyWay Digital Health, and Women in Innovation Award Winner, on diabetes care and a digital tool that supports people with long term conditions.

“Scaling innovation in healthcare is hard, particularly in the UK with significant NHS budgetary constraints. Working with health data also brings challenges around data sharing and information governance, fortunately, an area we have significant expertise. With the rise in non-communicable diseases globally, there is however a massive need for transformative solutions. With the increasing use of mobile technology and digitisation of health records, there is a clear opportunity for low-cost data-driven solutions to transform care delivery and outcomes globally.”

MyDiabetesMyWay is a digital platform that integrates healthcare data, driving personalised automated advice, education, and support for people with diabetes. It is the only self-management platform to be scaled across an entire country in Scotland, has over 50,000 registrants and has won International awards (e.g. the European e-health adopters award). It improves health outcomes and saves money. Debbie Wake is one of nine female innovators to be awarded £50,000 as part of the Innovate UK’s Women in Innovation Awards 2019.

“What we’ve got with diabetes is this window of opportunity, between where someone develops the condition and potentially down the line the risk of complications. If we can at the right point in time, introduce the right therapies and get patients self-managing then we can completely avoid the downstream complications. 80% of the cost sits with these downstream complications yet most of them are completely preventable.”

How did Women in Innovation help?

“The Women in Innovation programme has supported me in several areas including access to mentors, training on various subjects from marketing and PR to pitching and business development. The Award status has been a credibility boost personally and for MyWay Digital Health, raising our profile and increasing our exposure in the marketplace.”

Women in Innovation has enabled them to retain jobs, notably a software developer, and project management support, and has funded part of Debbie’s University secondment arrangement. It has also helped them to achieve further funding through the GCRF award.

Impact / Outcomes

MyWay Digital Health is a purpose-driven company aiming to impact on the lives of people with diabetes through scalable digital solutions, on a global scale. They are actively pursuing investment (£2-5m) and are also building a pipeline in overseas markets notably US/ Middle East and India in the hope to close their first international contract over the coming months.

“We are keen to expand our offering beyond diabetes and are starting to develop this.”

 

For more information on Women in Innovation, visit the Programme page here.