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02: Capturing Data Effectively From Patients with Bruce Hellman

15 Minutes with the Doctor - Bruce Hellman
Bruce Hellman is Co-Founder of an innovative app called uMotif. Today, he discusses the app he has developed. It is changing the traditional approach of how clinicians and researchers gather information from patients. Discover the importance
of design and a patient-centred approach to create impact.

00:26 This episode’s guest Bruce Hellman, CEO and Co-Founder of uMotif is introduced.

01:06 Bruce begins to describe briefly his company and the app that they have developed. It is essentially a cutting edge digital research tool to help patients and practitioners in the realm of healthcare.

01:42 After meeting some patients with Parkinson’s disease, they pointed out to Bruce how beneficial the technology his company was developing would be in tracking their symptoms. The system can now track sixteen clinical conditions.

02:30 Initially the system was designed to track Bruce’s sleep patterns, but when he and his co-founder met some patients, it morphed into something entirely different.

03:03 Bruce went along to an open entry competition to win funding for his concept, and through this competition he was lucky enough to secure funding and meet patient groups. These competitions still exist, and are useful opportunities for any of the listeners that may have an idea to pursue.

04:27 Design is the difference between Bruce’s app and other systems that exist. From the word go, he wanted to do something different and something that was easier to use then other apps out there. Bruce’s co-founder was a designer, so implementing good design was a core part of the business.

05:15 Over the 4 years of its existence, the company has evolved and matured, but Bruce feels having a strong technology team is a key part of the business. All of Bruce’s developers are in house.

06:14 Bruce accepts you can outsource work, but he encourages people to see if they can do a lot of their set up work in-house.

06:48 Bruce describes how his company started collaborations with Hundred for Parkinsons and Cloudy with a Chance of Pain.

8:00 Bruce had no connections in the industry when he started. He recommends going to meet-ups and networking events. If you are going to do something that is going to make a difference to people, clinicians and practitioners are always ready and willing to talk.

9:09 The app is free to patients, and Bruce intends that to always be the case – revenue is made from charging the hospital or research study.

9:48 The platform can be customised to meet the requirements of different research studies.

10:27 The future as Bruce sees it, is that any patient will be able to use digital technology to capture more high quality data and engage patients on an easy-to-use platform. This provides high quality data to be used in clinical research.

11:10 Already huge amounts of data is imported from wearables and web data for use in the platform.

11:52 When the focus is on providing a patient with a high quality experience, it is easy to obtain quality data, and Bruce feels this approach has worked best. To set out to get data first and provide a quality experience second would not be equally effective.

12:43 Bruce’s advice is to be as focused as you can on the problem you intend to solve. A product that makes a financial impact on healthcare is more likely to be successful.

13:36 Bruce’s app can reduce costs through patient-generated data by increasing efficiency of trials. Lowering the cost of trials is a huge benefit.

14:34 More information can be found at uMotif.com or on Twitter:@umotif

Thanks for listening!

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