Why did an OCFI business capture the attention of Piers Morgan?
Vitaccess is a pioneering digital healthcare consultancy that combines a philanthropic approach to its work with scientific rigour and a unique digital platform.
A recent partnership with Melanoma UK has just seen the company launch its first patient-centric app. Available to download for free, the app records patients’ real-time experiences, bringing the melanoma community together to further knowledge and improve care. The app has taken social media by storm, with patients queuing up to become “Melambassadors” and celebrities such as Piers Morgan tweeting its launch to over six million followers.
Director of Operations, Helen Williams, provides a behind-the-scenes look at Vitaccess and how OCFI is supporting its business development.
“Our MyRealWorld™ real-world evidence platform provides us with countless opportunities to create bespoke mobile apps that track and quantify patient wellbeing and reduce the burden of illness affecting patients’ daily lives. Understanding the impact of diseases and treatments on quality of life, as well as the size of eligible patient (sub)populations, is increasingly important.
We can adapt data collection and synthesis to payer expectations and market access requirements. The benefits are: tailored data capture and evidence generation; "bring your own device" (BYOD) technology on any device, in any language, for any country; real time access to data, industry standard data security and a powerful patient interface.
For example, the Melanoma UK Digital Registry app (on the Vitaccess MyRealWorld™ platform) is available on iOS/Android and is an intuitive and personalised app that helps patients to keep everything related to their condition to hand. Users can track how they are feeling, access up-to-date treatment information, connect with people going through a similar experience and prepare for consultations with customised checklists for their doctor. We co-create our apps with patients, because we really want to produce something that they will want to use again and again. They give us feedback after launch too, to help us shape and refine future version releases.
Our philanthropic business model, comprising close partnerships with patient advocacy groups, as well as specialist nurses and doctors, enables patients’ voices to be heard and gives them an active role in improving care.
"We are a self-funded company that reinvests profits from the consulting side of the business to develop our digital platform. Dr Mark Larkin founded Vitaccess in 2014 and we moved to The Pod at OCFI in June 2017. We have already expanded into our own office and are in talks with the centre team to take additional space to accommodate our business growth."
Helen Williams - Director of Operations, Vitaccess
Our journey of growth
Earlier this year we entered Oxford Innovation’s Scale-up Stars of the Future competition and were delighted to be shortlisted alongside some of the UK’s leading science and technology businesses. This has led to Vitaccess becoming further immersed in Oxford’s science and technology network and has created opportunities to collaborate, provided introductions to investors and opened up access to a pool of talented people as we look to recruit. In addition, our team has met lots of interesting people through being based at OCFI and our Director of Technology, Jon Spinage, is a keen user of The Hackspace, where Oxford’s technology community brainstorms and networks together.
The scale-up plans are in place and our next step is to roll out MyRealWorld™ across new geographic regions. This will see us double our business in three years, as we launch into new therapeutic indications and grow our portfolio of industry and academic subscribers. We plan to hire project managers; digital health strategists; and business analysts. Another crucial focus will be developing our patient advocacy and research networks, across Europe and the USA for starters.
Oxford is a melting pot for what Vitaccess is doing and we envisage OCFI and the city remaining our home as we embark on an exciting future.”
Vitaccess has just announced a partnership with the Kidney Cancer Association and is currently in negotiations with several patient groups, biotechs and pharmaceutical companies. For further information, visit: vitaccess.com or keep up-to-date via Twitter @vitaccess.
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