A UK-based social enterprise that is successfully marketing software to put patients in control of their own medical records – achieving what many technology giants have been unable to do – is going from strength to strength and expanding throughout Europe and the USA.
Earlier this month Patients Know Best was awarded 7,500 euros by Janssen Healthcare Innovation, part of the Janssen group of pharmaceutical companies. The judges selected Patients Know Best as a first prize-winner in the field of delivering quality care.
Patients Know Best founder Dr Mohammad Al-Ubaydli said the win had helped to solidify the reputation of the company, which had just recruited its tenth employee.
The social enterprise began in 2008 after Al-Ubaydli – a medical doctor, software programmer and someone who lives with a long-term health condition – decided to find a solution to the frustration he and others experienced with disjointed health care. He explained that if a patient saw many different health professionals across different services, they often found that information wasn’t shared, leading to frustration, delays and wasted resources.
“What you need is one place that has the records from your GP, the hopsital and others – and it needs to be a patient-controlled system,” says Al Ubaydli.
He explained that while some medical professionals were reluctant to hand over information for patient control, the fact that Patients Know Best was a social enterprise helped to develop trust, as he could pledge that the data would never be used for commercial gain – a USP that sets Patients Know Best apart from larger software companies which are also trying to enter this market.
Marco Mohwinckel, partner at Janssen Healthcare Innovation, pointed out that the product was a good one. He said: “There are many patient record systems in the marketplace already but they require a lot of input from the patient, often at a time of illness and are not very accessible.
“The judges felt that the Patients Knows Best proposal empowers the consumer, by enabling them to share their records from the outset with family members or carers.”
Patients Know Best’s first customer was Great Ormond Street Hospital. Its UK customers now include more hospitals, medical charities and local authorities, and it is about to launch new services in the USA.