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Health tech SME looking to access the NHS? 10 tips from an evening with 10 Digital Ladies

Thursday night saw the gathering of innovators, entrepreneurs, inventors and product developers at the 10 Digital Ladies in Healthtech event held at WeWork South Bank.

ZPB’s CEO, Zoe Bedford, spoke at the event which looked at how the private sector, SMEs/ start-ups are working with public sector bodies such as the NHS to transform how we manage our health, and access services such as GPs and our personal records.

For those that didn’t manage to make it here are our top 10 tips from 10 Digital Ladies event:

1. Be clear about how your solution maps on to local objectives. This means getting real understanding of the organisation you’re aiming to disrupt.

2. Non health-tech team members are incredibly useful. They challenge the health status quo much more than insiders.

3. Co-development works. Partner with a university or an organisation already contracted to the NHS as a way of finding easier routes in.

4. Do not go cold into the NHS. Meet your innovative clinicians at health tech events. Health 2.0 meet ups are a great place to start.

5. Be prepared for a long sales cycle. Put aside some of your budget for comms and marketing later down the line. Getting a contract is the easy bit; you are responsible for reminding users that your product is out there!

6. Reach out to charities. Working with them has proved a great success for start-ups such as uMotif.

7. Be agile. In the words of Rashmi Narayana: “always be ready to kill your darlings”. Faster is better in this dynamic world.

8. Don’t lead on cost. It is incredibly difficult to prove that a reduction in costs has been the sole result of your product.

9. Be disciplined with your value proposition: say more than ‘we improve patient care and we save money’.

10. The NHS wants to work with digital solutions. This is a certainty.


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