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How Trump did it - strategies from the tech industry

By Dr. Colin Coulthard |


President TrumpDonald Trump. Love him or hate him, and there are plenty on both sides, he’s pulled off an historic electoral upset.

What’s interesting to me, is how he’s used cutting edge business strategy taken from the tech industry to do it.

Hillary raised more money than him. Hillary was more qualified than him. Hillary will likely end up with more of the popular vote than him. By all of the accepted metrics of modern political campaigns he shouldn’t have won. And yet he did. The big question now, is how?

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How not to fall down a lift-shaft...

By Dr. Colin Coulthard |


Have you ever wondered what would happen if you were in a lift and the cable were to snap?


Perhaps you imagine a brief moment of terror before you free fall to your doom?


Well, fortunately, no such thing would happen.

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Make it easy

By Dr. Colin Coulthard |

Have you ever had one of those moments when you’re trying to get to sleep and you suddenly realise that you’ve forgotten to do something really important?


For me, it’s usually paying an important bill, or returning a telephone call.


The thing is, I mean to do it, I really do. And then I get distracted, and it doesn’t get done. And then three weeks later, I suddenly remember whilst I’m lying in bed trying to go to sleep.

In this blog post, I’m going to explain how understanding why this happens could help us in healthcare. I’m also going to give a concrete example of how working smarter could have made a recent announcement have a far greater impact...

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The problem that medical apps face...

Healthcare apps


We keep hearing that the solution to the workload crisis is going to involve telehealth and the greater use of “apps”. In future Mr and Mrs Smith aren’t going to have to see a GP because IT is going to provide them with the information that they need. GPs, freed from the shackles of seeing the worried well are going to have the time and resources to deal with our ageing population. Many IT providers are stepping into the breach to provide the solutions that are needed. So that’s ok then…

Well yes and no.

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The best of the best: how the culture of medicine is harming us and our patients... (part II)


A sisyphean task?*** This blog post follows on from a previous blog post ***

A quarter of a century ago, at my med school, Fresher’s week was mostly about initiation ceremonies.  There was a big drinking culture, and most of Fresher’s week was spent playing “fun” drinking games. These usually involved some form of humiliation for the Freshers involved and huge amounts of peer pressure to conform by performing forfeits of various levels of disgustingness. I have a particularly vivid memory of eating a spoonful of dog food on a pub-crawl in the locality. Although I hope that things have moved on since then, I imagine that such initiation ceremonies still take place. Ostensibly these forfeits were about proving yourself “worthy” of joining the esteemed medical school, but they also served a more sinister purpose...

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Feel the fear and do it anyway...

By Dr. Colin Coulthard |


When I wrote this blog,  I was packing my possessions up to move back in with my Mother. And I was mildly terrified…

Not because of my mother. She’s a perfectly reasonable human being. I lived with her for six months before I moved to London and it was fun.

No, I was mildly terrified because of what the move implied...

4 years ago I moved to London to launch our start-up. Now I’m moving away from London to get it on its feet.

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The best of the best: how the culture of medicine is harming us and our patients... (part I)


Pain in the brain!Have you ever wondered why it is that you don't seem to enjoy your job, and yet at the same time you find it difficult to imagine doing anything else? You can list reasons why it should be great. Yet when it comes to a Sunday evening, you still get that feeling of doom.

You feel that the job has the potential to be great, but something stops it from being so, and you just can't muster the courage to leave

Or perhaps you've worked with someone who seems reasonable in every other way, but flatly refuses to change the way that they practice medicine, even when presented with evidence of the problems that their actions are causing?

Maybe you've found yourself in a situation where your career is threatened by a complaint, and you've been overwhelmed with a feeling of doom at the thought of not being able to practice medicine again?

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The joys of founding a start up

By Dr. Colin Coulthard |


Me, jumping out of my bathA few days ago, I was lying in bed, trying to get to sleep, and it came to me. “It” being the solution to something that had been nagging at me about for a few days. I’d seen a prototype version of our app, and although it was good, it wasn’t great. What I was struggling with was how best to communicate my vision to the people that I’m working with…

I have it!

And then it came to me.

We want to be “Headspace for healthcare”.

I was so excited that I couldn’t get to sleep for two hours afterwards. I couldn’t wait to talk to Richard about it...

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The most vital step in launching any business...

By Dr. Colin Coulthard |


In a previous blog, I wrote about the mistakes that we’d made so far. This is the first part of a series on how we’re starting to fix those mistakes, and form a coherent business plan.

Ideas are common

I think that like everyone who starts as an entrepreneur we were very protective of our idea. It was hard-won and precious. We’d spent a lot of time coming up with it. About two years to be exact. We’d had a few others, but this was it. This was the big one. This time next year Rodney, we’re going to be millionaires.

If only…

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Stop focusing on the security of health data

By Dr. Richard Thomas |


I've just read this article from the King’s Fund and it struck me that it is a mistake to focus on the security of digital health records. Give me a chance to elaborate on that heretical statement...

For those (all) of us with little time to spare, I’ll provide a quick summary of the article. The author (Matthew Honeyman, a researcher in the policy team) envisages the year 2021 in which a fictional patient accesses their NHS account online to adjust the visibility of their health data. They can change it from being accessible just by the clinician who created it through to every researcher on the planet being able to take a look. The author’s concern, quite rightly, is that if this control is given to patients in a climate of data-security fear, most people will block access to their records. He then predicts research grinding to a halt, commissioners having only half-cocked data on which to make decisions etc. etc. General armageddon.

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