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Dear health-tech start-up founders, angel investors, and venture capitalists...

By Dr. Colin Coulthard |

This is an open letter to ask you to consider recruiting GPs. I know it seems prestigious to have a “specialist” working for you, but there are some really good reasons why a start-up could be better off recruiting a generalist...

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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 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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The health-tech start-up scene. All fart and no motion?

By Dr. Colin Coulthard |

When I was a trainee in A&E, in the last millennium, we had a ward sister in charge, and she was a legend in her own lifetime. Every other word out of her mouth was a swear word, and she had a particular turn of phrase. One of her favourites, was when she’d dealt with a threatening patient she’d say “Don’t mind him, he’s all fart and no motion.” Meaning that he’s all talk and very little action…

Recently I’ve been weighing up the pros and cons of staying in London. At the moment both of us are working part time as locums to support ourselves. The rest of our time we’re devoting to itamus. The problem for me, working in London, is that the amount of money I need to earn to support myself here is significantly higher than it is elsewhere in the country. This means that I’m working for seven sessions a week in order to keep afloat. This limits the time that I can spend on developing our business, and I think that this is holding us back.

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