A Meeting of minds
I want to tell you the story of why I joined a research movement.
- A movement born during a global pandemic.
- A movement helping people access public services, many of which are now online.
- A research movement that is making a difference.
I’d been working in the NHS with GP practices. The pressures were real. Increasing demand on services, more and more patients and workforce challenges. Transformation projects felt like they brought additional pressure, pulling people away from the front line. Yet I could see the potential…
Digital healthcare had the potential to revolutionise care pathways, help people take care of themselves, remove repetitive tasks and improve things for everyone... The solutions were in touching distance, but never really cut through.
I set about ways to change this. Connecting with people who shared the same passion and joining forces with those driven by a genuine desire to make things better for all.
NHS and local authority leaders, doctors, managers, digital health teams, academic experts.
We all wanted things to be better, we all talked about the importance of involving people who would be users of digital services. We wanted people involved in the design and implementation of these services because only then could we truly realise the vast potential of simple digital tools and cutting edge technology.
I met with a GP, he’d been an NHS doctor for 20 years. Working in front-line clinical roles, from central London Emergency Departments through to GP jobs in rural Cornwall. He’d founded a primary care research unit that led recruitment for global clinical studies and represented at health service executive board level positions.
Before I met Dr Rehan Symonds he’d already sussed that evaluation, research and technology were poorly aligned with health system priorities and were often not designed to make sense for the individual.
Our research movement, Healthwave, was born. Through conversation around how the role of technology could be rapidly understood and designed in a way that made sense to regular people.
I was new to the NHS having joined from a business development and fintech background.
Prior to that I’d spent many years supporting people who were unemployed. Through all these experiences I believed strongly that people could be empowered by technology to improve their health and wellbeing by engaging local communities and demystifying technology. It became clear that health, work and wellbeing were intertwined and technology was increasingly at the heart of it.
After building a digital health sandbox in Cornwall that attracted many technology companies worldwide to work with the NHS to develop useful products, I took the plunge and founded Healthwave with Rehan.
Our purpose was to help create genuine digital communications between people, health and care teams, employment and skills providers and government organisations like the NHS and local authorities.
Healthwave would be there to fill the gap in evaluation and community insights that are required to guide the use of tech and unlock the great potential benefits to our lives.
We’re working throughout the U.K. supporting NHS and local authority teams with digital inclusion challenges. Our team brings world leading technical capability, best in class research and industry expertise.
Oliver Sleeman - Co-founding CEO
Oliver joined the NHS from a business development and fintech background, most recently leading the development of a financial investment platform for Virgin on behalf of Crowdfunder in Cornwall. Prior to that he had spent many years working in the community sector supporting people who were unemployed. He came to believe strongly that people could be empowered to improve their health, work and wellbeing through technology.
After building a digital health testbed in Cornwall that attracted many technology companies worldwide to develop useful products with the NHS, he co-founded Healthwave to fill the gap in evaluation and community insights that unlock the true value of digital services.
Rehan Symonds - Co-founding Chief Medical Officer
Rehan spent 18 years working in frontline clinical NHS roles, from central London Emergency Departments through to GP jobs in rural Cornwall. In recent years he founded a primary care research unit that engaged successfully in high-profile global clinical studies and represented his locality in an executive board level position at Kernow Health CIC.
Over time it became increasingly apparent to Rehan that evaluation, research and technology were poorly aligned with health system priorities and often were not designed to make sense for the individual user. Healthwave was born through conversations between Rehan and Oliver around how the role of technology could be rapidly understood and iterated in real-time in a way that made sense to regular people.