Elements of life: New technology to improve patient healthcare

7 Oct 2016

From left: Jennifer Neff and Leeann Monk, co-founders of Elemental Software

Elemental Software is adding a social aspect to the prescription service, by encouraging community involvement to improve healthcare for patients and doctors alike. TechWatch’s Emily McDaid reports.

As the picture of personal health evolves, we know that many conditions, such as type 2 diabetes and obesity, are often proven to be lifestyle-related.

Medicine alone is often insufficient in treating these conditions. In this context, health authorities are tasked to empower GPs to support communities in making better lifestyle choices.

Future Human

If a patient improves their lifestyle, it can make all the difference in whether their medical condition turns into a chronic one.

Now, in Elemental Software, there is a cloud-based solution that enables GPs and other community-based health teams to refer patients to these interventions, but also track their health improvement journey and measure the relevant cost savings.

The company was founded by two women from Northern Ireland: Leeann Monk, who is based in Co Derry, and Jennifer Neff, based in Dubai. They are supported by a team with experience in enterprise software development, sales and start-up support.

Monk said, “The NHS General Practice Forward View for 2016 states that social prescribing is now core to the sustainability of communities. Our backgrounds are in community development, therefore we saw a major gap in the market that a new software could fill.”

The concept behind Elemental is that it connects all of the stakeholders in the supply chain for patient health – the GP, patient and providers of services such as community-based walking groups, healthy cooking courses and yoga classes.

It facilitates a picture of health that goes beyond just medicine, and taps into services that already exist in the community. All stakeholders will be better informed about the patient’s journey.

Elemental team

Elemental team. From left: Ryan Williams, partnership director; Leeann Monk, co-founder; Jennifer Neff, co-founder; Aidan McGrath, chair

Elemental officially launched on 7 September at a healthcare exhibition in Manchester. Having introduced the software to the Middle East, they are working with a government health department to bring together patients and health and wellbeing providers to tackle the increase in type 2 diabetes. They plan to officially launch in the United Arab Emirates in January 2017.

Monk cited some big statistics to support their efforts: “The health prevention and improvement market is worth £17.4bn in the UK and 40pc of that goes to community support – that equates to £700m per annum. Our opportunity is strong.”

Elemental’s founders hope to raise an additional £300,000 in funding by January 2017 to develop the software further and expand the team.

Recently, the team won the Enterprise Software Award at the 2016 Invent Awards in Belfast.

By Emily McDaid, editor, TechWatch

A version of this article originally appeared on TechWatch

TechWatch by Catalyst covered tech developments in Northern Ireland