Diabetes company named Start Up of the Year

A company that helps children and their families understand a Type 1 diabetes diagnosis is through to the national finals of a national health competition.

HEAL.med, a not-for-profit company behind the Diabetes Education App, was named Start-Up of the Year at the Medilink Midlands Business Awards. The awards recognise the best work in the region’s healthcare sector.

It will now go through to the national finals in June. The app, which is the first of its kind in the country, enables young people and their families to understand a Type-1 diabetes diagnosis. Breaking down information into bitesize pieces, the app translates what can be complex and daunting material through videos and games.

HEAL med inset THUMB pic

Sarah Lockwood-Lee, project officer for the Children’s Research Team at Leicester Royal Infirmary and part of the HEAL.med team, said: “It’s a real honour to have been nominated and win the Medilink award. I am so proud to be a founder of Deapp and part of our amazing HEAL.med team.

“This award is also for all of our users especially the children / young people with Type 1 diabetes and their families.”

Initially envisioned at a meeting with NHS employees and De Montfort University Leicester’s (DMU) Design Unit, HEAL.med is now a spin-out in its own right. It is one of the start-ups which are on the university’s Crucible programme that provides support, mentoring and practical help to companies setting out on their business journey.   

The curriculum in the app has been created by a group of doctors and nurses. Participants work through a block of videos and games, and are then quizzed on their understanding by a healthcare professional before moving on to the next block.

It has been supported by local designers, including DMU students and graduates, developing and re-designing content and recordings to keep them fresh and accurate.

As it’s an app available to download, it can be taken away from the hospital for the young person and their family to watch and refer to as they need, offering a more relaxed method of learning at a pace suitable to each individual.

Heal Med inset pic 1

Dr James Greening, another of the app’s founders, said: “For me personally this has been a huge journey of personal development in taking forward what was originally a medical education project to something which is going to be sustainable in the long-term for our patients.

“To have the support of the Crucible project and DMU has really helped us, and we look forward to a very exciting future. The award for Medilink was really the icing on the cake as outside recognition of all that we’ve achieved over the past few years.”

The regional award is the second business prize it has won in the space of a few months. It was given the Best Digital Business Award at the Niche Business Awards held in October. (Hyperlink) https://www.nichemagazine.co.uk/post/niche-business-awards-2021-winners-revealed

Lee Paxman-Clarke, Director of HEAL.med, has also been nominated for a Real Entrepreneur award this year for Innovation in Entrepreneurship.

Lee said:  “We had no expectations of being able to compete against the other amazingly high-quality nominees. I hope this can help propel our business further and ultimately support children and young people with Type 1 diabetes with the best education we can offer to them."

Following the success at the Medilink Midlands Business Awards, the team will be attending the Medilink UK Awards in June, pitched against winners from regional heats.

Also in the calendar is a virtual dog racing night on 22 April, to raise funds for further development on the app. You can find more details on this here.

Posted on Wednesday 30 March 2022

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