DCMS blog

International Women’s Day 2017: Improving access to healthcare

Kate Newhouse

by

Founder of Doctor Care Anywhere and winner of the Everywoman in Tech Innovator Award

On International Women’s Day, we hear from a star of the recent Everywoman in Tech Awards who has been recognised for pioneering work in tech.

2017 FDM everywoman in Technology Awards

Putting technology at the heart of healthcare

Having swapped the world of private consultancy for local government, I began to specialise in understanding the different needs of customers accessing public services and helping providers design better services to meet these needs.

Access to and the delivery of public services cannot be tailored to every individual but understanding common motivations, needs, preferences and circumstances of groups of customers means that you can meet those needs more effectively. The result is a better experience and outcome for the customer, in a more cost-effective way for the provider.

Improving access to healthcare

I realised that the role of technology in delivering this change was crucial and wanted to pursue my career in this area, focusing on delivering changes to improve access to healthcare. The ability to transcend geography, challenge existing delivery systems to deliver services to those that would normally have limited and restricted access to is extraordinarily powerful.

Top tips 

Without a technical background and having read History at University, at first I found it a little daunting to talk about tech and health. I needed to have confidence in what I was bringing to the party! I hope as technology becomes more integral to the education curriculum, this potential barrier might be overcome.

When developing a project, you might not be the most technically skilled person but be clear on what your role is. Also be flexible and adaptable, you need to anticipate change both in terms of market, customer need and technology so my tips would be:

  1. Evolve with technology – it can be a great game changer in a fiercely competitive market. Our business is founded upon the principle of using technology to improve people’s lives.
  2. Anticipate change – Markets constantly change and fluctuate and it is hard to predict what may happen in the future. Whilst, it is important to implement a business plan, you need to remain flexible and responsive.
  3. Disrupt the status quo – venture out into the unknown. This is exactly what we did and it certainly has paid off.

Getting girls into STEM

I think that STEM subjects and computer science should form part of everyone’s education to a certain level (and this coming from a history grad!). As regards to women specifically, there are some scary stats out there – a very recent PWC report on Women in Tech states that only 3% of females say a career in technology is their first choice, 78% of students can’t name a famous female working in technology and 16% of females have had a career in technology suggested to them, compared to 33% of males.

Diversity in all sectors is very important and particularly in the key sector that will transform the way we live and work over both the short term and long term. It is critical that women play their part in that.

Rewarding career

Being able to see transformative change in a short amount of time is awe-inspiring. The service my team and I developed now delivers a clinical service to over 100,000 people in a way that was not contemplated less than a decade ago in this country and we hope to increase this number tenfold in the next year.

The Every Woman award I received earlier this year recognises both innovation and technology and contributes to achieving the nurturing environment we need to develop . For me personally, I am so pleased and proud to celebrate the success of my efforts together with the team and clients of Doctor Care Anywhere.

 

 

 

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