During London Startup Weekend, while other participants were building lifestyle, education and loyalty apps, the team behind SmartWard were determined to save lives. Lead by Malaysian-born doctor, Michelle Teo, SmartWard is a task-management application that aims to improve communication in hospitals. Think of SmartWard as Basecamp for the healthcare industry.
According to the team, about 500 people die globally due to hospital errors. As a doctor at Nottingham City Hospital, the issue is one that hits close to home for Michelle. The SmartWard team comprises of user interface designers from Italy and Chile, software developers from the UK, Greece and Dubai, a genetics undergraduate from Greece and an MBA candidate who used to run her own software company in India.
Using SmartWard, doctors can get access to the cross-platform service through their desktop or mobile phone. On-site doctors can have their locations tracked through the app while allowing them to track patients in their base ward. SmartWard provides real-time access to information by allowing doctors and other healthcare staff to add jobs and track outstanding tasks quickly, allowing better coordination and reducing redundant duplicates. Through SmartWard, doctors and nurses can allocate tasks to each other with the option of adding deadlines for time-sensitive tasks.
Michelle’s original idea for SmartWard was to integrate all patient information into one access point. However, due the time constrains of Startup Weekend, Michelle and her team chose to focus on one of the main culprits of information transfer errors in hospitals, the handover sheet. The handover sheet is a single piece of paper used to store patient information. Michelle and her team are not the only one who has seen the importance of making handover more effective in hospitals. In a 2005 Medical Journal of Australia, four doctors detailed out a possible solution to implement an electronic medical handover procedure to provide safer medical care.
Currently, SmartWard is looking to run pilot programs in hospitals and are looking for interested parties.
The SmartWard team is now vying for a spot at the Global Start Up Challenge in Silicon Valley. To help SmartWard continue to make medical care better for patients, head on over to the Startup Weekend Facebook page to vote for them. Voting closes today.
Image credits: SmartWard, Johnson Controls