DCB 0129
May 1, 2024
Approx min read

5 Minutes with Isla Health

Written by
The Naq Team

Regulatory compliance has been named as one of the biggest challenges to digital health innovation. To cut through the complexity and provide practical guidance, we're gathering leading health entrepreneurs to share their proven strategies.

This week, we've been speaking with Pete Hansell, CEO & Co-founder at Isla Health:

What is your innovation, who does it help and how?

Our goal at Isla Health is to transform the healthcare system with a fresh approach to care delivery. As the system faces growing challenges in meeting the population's needs, it is more critical than ever to embrace this change. At Isla, we advocate for a shift from the traditional in-person method of gathering patient information to a continuous and asynchronous process. This transition enables clinicians to monitor and understand a patient's condition as it changes outside the hospital, allowing for proactive and efficient interventions.

The Isla platform enables hospitals to adopt this innovative model on a large scale, covering the entire care workflow and all clinical specialties. Through Isla, clinicians can effortlessly create automated digital pathways to collect various types of data, such as images, videos, sound recordings, and clinical forms, from patients, families, and fellow healthcare providers at key points along the care journey. This data stream supercharges triage, remote consultations, long-term monitoring, and post-operative care in secondary and community healthcare settings.

What markets do you sell into, and what standards do you need to enter these markets?

Currently, we sell mainly into the UK market (but we are expanding and have been venturing into the global markets too). This involves understanding and complying with various regulatory standards set by organisations like the MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency), CQC (Care Quality Commission), and NICE (The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence).

Navigating regulations concerning data protection (GDPR), patient safety, and clinical efficacy is challenging. Moreover, establishing trust and partnerships with healthcare professionals and established institutions, such as the NHS, requires that we consistently demonstrate the value and effectiveness of our platform through rigorous clinical trials and evidence/ROI-based outcomes. The competitive landscape with existing healthcare providers and technologies can add further complexity into entering the healthcare market.

What part of compliance did you find most painful?

In the early days of the business, the information governance and clinical safety compliance requirements were quite a significant challenge to meet. There is a lot of that, often quite rightly, that needs to be in place before being ready to enter the market. As the business has matured, these areas have become a real strength for us, often to the extent that our customers now seek our advice on these topics both within and beyond the Isla platform.

What compliance advice would you give other innovators?

Our advice here would be to find a pragmatic yet diligent first-pattern organisation and be upfront that there is work to do on your side to ensure you are safe and compliant. The right partner organisation will be willing to work with you to understand when different requirements become relevant to you and which are not yet relevant - expect to give something in return for this as it’s a valuable insight!

What will change now that you are part of the NHS Innovation Accelerator?

I couldn’t be more pleased to have been selected as a fellow of the 2024 cohort. NIA is such a prestigious programme for tech innovators and other passionate NHS change makers. I believe this incredible opportunity will accelerate innovation and the adoption of our platform in line with the NHS Long-Term Plan, helping to address the most pressing healthcare challenges in the UK.

Through NIA’s supportive network, we hope to benefit from all the valuable resources, guidance, and collaboration opportunities to drive progress. This kind of support is so important for a fast-growing firm like Isla. Both myself and my team are dedicated to shaping the future of accessible, efficient, and impactful healthcare. With our platform’s capability to increase provider capacity and meet the increasing demand for clinical services, the support and guidance from NIA will help ensure more clinicians and patients alike can benefit from our powerful technology. We are very excited about the opportunities that lie ahead in the coming year.

A huge thank you to Pete Hansell and the team at Isla Health for sharing their valuable compliance insights. Visit their website to learn more about Isla's innovative solution, or follow them on LinkedIn to keep up with their latest developments.