Uncharted

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Patient charts in the cloud.

What did you do over the weekend? Jack Newberry took a serious problem that’s been irritating him for a long time, found a team, banged up a prototype, and built a business around the solution in 54 hours.  Out of Startup Weekend, Uncharted was born.

jackJack is a Surgical Registrar at Capital Coast District Health Board (Wellington Hospital), and deals with critically ill patients in their many manifestations on a daily basis. His frustration? Those clipboards that hang at the end of every hospital bed, with bits of dead trees scrawled with illegible notes clipped together in a way makes them difficult to quickly analyse.

Patient charts have not changed much in the last 50 years. The problems are institutional inertia, overworked IT departments who struggle to maintain the status quo, and vendors providing walled gardens which are difficult to integrate with.

Uncharted is a solution that allows doctors and nurses to quickly record key patient data electronically into a cloud-based database via tablets, and then perform instant analysis on these data to determine if the patient needs immediate attention. A key benefit is that no integration with existing hospital IT systems is required – hospitals can implement Uncharted quickly, and start seeing immediate benefits.

breccancharlieJack pitched his idea to the participants at Wellington Startup Weekend HEALTH, and attracted a great team, including Rabid Tech’s Breccan McLeod-Lundy, Snapper’s Charlie Gavey, surgeon Saxon Connor, Nick Comer, and devs Jon Waghorn, Eugene Rakhimov, and Jack Ewing.

Startup Weekends start on a Friday evening with entrepreneurs like Jack pitching to each other, then organically forming teams, validating customers and markets, designing and building the solution. The event finishes on Sunday evening with pitching to a panel of judges. Mentors and coaches support the teams right the way through. At the event Jack and his team participated in, four of the 11 teams had paying customers on board by the end of the event.

Uncharted has already received interest from a number of hospitals. Jack’s main gripe with medical software is that it’s so difficult to use. He says it seems that usability is often the bottom priority, and it felt great to put an app together over a weekend that solved an important problem, looked smart, and was easy to use.

Uncharted’s priorities now are to build their team, get customers on board here in New Zealand, and immediately start considering the opportunities in much larger overseas markets. Most New Zealand doctors have spent time overseas, and the charting problem is a worldwide issue. Jack’s overseas market entry plan is to use the network of doctors in New Zealand to get into overseas hospitals with this great solution that does one thing really well. We all know there will be more to it than that, but it’s a good start.

There is competition, notably in a product called PatienTrack, but there is plenty of room for more players. Uncharted’s differentiation is simplicity and usability.

The bottom line is a bit scary: 1% of surgical procedures end in preventable death, known as “failure to rescue”. Uncharted aims to reduce that by providing centralised early detection for patients that are showing signs of trouble. And after all, life is priceless.

If you’d like to find out more about Uncharted, contact Jack directly.

swStartup Weekends are held all over the country, from Whangarei to Invercargill, and staffed by volunteers like me. If you’d like to get involved in an event, head over to startupweekend.co.nz and check it out.

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