Speaking at MedTech (and many more!)

When I talk to those in the tech industry,  I usually get asked – “But why is  the MediStori not an app?” And the answer is simple – I asked my customers what they wanted, and this is what I was told. Additionally, there is the major point that most acute hospitals and GP’s do not have public Wi-Fi access and so how would people open their apps without having to pay for their own data?

Anyway, because I’m not a “techie”, I normally am not asked to go particular conferences or shows related to technology in healthcare. But I decided to see if I could go to MedTech’s event in Galway because I wanted to prove a concept that innovation isn’t always about technology. I didn’t think I’d stand a chance so you can imagine my surprise when I was told that my submission to MedTech’s Start Up Academy of Excellence 2014 was successful?

I was delighted because I wanted the opportunity to show that innovation comes from just finding out what the problems are, and meeting those needs, be it technology or otherwise. I also wanted to show that there is an urgent need, for unified, universal solutions and that we all need to work together to achieve this.

I often get asked to speak at many events as you can see from the images below!

Selected for Clinton Global Initiative

I was personally hand picked to be 1 of the 10,000 women across the world to be video interviewed by the CLINTON GLOBAL INITIATIVE! This 3 minute video, includes me talking about my experiences of being a working mum & a carer of my three children & dad, but also includes a detailed account of the MediStori. Of the 10,000 interviewed, my video was picked with just 9 others was showcased at the CGI National AGM 2014, where world leaders , such as Bill, Hilary Clinton and Barack Obama were present. This video is now on the Aroyga World website where the results from the survey are on the United Nations website. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rgd1QAoZGxA
Thanks so much @irishpatientsassociation @molecularmedicine @clintonglobalinitiative @kevinwalker for this amazing opportunity!

Winning Special Merit Sccul Award

On January the 29th, 2015 I sat in the audience clapping for all the winners whose names were being pulled out for the Sccul Enterprise Awards in NUI, Galway. With over 160 businesses submitting entry’s, I was delighted to have even made the shortlist.Little did I know, that that list was going to get even shorter. Throughout the day people asked me if I was in for an award, and truthfully, I wasn’t really sure. I kept thinking to myself, I’d love to win a “One to Watch” award as it would nearly give me a challenge for next year! Anyway, I was having a great day and the buzz all around was electric. So I sat there looking up at the screen while it was announced that there were two special awards, also being given out. I sat back and relaxed because I knew this couldn’t possibly be my area…until suddenly…and the winner of the Special Merit Sccul Enterprise Award 2014 is…Minimate Limited. What was funny was that, I nearly didn’t recognise the company name was my own because I’m so associated with my product brand name, MediStori! Margaret Charlton from Enterprise Ireland had to prod me to get up as I was in shock! I was very emotional, as I had put in a very long and hard few years to get my business off the ground – and throughout it all, I stuck to my ethics and vision. A Merit Award couldn’t have made me feel prouder. And out of all of those amazing businesses also who had entered. I am proud to say I am an entrepreneur, and prouder to say I am a “mumtrepreneur”. Thank you to all the judges who believe in me – I promise I will always work hard to keep up to the standard of such a prestigious award.

Winning New Frontiers Investment with Enterprise Ireland

In 2013, nearly 100 entrepreneurs applied for Phase One of Enterprise Ireland’s prestigious New Frontiers programme in 2013. Thirty of these were selected and all of whom presented in a “Dragon Den” style pitch to get on to Phase 2. Our company, presenting the MediStori as our first product, were one of 13 to get on to this Phase. 

Starting the programme, we learned that we had access to worldwide renowned business mentors and entrepreneurs and were also were landed with a €15,000 start up fund. With bimonthly reviews by the New Frontiers team, we had to prove we were putting our market research, product development and business methodologies and strategies into action. 

Upon completion of Phase 2, we were given the option to present again to get unto Phase 3. Eight of the thirteen entrepreneurs were picked – and again, we were one of them! 

I highly recommend this programme to any entrepreneur as what I learned from the team and business mentors is invaluable and I put it into practise on a daily basis in my own business. So it’s onwards and upwards from here on in!

Launching my Research at the RCPI

Pictured with Mr Stephen McMahon, IPA; Dr Rupert Fawdry, NHS, Mr Richard Corbridge, CIO HSE, Ms Deirdre Munro Founder Global Villages

Last year was without a doubt an extremely turbulent year, not just in my own life, but also in the global world of politics; the world of entertainment (loss of so many famous people) and in the world of our environment (learning of the real impact of global warming). 

We, as humans though, can often look back, reflecting on the all the negatives, but sometimes, I feel, it is better to focus on all the positives that happen. I personally faced extreme lows in 2016, but in keeping with my last post related to my New Year resolutions, I decided to remind myself of all my own personal highs… 

In just one year I am glad to say that:

I became the International Ethical Governance Lead of the World Health Innovation Summit

I was interviewed on The Business Show (RTE); Ireland AM Breakfast Show (live TV), iRadio (and many local stations) and had an article about my work published and shared by HER.ie, and many local newspapers

I became an International Fellow of the England Centre Practice Development [ECPD], Canterbury University and became a patient reviewer with the British Medical Journal [BMJ]

I got into the top ten businesses in my category in the Virgin VOOM awards and presented to their teams in London 

I was a rapporteur for IPPOSI regarding EHR’s and eHealth

I participated in, and facilitated, many workshops and projects including: Global Village Health Translation; International #fabnhsday guide for Colostrum; NDRC – Business Mentor for Health Tech Start-Ups; Facilitator for SOUND, ICAN and SUGRU; Patient Representative for HSE working groups – National PPPG Framework; National QI Programme Prevention VTE; Paediatric Early Warning Score System (PEWS) ; National Sexual Health Strategy; National Maternity Strategy; National Medical Card Form; National Health Service Vision 2026.

I worked with DCU on a literature review commissioned by the Department of Health on Public Patient Involvement.

I met with the HealthXL team and produced an article related to Medication Non Adherence solutions

I visited Google HQ and Virgin HQ  in Dublin 

I also keynoted and spoke at many conferences including:  eHealth Ecosystem (Lighthouse Projects); IADT (Social Entrepreneurship); Maynooth University (eHealth); SOUND Charity AGM; Rotunda Hospital (Thrombosis Day) and the World Health Innovation Summit (WHIS) Cumbria to name but a few..

But the biggest highlight, for me, was launching my own project, the MediStori, at the prestigious Royal College of Physicians [RCPI] last June.

I had been working on this project for nearly four years. This piece of work meant so much to me on a personal level as it was built initially for my dad, and then progressed out of a sheer need to change our system – and not a need to make money or profits. I learned along my entrepreneurial journey that this is one of the main characteristics of a social entrepreneur. I strived to make the world a better place, through simple processes and tool-kits which would empower both patients, carers and health professionals alike. 

Even still though, after winning numerous awards and accolades, I was determined to validate this work through a national research project.

I knew that when people met me and saw the product they were often empathetic and nice to me, upon hearing my personal story, but I was wary that this would not truly validate the toolkit in hand. So I reached out to the HSE, and with their support, I was able to commission a researcher from NUIG, Dr Padraig Mac Neela, to externally validate the project in hand.

After a year of working with two national acute hospitals and numerous national charities; going through ethics committees and designing surveys, I was proud to say that we had successfully validated the MediStori.  

The Time 2 responses were an endorsement of the potential for the MediStori to have a positive impact on patient outcomes. Three quarters (79%) of participants said that it had impacted on their management of medications; eighty per cent said it had impacted on how they managed health care appointments; nearly 80% indicated it had an impact on how they communicated health care information to health care professionals. For over two thirds (77%), the MediStori had had an impact on how they felt in their ability to manage their child’s condition. In combination with positive perceptions of the MediStori’s usability, the Pilot Study findings are indicative of a strong potential for making a contribution to health care practice as ninety three percent of all participants had used the Medicine Memo to write down their child’s medication and the times the medications were given. Similarly, 100% of those who responded indicated that it was a good idea to have the MediStori to manage their child’s medication. [Mac Neela, 2015]

So many people were involved in this project and it was a great pleasure when many of whom turned up on at the launch and many others accepted my invitation to speak on the day also. 

Speakers at the launch of MediStori included: 

Mr. Stephen Mc Mahon – CEO Irish Patients Association

Mr. Richard Corbridge – CIO for the HSE; CIO eHealth Ireland

Dr Padraig Mac Neela – Senior Psychology Lecture NUIG; Researcher MediStori

Dr. Amir Hannan – GP, Manchester [NHS] and Chairperson of the World Health Innovation Summit

Ms. Deirdre Munro – Founder Global Village Networks; Midwife, Researcher and Lecturer

Mr T.J. Hughes – Senior Development Advisor, Enterprise Ireland

Ms. June Boulger – National Lead Public Patient Partnership Acute Hospitals, HSE

Dr. Rupert Fawdry – Founder WISDAM Project; Lead on Maternity Records [NHS]

Every person had something valuable to say about their own work in the domain of healthcare and this added to the vision I have – that healthcare crosses all spectrums. 

I have to say my own highlight of the day [with obvious bias!] was when my beautiful 13 year old daughter, and patient, Micaela spoke to the audience. 

Micaela finished the day talking about what it was to be a young undiagnosed patient in Ireland and the difficulties that it in itself can entail. I was so very proud of her as it was not easy to stand in front of so many and tell her story. 

And this is what I do in healthcare.

I aim to empower others to share their stories, to not feel isolated or ashamed or to feel like their voice is too small to be heard. 

Toolkits and processes can help with this, but more importantly when people work together, this is when real movements and change starts. 

I am so grateful for every single person who has helped me on my journey , especially the teams in the RCPI for helping me with the launch, and am looking forward to more highlights in 2017. I aim to push the MediStori Movement to the next level and I know this can be achieved with the right people supporting it. 

Thank you to all involved and if you would like to read more about this project please see www.medistori.com/proof

For more on my blogs or posts please visit www.oliveoconnor.com

Upcoming events I am in involved in for 2017:

National Primary Care Conference, Ireland
Canterbury University, UK
National Sustainability Summit, Ireland
WHIS Ireland, WHIS Cumbria
National Health Summit, Ireland
DCU Framework Public Patient Involvement

Shortlisted for KPMG Awards

At the end of Enterprise Irelands New Frontiers Programme, only a select few got on to the next round, Phase 3. This is where I became a finalist at this intensive stage to pitch to giants, KPMG.

“Our next winner is a mum to three children, who each have chronic illnesses. Keeping an eye on three children at the best of times isn’t easy, but Olive found herself really struggling to track all the medication, appointments and paperwork that went along with chronic illness. This led her to her fourth baby ‘MediStori’. This was the speech that led to me hearing that I had won the JCI Mayo Young Person in Medical Innovation Award 2015! I was completely taken aback because 1) Young Person!?! – I’m 33, haha and 2) I hadn’t entered the competition. I found out later that Áine, our amazing Project Manager in the MediStori team had nominated me for this amazing prize! After meeting some of the fantastic regional contestants and winners, I was taken by even more surprise when on the eve of my gentle dads anniversary, on the 16th May 2015, I went on to win the National Award for Medical Innovation. I met really and truly amazing people at this ceremony and felt both overwhelmed and privileged to be surrounded by same. It’s internationals next go and if I get there, next stop will be Tokyo! Áine has written a fantastic blog post on what JCI do and I would encourage everyone to read it… [click here to read blog]