After recently winning £80,000 and a trip to Silicon Valley from the Scottish EDGE round 10 awards, Dr Alasdair Mort, the founder and CEO of Inverness-based medical-tech company MIME Technologies talks about the inception of the firm.
Hi Alasdair, could you tell us a little about MIME's background?
MIME stands for Managing Information in Medical Emergencies and we started life at the University of Aberdeen's Centre for Rural Health in Inverness.
Our aim is to develop next generation software to support the first person on-scene at emergencies. We focus our solutions on first responders with basic training, who are relied upon the world over to come to people's aid. Just think about community members volunteering to provide immediate care in remote and rural Scotland, or the Red Cross providing first aid support at concerts and sports events. The market is extremely large. The problem we identified is that first responders don't always record the level of data needed for legal audit and clinical governance. They have a really tough job, and we want to give them all the support they need to deliver best possible care.
Where did the idea behind MIME Technologies come from?
MIME began life towards the end of my PhD research. I had been exploring novel patient monitoring technologies for search and rescue, and we decided to widen the research to include care in communities. We focused very specifically on Community First Responders in Scotland, who volunteer to provide care while an ambulance is en-route. This can be incredibly important if an ambulance is some time away.
How exactly does MIME work?
Our first product MIME Pro is software capable of running on multiple mobile devices. It provides an aide memoire of first aid training, links with some of the latest wireless medical sensors, and facilitates the rapid recording of all other critical data. Our MIME Lite product focuses on the capabilities of the medical sensors, providing ubiquitous monitoring. This product is aimed at patient monitoring in hospitals and hospices.
What's in store for the future of MIME?
We've only just ‘spun out' of the University of Aberdeen, so we are very new! We have been working hard to develop our cloud solution (funded by Scottish Edge), which will see data streamed live from the software to anywhere in the world. We're also looking to secure trials of our technology with end user groups.
How do you think new digital technologies will shape the future of healthcare?
I've been involved in digital health technologies for the last 10 years, and much has changed over that time. We are probably still at the stage in the UK where we rely upon innovators and early adopters to use novel technologies. Things are far from mainstream, but it's improving. Certainly, the consumer end of the device spectrum has seen massive growth, eg FitBits and the Apple Watch. This can only help to raise awareness of digital health solutions. I'm particularly passionate that every person should have access to these technologies, but very often new technology widens the inequality gap. I think it's incumbent on everyone – companies, health providers, governments – to work to address this.