SmartWard patient care app wins London Startup Weekend competition

SmartWard, an app that reduces hospital paperwork and helps save lives, has been named the winner of the London Startup Weekend, a competition to find the best new business ideas.

The software was designed and built over a weekend by a small team of technology experts, and it aims to reduce human error in hospitals by introducing a streamlined, paperless solution to patient care.

It was selected by a panel of judges last night as the best to emerge at the 48-hour event, which was held at The Telegraph’s offices. Teams of entrepreneurs and web developers gathered to come up with new businesses from scratch in just two days.

They used freely-available data, including some recently released by the Government, to quickly build websites and mobile apps. Other entries included Parker, an app to help users find a parking space, and Bake it Sell it, an online marketplace for small bakers.

Dr Michelle Teo, one of eight developers and designers who created SmartWard, said that she came up with the idea for the app while working at Nottingham City Hospital.

She said: “Initially I came to this event to build software that would integrate all patient information into one access point.
“Because there are only two days in the start-up weekend we focused on patient information which is stored on one sheet of paper called the handover sheet.

“If this sheet of paper goes missing the repercussions can be serious.

“I had a lot of ideas about how to reduce human error because I feel in hospitals we’re in the 1970s in terms of the implementation of technology.”

Ed Roussel, Digital Editor of Telegraph Media Group, said of the winners: “The judges were impressed by a convincing product with real benefits to both medical practitioners and patients. We were also impressed by the efforts the team put in to create an app over the weekend that would help do away with paperwork and reduce the workload for busy doctors.”

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, who visited the teams on Sunday, said initiatives such as the Startup Weekend could help “rebalance” the economy towards technology. The event was part of “Silicon Valley Comes to the UK”, an effort to encourage more technology entrepreneurialism in Britain.

“London is already a global leader in technology innovation, but as this fantastic weekend organised by the Telegraph has demonstrated, we have the potential to go further, think bigger, and be better,” said Mr Johnson.

“It is vital we do everything we can to support developers, nurturing the growth of London as a high tech leader to deliver high quality jobs and drive growth. The bright minds on show this weekend prove to me we’ve got what it takes.”

London’s technology sector has recently been boosted by Amazon, Facebook and Google, who have all opened new engineering offices to take advantage of the city’s software development talent.

The Mayor said 40,000 people in the capital already work in the technology sector.