Revolutionising Healthcare: An Interview with Cupris

Hi there, could you tell us a little about Cupris?

Cupris provides a unique solution enabling both healthcare communication through an app and web platform, and clinical examination with smartphone-connected medical devices.

Behind Cupris, there is a team of 7 employees who care deeply about revolutionising healthcare delivery and making a profound difference to people's lives through the work we do. We also have many incredibly supportive advisors and passionate healthcare professionals who help us through our product development and user testing.

Cupris was founded more than 5 years ago by Jules Hamann, an NHS Consultant Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) Surgeon. He felt that a large proportion of his patient consultations were unnecessary and could easily be handled remotely and that the same problem was felt by many doctors in different specialties around the world. Jules co-founded Cupris with Paul Thomas, an award-winning designer and entrepreneur, with the belief that smartphone technology could solve this problem. Mike joined the pair to bring his project management and business skills to the team after meeting Jules through the London Business School, where he was doing an MBA.

 

What is Cupris's mission?

Cupris’s mission is to improve healthcare access globally by enhancing communication in healthcare. Cupris enhances existing relationships between doctors and patients using ubiquitous technology to transform healthcare communication. We allow healthcare professionals to discuss patient cases with their peers and request specialist advice from their colleagues to improve patient outcomes. We empower patients and create better and more affordable tools for healthcare professionals to provide improved care.

 

What was the main motivation behind Cupris?

Today, GPs are overwhelmed, hospitals have huge waiting lists and remote areas have limited access to healthcare. Telemedicine is an extremely attractive solution to bring healthcare closer to the patient. However, most telemedicine solutions focus on providing video or text communication tools, are quite complex and expensive and don’t allow for clinical examinations to be done remotely.

We wanted to provide a communication platform as simple as Whatsapp, with clever features such as the ability to create customised questionnaires to gather the medical history, and to transform the smartphones into affordable medical devices to mirror tools used in primary care. Our motivation is to bring healthcare to everyone, in a simple and affordable way.

 

How exactly does Cupris work, and what is the relationship between the hardware and software aspect of the product?

The Cupris Health Platform enables users to:

  • Capture clinical images of patient conditions using their smartphones

  • Add information using questionnaires, audio recordings, text input, and other tools built into the smartphone app

  • Securely connect with other Cupris Health users to share cases with them through the cloud service.

  • Discuss and monitor patient cases, and receive diagnoses of patient conditions without seeing patients in person.

The software platform is cross-specialty so can be used for the remote consultation of a wide variety of health complaints.

The smartphone-connected medical devices complement the Cupris Health software platform. Not only can you easily and securely communicate through the Cupris Health Platform, but you can also capture images and videos of clinical quality with your smartphone using Cupris’s CE-marked medical devices.

The first device is an otoscope for examining the eardrum. The otoscope can capture clinical images of the eardrum and it has been validated in testing and clinical trials with over 50 healthcare professionals. The otoscope is CE Marked and approved by the MHRA, so can be used as a medical device anywhere in the EU. Cupris Health is also NHS Information Governance Toolkit Compliant - this allows Cupris to access the secure NHS N3 network and handle NHS patient data.

Cupris will provide a full GP Toolkit with the most common tools used by GPs. The Cupris smartphone connected otoscope is ready for launch and will be followed shortly after by an ophthalmoscope for retinal imaging, a dermatoscope and a stethoscope adapter.

Cupris Health is also working on algorithms that can be used to assist the diagnosis of patient conditions using clinical images and data. This will be an important aspect of the Cupris value proposition in future.

 

As well as Cupris, there are lots of innovative new digital health products emerging, where do you see the future of Digital Health, and Healthcare as a whole?

I’ve always been amazed at the routine, systematic methods employed by clinicians to check symptoms and diagnose patients. I reckon the future of healthcare involves a transcription of this process into the domain of machine learning, using algorithms to enable anyone anywhere to be screened and triaged and receive basic primary and preventative care. Doctors will be seen only for complex and specific cases and not for Colds, Flu or Angina. Doctors jobs will be much more challenging with an emphasis on highly personalized medicine and gaining a greater understanding of the social context or factors which contribute to patient disease or illness. This will require a greater understanding of the social aspect of medicine.

 

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First published on Company Connecting October 2016

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