This is what Dr Paul Upton and his business partner Alan Sanders discovered when they founded Ultramed in 2014. Cornwall Trade and Investment’s Brand Consultant, Sophie, met with Paul to capture their story.
Paul and Alan’s collaboration was the result of a chance meeting on one of the returning daily flights from London to Cornwall Airport Newquay. After both discovering a shared passion for sailing, conversation progressed from leisure to business and how Paul’s medical knowledge as a Consultant Anaesthetist could be applied to Alan’s expertise in creative design to develop a digitised alternative to existing preoperative assessment processes. The result was MyPreOp, a programme that empowers patients to complete their patient assessment from their own digital device, increasing accuracy of data capture and reducing NHS waiting times. The project built on Paul’s long standing interest in preoperative assessment having been on the NICE panel that established the preoperative investigation guidelines in 2002. “My skills allowed me to develop the clinical algorithm for the software and ensure that the medical elements were correct, whilst Alan designed an interface that patients would like and use.”
At the time of interview Ultramed was based in the Health and Wellbeing Centre in Truro (having subsequently moved to the second of Cornwall’s three business acceleration facilities, Tremough Innovation Centre). The centres are delivered by Plymouth University on behalf of Cornwall Council and focus on supporting businesses at all stages of their journey, from incubation through to mature enterprises looking to innovate and grow. According to Paul, “being based at the Health and Wellbeing Centre was incredibly beneficial for Ultramed, not just in terms of physical space, but also because of the support and knowledge that comes with the facility. The centre is home to a number of businesses from across the Healthtech spectrum with a breadth of knowledge and experience.”
The majority of Ultramed’s rapidly expanding team, including Paul and Alan, live in the Falmouth area driving the decision to move operations to Tremough Innovation Centre at the start of 2017.
“The strength of Cornwall’s digital infrastructure has allowed our business to be very agile and the positive experience that we have had with the Truro based Innovation Centre made deciding where in Falmouth to move very easy.”Dr Paul Upton
In addition to expanding the existing team, Ultramed are also collaborating with Cornwall-based software company Buzz Interactive to develop the platform’s software. “It’s a huge advantage to work with another Cornwall based company. Being able to problem solve in face-to- face meetings is invaluable and something that we wouldn’t have been able to do if it wasn’t for the skilled labour force of a local company.” The type of collaboration seen between Ultramed and Buzz Interactive is commonplace in the region. Superfast Broadband allows Cornwall based businesses to connect with partners and clients both locally and globally. This digital infrastructure, combined with a thriving community of creative and technical talent, has resulted in the region becoming home to a melting pot of innovative businesses.
Working and living in Cornwall is undeniably different to the hustle and bustle of London, but for Ultramed the differences are solely positive. “Being an outstanding employer is one of our five strategic objectives.” The business takes a progressive view on operations with schemes such as flexible working. “It is hugely important to us that our team are able to work in a way that allows them to do their job most effectively.” This outlook is something that can be witnessed throughout Cornwall with many businesses embracing the flexibility that the region’s connectivity enables, providing employees with a sense of balance between professional and personal life that simply cannot be achieved for many inner city commuters.
Ultramed’s story is one of collaboration at its very best, a chance meeting of two highly skilled Cornwall based business people, combining knowledge and expertise to solve a common goal.
To find out more about Ultramed please visit ultramed.co or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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