An electronic consent platform using 3D animations which will help ophthalmologists and optometrists save time and resources is being developed by a Coventry business after receiving a grant.
Medical software specialists Optimed in Ansty Road, Wyken, which launched 17 years ago, creates 3D animations to educate patients about a wide range of subjects from cataracts and laser eye surgery to glaucoma and many other clinical procedures.
Until now, the business owners have ploughed their own savings into developing the company but after contacting the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) Growth Hub, they have been successful in receiving a grant for £23,659 through the Investment Fund under the Coventry and Warwickshire Business Support Programme which is funded through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
How has the support received helped?
The grant has enabled Optimed to develop its R&D service to improve the speed of content development and test its electronic/digital consent software solution. CAPTIV8 Consent will improve the process of medical consent and ensure patients better understand the risks and benefits of treatments delivered by clinicians.
Dr Trusit Dave, founder and director at Optimed, said the grant is helping the business to further develop its products:
“Patient understanding is key for people to make informed decisions about surgery. Our electronic consent platform can be performed face-to-face or entirely virtually,” he said.
“Our state-of-the-art animations provide full explanations in simple terms. Patients can watch the animations as many times as they want.
“There are many languages spoken in the UK, by allowing patients to review the content on their smart phone or tablet and then demonstrating their understanding by answering simple questions about what they’ve watched, doctors can be sure that the message is consistent and that patients have understood the information.
“Our platform then transfers this information to the CAPTIV8 Consent application which can be used to obtain signatures and annotate consent documents.
“One of the elements of the grant is to test our platform in a clinical setting to identify the time savings and usability.
“The NHS is keen to digitise processes such as consent and referral – the benefits of this have been brought home to us all by Covid-19.
“The CAPTIV8 Consent platform is flexible so we can extend it to other medical specialities such as cardiology or paediatrics.
“We’re also developing a referral platform to allow community optometrists to refer their patients to ophthalmologists.
“The grant has really helped us to speed-up our development.
“The Growth Hub’s support in making the application was fantastic and really quick so we were able to complete the paperwork efficiently.”
Cllr Jim O’Boyle, Cabinet Member for Jobs, Regeneration and Climate Change at Coventry City Council, said:
“It’s incredible to see the benefits of the fund to local businesses, helping to drive innovation in Coventry and make a real difference to the experiences of patients, both in the local area and nationally.
“With the grant support from the Investment Fund, businesses like Optimed are leading the way in creating the jobs of the future, right here in Coventry. I would urge other local businesses to take advantage of the fund to drive investment and unlock new opportunities for growth.”
Justine Chadwick, account manager at the CWLEP Growth Hub, said Optimed is an innovative business which has the expertise to further expand its services. She said:
“The team at Optimed is brimming with ideas in this specialist field which makes a real difference to people with eye conditions since the animations help to build trust and ease any fears they may have about treatment or surgery.
“Optimed has never previously received any grants and it is great that one of the aims of the Investment Fund is to support businesses that have not previously had any funding.
“Completing application forms can sometimes appear daunting but we helped Optimed every step of the way which is one of the many services that the Growth Hub provides.”
About the Coventry & Warwickshire Business Support Programme
The Coventry and Warwickshire Business Support Programme is receiving up to £9,190,583 of funding from the European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for the European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding.
The government is committed to making the Midlands an Engine for Growth in the UK, increasing economic growth and improving the quality of life for everyone. The Midlands is home to over 10 million people and over 780,000 businesses. Its economy is worth £217.7 billion.
Alongside over €750 million of European Regional Development Fund support for businesses and communities across the Midlands, the government has awarded £1.9 billion in three rounds of Growth Deals.