Making It Work: Giving patients a ‘digital health companion’ and peace of mind

Una Kearns brings 30 years’ experience working in Silicon Valley to her e-health start-up based in Dublin

29th January, 2021
Making It Work: Giving patients a ‘digital health companion’ and peace of mind
Una Kearns, founder and chief executive of myPatientSpace: ‘I’ve always been fascinated by the intersection of healthcare and technology.’ Picture: Fergal Phillips

Tech executive Una Kearns is applying lessons learned over the course of a 30-year career in Silicon Valley to myPatientSpace, an e-health venture she has co-founded in Dublin.

Kearns established the business in Malahide in late 2017 with Kumar Chalasani, a fellow developer she met in the US who is now based in Dublin.

“I’m from Malahide originally and wanted to set up a business here in the tech space when I came home,” Kearns said.

“I’d worked with Kumar at EMC in Silicon Valley. I was a senior director in the company’s content management division and he led software architecture for the EMC vLab Cloud.

“We wanted to use all that experience to develop a really good business-to-business digital health solution that would genuinely help patients and their care teams.”

Kearns describes myPatientSpace as an end-to-end health and therapeutics platform, which she says “digitises the entire patient journey”.

“We call it a digital health companion people can use, either as an app or web interface, to help manage their own treatment,” she said.

“I come from a family of doctors. I was the black sheep, studying computer engineering at Trinity in the early nineties, but I’ve always been fascinated by the intersection of healthcare and technology.

“The idea for myPatientSpace came about when a good friend of mine was going through major surgery. They found the whole process of communicating with their care team quite stressful.

“I knew I could use my tech background to develop a digital platform that could make this whole process easier for other patients undergoing lots of different kinds of treatment.”

MyPatientSpace allows patients to connect to their care teams remotely. They can schedule and track appointments with automated reminders and record how they are getting on using virtual survey and assessment tools.

“Their healthcare professionals can use it to connect with the patient, to manage tasks, triage and track how they are doing remotely,” Kearns said.

The company’s clients in Ireland include St James’s Hospital and ResMed PEI. It was recently selected by the Crown Commercial Service in Britain as a supplier to the public sector.

“One of our early adopters and clinical champions is Professor John O’Byrne, who is using myPatientSpace for orthopaedic patients undergoing total joint replacement at the Mater Private,” Kearns said.

“We’re also working with the HSE on a project involving five hospitals and we will also go live shortly at the National Orthopaedic Hospital, Cappagh.”

MyPatientSpace is a client company of Enterprise Ireland and has received Competitive Start funding from the state agency. Kearns and Chalasani plan to open a €2.5 million funding round later this year.

“We are at the point now where we’ve proven our product. The next step will be to look for investment so we can scale up the business,” Kearns said.

“Enterprise Ireland has been a great support to our company already, both here and abroad.”

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