Local lass achieves another first in Berlin


MIRI: Local girl Dr Michelle Teo Ai Ling achieved another milestone by winning seed money of 50,000 pound (RM230,000) for her SmartWard apps at Seedcamp Week Berlin recently.

SmartWard had won a place as one of the 20 top startup teams, and captured a coveted spot in the Seedcamp accelerator programme that was declared the top European accelerator in 2011.

“Dr Michelle will retire as a doctor with NHS Hospital in Nottingham, and join the startup company at Google’s campus in Shoreditch technology hub in London this July as its CEO, to focus on SmartWard development to deliver a beta version for a three-month trial run,” said her mother Diana Yeoh who was an educator at a local private school in Riam here.

As the spouse of newly elected Miri MP Dr Michael Teo, Yeoh was excited to learn of her daughter’s latest achievement after completion of her medical housemanship in the UK last year.

According to Yeoh, after Dr Michelle won seed funding in Germany, the UK decided that NHS (National Health System) hospitals must go digital, with NHS Health secretary Jeremy Hunt announcing a government budget of 260 million pound.

“Dr Michelle plans to meet up with the Health secretary to recommend SmartWard,” she added.

Subsequently, SmartWard will be introduced to hospitals here and elsewhere in the world, which is a smart application accessible through smartphones and tablets to improve patient care and save lives.

Last November, Dr Michelle’s SmartWard won the London Startup Weekend competition; topped the charts for Local Startup Weekends around the world; and went on to win third place in the Global Startup Battle 2012.

As a practising doctor and entrepreneur, Dr Michelle managed to build a strong, nine-person team, including current business partner, award-winning UX designer Jacopo Marcantonio.

The team used Dr Michelle’s firsthand perspective while working in a cancer ward to differentiate SmartWard, observing that “software built for doctors often doesn’t take into account what doctors really do.”

She outlined two main problems – ward management relying on pieces of paper that get skipped over, lost, or not handed over; and that none of the doctors know who is supposed to be around.

Shockingly, 1,000 patients die each month from hospital errors in the UK alone, hence SmartWard was designed to overcome such problems by reducing human error, streamlining ward communication involving rapidly changing information and critical tasks for patient care into one place.

“I want to build a product that is so good, it would be ethically wrong not to use it,” she added.