If there is a campus company that embodies the spirit of Sci-Tech Daresbury, it might just be ORCHA. One of the key figures in the site’s HealthTech Cluster, last year the firm scaled up to the new Violet development, in line with the Home for Life ethos that is so important to the campus.
“Our mission is simple,” says Tim Andrews, co-Founding President and CCO at ORCHA. “To get more people using digital health to improve their health and well-being. We want to integrate digital health into normal healthcare. It should be a standard part of how health is supported and delivered. Given the strain and difficulties all healthcare systems face, as we all know from watching the news, digital offers a huge opportunity. It allows patients and the population to better manage their own health and care, which is a central part of healthcare systems globally. It's a plan for how we deal with the challenges we know exist.
“One thing we often hear when talking about A&E attendances, is that nobody having a heart attack can use an app to sort it out. Whilst that is true, the reality is that the wait for an ambulance or how quickly they can get into an A&E department is directly affected by how many others are putting pressure on the system. This is where digital can help, especially in vulnerable populations with long-term conditions. If digital can improve their mobility, activity, and mood, which it can, it eases the strain on the system and increases the chances of timely care.”
Over the past year, work with the STFC Hartree Centre at Sci-Tech Daresbury has proven pivotal to the development of ORCHA’s work.
“What we collaborated on with the Hartree Centre was how we could use elements of AI to complement, and in some cases, reduce some of that human effort. This way, assessors can focus on more valuable elements that can't be done by technology.
ORCHA has also collaborated with Health Innovation North West Coast on a study on patient consent related to health data,
“We view them and other agencies as natural partners in our efforts to support our supplier network and enhance digital health offerings,” says Tim.
“The ability for ORCHA to work more easily and quickly with on-campus organisations like the Hartree Centre and Health Innovation North West, is part of the benefit and opportunity that a naturally collaborative environment like Sci-Tech Daresbury gives to the innovative businesses on the site” says John. “This collaborative environment is developed and supported through a range of activities from monthly networking events, specialist forums and support programmes. Coupled with a business support team that has both intelligence of the businesses and direct relationships with the management team, makes it easier to bring organisations together where there is natural synergy and opportunity”