Interview Mark Lomax Healthcare Entrepreneur & CEO at PEP Health - PEP Health Platform / How To Crack the NHS

By Hernaldo Turrillo - Jul 26, 2020

Dr. Mark Lomax is a seasoned healthcare entrepreneur and medical doctor. Prior to establishing PEP Health, Dr. Lomax founded, built and sold an award winning business, MediHome- that tackled where patients should receive their healthcare. Dr. Lomax has worked,and still is, closely working with the NHS to present his thoughts of “How to Crack the NHS” at various conferences. Dr. Mark Lomax has extensive experience in healthtech, raising growth capital, international healthcare delivery, delivering high growth and building high-performing teams; delivering commercial success from the NHS.

Dr. Mark Lomax’s latest company, PEP Health is trying to transform how patient experience is tracked and measured. It can provide reports and insights to hospitals, insurers, commissioners, national bodies and consultancies about the quality of care experienced. It was selected to be part of the NHS Innovation Accelerator in 2020.

Mark Lomax Interview focus

1. An introduction from you - background, overview, education...
2. Career highlights
2.1 Medihome
3. Your company / companies, organisations and focus?
4. How do you tackle the areas of data privacy and protection?
5. How do you see healthcare in the context of Society 5.0 - 4IR and all areas of digital transformation?
6. What are your views on our society, technology and digital transformation when it comes to wellness and healthcare?
7. With Covid-19 what ways do you envision to redesign our society with technology and social impact, especially when it comes to healthcare?

Key Takeaways

I am a doctor who has worked in hospitals, not only in the UK but also in the US and other parts of the world. As a medical doctor I saw there were various challenges that needed to be tackled in healthcare, especially regarding integrating technology to help specialists make better decisions, with better insights and data. It drove me to become an entrepreneur.

I created MediHome following international best practices , especially to tackle that challenge. It was ethical and sustainable and we tried to take everything into consideration, a responsible use of data and technology in the sector, etc. By the time we exited, it was a win win. Patients loved it and it was a successful business.

These kinds of solutions are the way to go in my opinion. Hospitals are not always the best place to be. They can be noisy, lack privacy and the comfort to recover faster. In fact, what I have learned all these years is that people at home recover quicker, but they still need to be monitored.For hospitals and healthcare systems, it was a great tool as they did not have to build new infrastructure or hire more personnel, hence saved costs.

That was what PEP Health has been doing since its inception. I wanted to make an even greater impact, with better insights and was introduced to the founders of PEP Health. I immediately recognised the potential of PEP Health and how it could transform healthcare for the better

Challenges in healthcare. There is a paradox here. Healthcare is probably the riskiest industry on the planet. We need to make sure that people are kept safe and so procedures, treatments that work, are really hard to be changed. But there are innovations that can be introduced and professionals trying to do things differently that find it almost impossible to change the way things are, even if their ideas and technology is proven to improve these legacy systems.

About PEPHealth. Alex Griffiths and Megan Leaver are the founders of PEPHealth. Our platform automatically identifies and gathers millions of items of publicly-available feedback from a variety of online platforms including social media. PEP's custom algorithms categorise and score the feedback providing a proven, accurate and unbiased summary of what patients really think.

People have been wanting this since a long time, and no one has been able to provide this real time experience.

We need to follow a strong ethical procedure to use and manage private data. The key here is to be open and collaborative with the hospitals and the NHS system so we can share that data according to their privacy standards.

Difference between providers/insurers and regulators

Regulator: risk management tool to stratify the hospitals, clinics. People relying on their assessments. We can stratify them and say these are the best, these in the middle, these in the lower quartile.

Insurers: Mindful of the sensitivity of individual data. If people are holding private medical cover, they should be getting high quality service.

How do you see healthcare in the context of Society 5.0 - 4IR and all areas of digital transformation? The next 5 years will see more transformation in the health sector than ever before. And the problem is only getting magnified by COVID-19, and all these routine activities are just getting restarted now that covid is settling. At the moment, these questions are paused rather than knowing what to do about them. Unfortunately, there are going to be difficult decisions on prioritising patients and determining the right services in the future.

In healthcare, and probably in other industries too, there's a lot of quantitative data, but less qualitative data. We have all these data points feeding our systems with new information, but it is not being utilised correctly. That is what we are trying to achieve. Learning, tracking and monitoring is what currently governments need to do in order to make better decisions in the future.

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Mark Lomax Biography

Mark Lomax initially worked in the NHS as a doctor after completing his undergraduate training at Barts Medical School in 1999. After several years of working as a junior doctor across a range of medical specialities, he founded his first business, the award-winning MediHome. During this time, he created a new market (hospital at home) and disrupted existing services to deliver a scalable, high quality service that patients greatly appreciated. It improved outcomes and saved the NHS £1m per month at the point of a successful exit.

Mark has strategic and operational capability from a start-up- fast growth- to the exit , including raising capital, shareholder/investor relations and major contract negotiations. He is passionate about transforming and improving healthcare.

He joined PEP in 2019 as CEO.

About PEP Healthcare (Patient Experience Platform)

PEP Health is a social media listening tool which offers a radical new approach to collecting and analysing the views of patients on the health services they have received, offering comprehensive real-time reporting of what patients really think about their care.

PEP aggregates millions of social media and online comments about every acute hospital in England, whether NHS or independent. It then uses advanced machine learning, with comments themed into eight quality domains, to give insights which fully reflect each provider’s strengths and weaknesses, including at departmental level. Providers can be benchmarked against each other but PEP’s longitudinal tracking, going back to 2018, also allows individual organisations to track their progress across the different aspects of their care.

The tool has been shown to identify many patient safety issues and to be a helpful predictor of CQC rating. This new technology represents a paradigm shift in how we listen to patients and learn from their insights.

PEP Health is the trading name of Statica Research Ltd. It is an Anglo-Dutch collaboration and was selected to be part of the NHS Innovation Accelerator in 2020 and has won a prestigious Innovate UK competition to identify the best early stage technologies in the UK.

Their solution is keen to provide to:

Providers - Quickly and easily understand what your patients are saying about the quality of your care across multiple platforms. Easily recognise and learn from outstanding areas of care, whilst rapidly identifying and correcting safety concerns or areas for improvement before they worsen.

Insurers & Commissioners - Identify and monitor which providers your patients are most satisfied with, and those where you may need to re-evaluate existing arrangements. Use feedback to demonstrate the quality of your service over that of your competitors.

Regulators - Comprehensively and cost-effectively monitor in real-time what millions of patients and their families are saying about the quality of care , you are responsible for overseeing. Automatically identifying high-risk providers, departments or pathways for further investigation.

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