In this post we will be exploring one of the amazing teams in the Leaders of Tomorrow Summer Accelerator Programme, UCMe.
The initial idea came from DIT student Cait McCarthy who is entering her final year of Product Design and also works as a Healthcare Assistant. She also has previous experience with a start-up project while studying Entrepreneurship in college.
Cait is joined by fellow DIT Product Design student Adesope Adeniranye who is a student with a background in Business, Creative Design and Marketing.
UCD students Tejaswini (Tej) Kumar and Isaac Gbola are the final half of the team. Tej is studying Computer science with Data Science. She is also a co-founder of Buddy Coder, an initiative to encourage girls to code under UCD Women in CS Committee. Isaac studied Business and Law and is also a previous winner of a UCD Start-up Weekend.
While working as a Healthcare Assistant (HCA), Cait was exposed to the issue of ‘alarm fatigue’ This is the destination of healthcare assistants to alarms that are frequently used in ICU units. She noticed that HCA’s responded inefficiently to alarms due to desensitization to sounds and lack of communication.
According to UCMe, in the healthcare industry a lack of real time and targeted information can lead to an inefficient response from HCA’s to incidents/emergencies that occur within wards. This means:
Too many HCAs responding to one problem.
No HCA responding to alarms
Low levels of efficient communication
The team are working on a product that improves communication between HCA’s. This will result in greater efficiency and productivity of staff. The solution involves the use of wearables as an alternative means of communicating alarm as well as delivering more accurate information as to the causes of that alarm.
UCMe recently reflected on their time in the LOT programme, having formed in the workshops, performed strongly in the finals and continued to develop in the Summer Accelerator Programme. Here is their take on each section of the overall LOT programme:
Workshops: “The workshops prior to the competition provided great opportunities to network as we engaged with students from multiple backgrounds. Also, the activities were excellent in helping us build a strong and diverse team as we have members with backgrounds in design, tech and business.”
Finals: “The support we got from Peter Cleary, our mentor Ellen Le Bas and the Leaders of Tomorrow team made the finals less daunting. We had just two weeks to work on our ideas and present to a panel of judges and we were even amazed at how well we did. The mentoring programme played a huge role in our development as entrepreneurs and as a team and we strongly recommend that Accenture implements this in the coming LOT competitions.”
Summer Accelerator Programme: “The summer accelerator programme gave us accessibility to business, tech and design gurus who assisted us greatly. We have been able to build a solid business plan and even develop a working prototype. The summer accelerator programme has also exposed us to existing entrepreneurs within the start-up field who have provided us with relevant insights from their experience.”
Advice to future LOT participants
After reflecting on their experience and when asked what advice the team had to share, their answer was to form a diverse and strong team from the get go.
“From our experience, having an excellent balance of design, business and technology backgrounds has allowed us advance at a fast pace and make progress with little to no hassle. Furthermore, they should approach the initial stages with an open mind as problem and hurdles will come as the team grows. Hard work is also very important as what you put in is what you get out.”
The next objective for UCMe is to develop out their proof of concept. They also hope to successfully test their product across national care home facilities with a view to a policy of progressive development over time.