/Spotlight On … Sabarna Mukhopadhyay of SymlConnect

/Community News

Date: 4th January 2019

Spotlight On … Sabarna Mukhopadhyay of SymlConnect

Our first 'Spotlight On' of the year took us a little bit further than usual to catch up with Dr Sabarna Murkhopadhyay, founder of Swansea-based SymlConnect.

SymlConnect opened a second office at the Park in 2016 and since then they have been immersed in the local health-tech world.

Hi Sabarna, thank you for sitting down with us. Can you give us an introduction to SymlConnect please explaining a little about what you do and how long you’ve been going for?

That’s no problem at all. SymlConnect was established in 2012 in Swansea and opened our Liverpool office at the Park in 2016.

SymlConnect is a user-led informatics company, working cohesively with specialist clinicians and various users to create smart, secure, fully integrated software solutions. The aspiration is to achieve clinical and cost efficiency by eliminating paper-based processes still inherent in visiting consultations and patient input. Addressing the considerable time wastages in avoidable appointments and extensive admin work provide the healthcare professionals a superior level of patient-specific care delivery with relevant data access and sharing of information.

SymlConnect is an EMIS GP system accredited partner, working towards integration with all the other UK GP systems and national portals.

SymlConnect solutions are meticulously developed using a user-centric methodology, empowering patients through effective digital data input at-the-point-of-care or even remotely. Essential information access in a timely manner, enhances proactive prioritisation for preventative actions and improved outcomes. Thus, improving the communication challenge to facilitate a natural healthcare partnership between clinicians and their patients even within the restricted NHS resource allocation.

With health-tech such a growing market at the moment, what sets SymlConnect aside from other companies working in the field?

A major aspect that sets SymlConnect solutions apart from other offerings is the seamless secure bi-directional data transfer with existing clinical systems, preventing the need for additional financial outlay.   The core principle behind SymlConnect’s sustainable solutions is the built-in intelligence to customise the process flows, flagging-up standards-based alerts, threshold detection and notifications within the intuitive and tailored front-ends. Crucially, the usage of the software requires a minimal learning curve due to the familiarity of screen content and processes, garnered through user requirements determination and iterative development phases. Such partnering and development strategies add immense value to the user to be more perceptive and spontaneously follow the appropriate care processes collecting quality data for reporting and prompting purposes.

SymlConnect’s achievements to date place the company in good stead using digital technology as an enabler, freeing clinicians from the bane of time-consuming admin and human errors. After a successful year, 2018 has culminated in SymlConnect achieving the MediWales Innovation Industry Award 2018, ‘Partnership with the NHS’ during December for its digital All Wales Maternity Record project.

That’s amazing – congratulations! Now, you could have picked anywhere in England to set up your second base but (thankfully!) chose Liverpool? What attracted you to the city?

Liverpool has a dynamic and innovative environment where digital technology SMEs are recognised and there are several inward looking organisations like Innovate Liverpool and the NWAHSN who offer support. Our specific support needs were for adoption into the NHS. Our first products are with EMIS GP system and Liverpool CCG’s all GP practices use EMIS system. Thus, Liverpool became a preferred option for set up a 2nd office there. Though we are yet to realise our potential in Liverpool, we have made a few contacts and hoping we will be able to open the appropriate doors.

That makes sense to me – and of course you love the Park I’m sure! So, what are the plans for SymlConnect in the new year?

Developments for 2019 includes SymlConnect expanding the range of integration with more clinical system platforms, entry into the Secondary Care and Community Care markets, plus the introduction of cutting-edge artificial intelligence and data visualization functionality to ensure the company continues with its ongoing mission to innovate and augment excellence.

That sounds very exciting! Having experienced both, how does the life sciences scene differ in Liverpool from Swansea?

In Swansea, or Wales more specifically, there are 7 health Trusts and all are managed from a central technology body NHS Wales Informatics System, NWIS. However, the connectivity to their Welsh Clinical Portal has to be via the health boards co-ordination. I believe the CCGs in England has a bit more flexibility in piloting or adopting to technology in collaboration with SMEs.

Over all NHS spectrum is the same with the usual issues and challenges of demands on elderly and chronic condition monitoring and healthy living.

So, as a frequent visitor to the city, what are your favourite things to do when you’re working in Liverpool?

Going to the fabulous restaurants that the vibrant city offers!

If you weren’t working for Syml Connect, what would you be doing?

I was an academic and a researcher at University, teaching electronic engineering and physics. My career moved to management of large research projects and small businesses. I would probably be a Professor in my chosen microelectronics area or work for some company for project management and delivery.

And finally, what is the one thing you would recommend everybody do at least once in their lives?

Try your hands out on something that interests you, even if it feels very different to your academic career. Be assertive in life!

Some very sage advice there!

Thank you again to Sabarna and the SymlConnect team for giving us more of an insight into the amazing work they do – it was great to get their perspective on the difference working in the two separate cities. You can find out more about SymlConnect here or catch their local team in iC1!