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The right leadership team has become an important element in Ieso Digital Health’s growth

One of our exec team: Andy Richards recently contributed to the bi-monthly journal from Pharmaceutical Physician. The central piece by Tarquin Bennett-Coles explores the ways in which behavioural health treatment is evolving (both here and in the US), and how the most innovative businesses are growing alongside the cultural shift and increasing awareness.

Over the 55 years of its existence, the British Association of Pharmaceutical Physicians (BrAPP) has published a journal which is available to all members or via subscription.

Pharmaceutical Physician, May 2017, Tarquin Bennett-Coles:

For innovative company Ieso Digital Health, building a team with an understanding of different healthcare marketplaces has been a key building block to success. The Cambridgeshire company was launched in 2011. It delivers cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) to patients through a ground-breaking online method.

Its Director, Dr Andy Richards explains: There’s a well-known inhibition when a patient sees a therapist face-to-face. Freud recognised this. It takes several sessions to build a trust and honest dialogue. We deliver therapy online using a written method which helps our qualified therapists to develop trust with patients much more quickly than if they were physically seeing a therapist. Our system is highly secure and a written record of all sessions is kept - something which is useful to therapists and patients, and allows improved protocols to be developed. Patients can access treatment via our online method more quickly than physically seeing a therapist, and out treatment has proved highly effective in many cases.

We took the decision in the UK to work within the NHS, rather than privately, so our patients are referred to us by NHS trusts. However, there is a growing market need for this approach overseas, and this is where the right leadership team has become an important element in Ieso Digital Health’s growth. Alongside skills in the commercial and technical fields, the company’s team has needed market-specific knowledge.

Dr Richards says: If you take the United States, the ‘behavioural health’ market is very under-served, but healthcare is delivered in a very different way than within the NHS including Medicaid and the private healthcare segments. So, we have needed senior people with experience and skills in those markets, we have ‘aimed high’. An additional key factor for us is regulation. It can be a complex area. In the USA, regulation varies from state to state, and in Europe from country to country. We need people with a deep understanding of what’s needed to operate in these markets. Without the right people in place, companies will make a lot of mistakes. The opportunities in the cross-over space between therapy and technology are substantial.

With one in four of us likely to suffer from mental illness in our lives, and a growing focus on preventative medicine for mental health issues, world-wide demand for online therapy is only likely to grow. The lessons learned by companies like TeraView and Ieso Digital Health are vital for any forward-thinking business in the field of life sciences. Without the right skills and the right entrepreneurial spirit, teams will fail to take advantage of opportunities for experimentation and growth." he says. "Future success starts with the visionary leadership to build those teams.

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