Name: Dr Kate Taylor
Position: CEO & Founder
- Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I started life training to be an eye surgeon but developed a life-threatening allergy to latex surgical gloves that was incompatible with clinical practice. I went on to work with McKinsey who taught me how business creates scalable, sustainable change at the market level. Ever since, I’ve been innovating and applying business disciplines to major health challenges from global pandemics to health system financing and clinical communications.
- What are you trying to accomplish with your work?
Oculo was started because we believe that connected care is better care. Our goal is to make sure the right information is getting to the right person at the right time. This means that our platform is enhancing collaborative care by bridging disconnected and connecting clinicians to facilitate the delivery of fast, efficient patient care that harnesses the power of longitudinal health data.
- What motivated you to take the first step in launching your business?
It was a seemingly simple question, “Can’t we do something better than a letter?”. We have brilliant digital technology for diagnosis and management of disease. But clinicians correspond by letter and by fax. Surely, in this day and age, we can do better to connect for patients who are managing chronic conditions with multiple clinicians in their collaborative care network.
- What was one of the hardest or most unexpected obstacles you had to overcome to get your idea off the ground?
Everyone who works with enterprise customers will recognize that they move so much more slowly than you do, than you need. Pace yourself and don’t give up – especially when you’ve been cultivating a relationship and a deal only to see it blown up by staff changes (for the third or fourth time!) – when you finally get it over the line, it’s worth celebrating. But it’s can be hard to judge when and where to keep pushing and when to wait and focus on the thousands of competing priorities. Patience is not my natural virtue.
- Tell us about a moment you are particularly proud of in your start-up journey?
From time to time, one of our users will call us specifically to tell us how Oculo made a big difference to one of their patients. It’s the best. We also see it in aggregate in the annual report our first optometry customer releases, Specsavers’ State of the Nation Eye Health publication. It’s fantastic to see technology used to improve patient care at the individual level and the health system level simultaneously. (https://www.profile-anz.com/sotn/)
- Did you face any unique challenges as a woman in your field to get your start-up launched?
I don’t think it’s unique by any measure, but I don’t know many male CEOs who get two loads of laundry done before an 8 am Board meeting.
- What advice do you have for someone thinking about starting their own business?
Know your purpose. Be very clear on the difference you are making and why you exist. Statistically speaking, your business has already failed, so be bold. Be brave.
- Why .CO?
.CO is a reflection of how Oculo is growing. We are expanding beyond our .au and .nz beginnings, and we need a domain that reflects the increasingly global nature of our brand. Because health is so highly regulated and because health systems differ across markets, we use .health in the UK, so we can compartmentalize NHS-specific features, retaining the core of the Oculo platform across the globe.
- What’s next for you?
Our big focus at the moment is connecting patient care in the US. Clinical communication in the US is firmly rooted in the fax, so everyone recognizes the problems we are trying to solve. The healthcare trends are for value based funding models and interoperability – both of which we enable – so we are excited to be building a network of connected, quality care.