As I reflect on 2018 and look towards 2019, I remain firm in my belief that people and technology are critical to Cancer Central’s success. I am also extremely proud of we have been able to accomplish together, in a relatively short space of time. This therefore leaves me with renewed optimism about the opportunities which lie ahead.
With this in mind, we reached a critical milestone in our journey, launching the first iteration of our online platform which looks to intelligently signpost people affected by cancer to organisations who can provide advice and products. Our platform, called Ave, underscores the growing use of data analytics and machine learning in the healthcare industry.
This could not have been achieved without the support from countless individuals and organisations which really speaks to what Cancer Central is all about – an organisation built on an ethos of cominovation (community + innovation), connecting with experts from different fields across industries to achieve a common vision, meaning it is built by you.
Our progress and results
It is not an over statement when I say 2018 has exceeded my wildest dreams and we still have over a month to go. Why do I say this? As during this time over 10,000 hours have been donated to further the cause with major contributions from TechFINIUM and ROQ.
But with the success of 2018 comes high expectations for 2019. To ensure we start 2019 on the right footing, I have been fortunate enough to work with 10 incredibly talented people for 5 days from a global financial services organisation based in the south, to define what the next stage for Cancer Central should look like, taking all of the learnings, and we’ve had a few, into account.
When defining the next steps for Cancer Central I thought it is critical to get a fresh pair of eyes / perspective so the objective of my time with the team was to understand the good, what to change, where to go next and what the 2019 vision / roadmap should be. This included:
- How to make it easier for providers to sign up, can we reduce the number of steps?
- Can we devise a repeatable process for volunteers to follow when assisting with spreading the word, when targeting potential providers to register?
- What should the product roadmap be in 2019, focusing on Ave’s evolution
- Create design briefs for next year’s scheduled hackathons and
- Growing and expanding my marketing, PR and social media strategy
What we have been able to achieve in 5 days is phenomenal and I could not have done this on my own without it taking a couple of months. We were also able to generate new ideas taking different perspectives into account which is critical for the growth of Cancer Central. I therefore wish to send big thank you to the 10 individuals involved and the wonderful people who helped organise this!
Importantly, it was also fun with plenty of scrummy food to go around. Lunch now is certainly not the same!
Impact and Opportunity ahead
So, we’ve launched, and we have a roadmap for 2019 but now comes the difficult part. We have to deliver on the vision again leveraging the power of cominovation. If you want to help, there are 3 ways you can join in and support our journey allowing for Cancer Central to continue evolving:
- Ave is a search engine that uses artificial intelligence to deliver proactive and personalised data real-time and provide valuable information to the users. To deliver such targeted outcomes, Ave needs data. Sadly, there is no single list readily available and so it is a challenge is to find all the incredible businesses and charities who support individuals affected by cancer. Therefore we need your help to find these organisations and get them to register for free so that they can be found easily in time of need. Any organisations wishing to add their details to the Cancer Central can do so via this link: https://www.cancercentral.org.uk/initRegisterProvider.jsf
- I view myself as custodian of Cancer Central. Ideas about what functionality you’d like to see on the site or guidance on where we can further support those affected by cancer comes from you. Please share your suggestions and ideas with us: https://www.cancercentral.org.uk/feedback.jsf
- I also cannot do this on my own, therefore if you or your team / organisation wish to join the cause and cominovate with us, utilising your skills for #TechforGood, I would welcome a chat! Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, every little helps even if you can only spare a day!
And finally, please remember #HelpisHere you just have to #Ask4Ave
Have a wonderful festive season everyone
#startup, #entrepreneur, #technology, #socialenterprise