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Lincolnshire tech firm marks decade in business

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In a decade that has been fraught with economic uncertainty, one Lincolnshire-based healthcare IT firm is preparing for continued organic growth, after marking its 10th successful year in business.

INFORM HEALTH Ltd, which specialises in designing technology to enable more efficient and effective sexual health and HIV provision, was set up by a trio of healthcare technology evangelists: Susan Bunn, Andrew Denman and Jeff Bassington.

Now employing 23 people at the HQ in Skegness and development hub in Milton Keynes, in addition to its remote workforce, the company has grown significantly since its inception in January 2010.

After years working in the healthcare IT sector, coupled with first-hand experience of the challenges faced by service providers, INFORM’s three directors saw an opportunity to do things better and fill a much-needed gap in the market, as Jeff Bassington explains:

“Each of the founders had specialised in clinical software within a secondary care setting, working NHS side, including for sexual health provider services, and for some of the most established vendors in the market. Over time, we became frustrated with what we perceived to be a lack of vision and investment in software for sexual health.”

“Services were crying out for systems that could make front line workers’ lives easier, improve user experience and promote better patient experience, while capturing data to meet compliance obligations, support informed decision making and harness at least some of the advantages technology had to offer.”

“It quickly became clear that there was a gap in the market and that between us we had the right skills, experience and contacts to fill it.”

Determined to revolutionise sexual health services by developing a new type of technology that would benefit both service providers and patients – and ultimately improve patient care and health outcomes – INFORM HEALTH was created.

Fast forward 10 years and the company now works with over 20 NHS Trusts, with its systems accessed daily by two and a half thousand users, to support the delivery of over two million sexual health and HIV appointments each year at clinics up and down the country.

Committed to innovation and keeping a finger on the pulse of evolving market needs, INFORM’s directors have no plans to rest on their laurels. In fact, the company is poised to double its customer head count and introduce new products that will reduce the demand on busy services, whilst at the same time empower patients to self-manage their own contraception and sexual health needs.

The company is also conducting user acceptance testing for a pilot of its hotly anticipated health information system for Sexual Assault Referral Centres, which represents an entirely new market for INFORM.

Reflecting on the last decade, Sue Bunn believes it’s INFORM’s people, as well as its products, that have been pivotal to success.

“Our mission in 2010 was to bring to market the technology framework needed to future proof sexual health and HIV service provision. Whether customers needed a standalone HIV system or a fully integrated sexual health solution, our goal was to keep pace with customer’s needs and deliver elegant, intuitive and reliable systems that support all stakeholders.

“We feel truly privileged to work alongside innovative health organisations that are dedicated to their patients. It was therefore really important to us that we took a flexible approach to helping customers design pioneering and best practice ways of working that can be - and have been - shared throughout our customer community.

“We’re enormously proud of what we’ve achieved over the last decade and attribute much of our success to our values of offering more than just software. It wasn’t enough to fill the technology gap, we wanted to build a business underpinned by exceptional people, who genuinely care about helping our customers overcome the challenges they face and are passionate about supporting them to deliver better services for patients.”

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