Top Business Tech continues its Scaleup Spotlight series by catching up with Michael Ter-Berg, CEO and co-founder of Thomson Screening. Thomson Screening provides software that helps improve child health by automating child health screening, vaccination and associated child health programmes.
Could you tell us a little bit more about Thomson Screening?
Thomson Screening was founded by City, the University of London originally to develop an application managing child vision screening for NHS Community Health Trusts.
Today the company’s SchoolScreener applications are used by many NHS Trust and other organisations to manage and automate population-wide vision and hearing screening programmes, administration of Body Mass Index assessments, Health Needs and Risk Assessments and Immunisations Management.
The company has also developed an application (Screening for Schools) used in over 3,000 schools. This empowers schools to quickly check whether poor eyesight may be affecting educational or social development in children from age seven.
Thomson Screening was awarded Innovate UK funding to develop a covid-19 Test Management application. Since February 2021, the software has automated regular testing for over 400,000 individuals in schools, workplaces, and homes. The company has recently struck agreements in the US with the provider vision screening for all schools in a US State and similarly for a town-wide programme in France (including real-time administration and parent communications) and an education company in Spain. In addition, Thomson Screening has moved into Occupational Health in the US, providing pre-employment vision and hearing screening (WorkScreener applications suite) to a provider of Occupational Health programmes.
How do you differentiate yourselves in the market?
It depends on the service being delivered. In many cases, the need is to automate systems on a borough, county, State or company-wide basis with clinical, systems or education-related applications fully integrated into Thomson Screening’s automated administration.
For example, our SchoolScreener and WorkScreener vision and hearing applications enable non-clinical staff to deliver Gold level screening in schools and workplaces, with fully automated administration. Each organisation’s clinical leadership has automated real-time reporting in the system and all administration is fully automated.
In addition, considerable time can be saved using automated e-Consent forms via the SchoolScreener Parent Portal. For Health Services, managing the consent process with parents is one of the most time-consuming areas in delivering school vaccination campaigns and other services. The SchoolScreener Parent Portal is fully NHS data security compliant and is designed to manage communications and support parental engagement. This includes automating Consent management via smartphones, laptops and Tablets. The Portal also provides consent management in any language to help support and engage parents with little or no English. This makes life easier for parents, and saves a lot of time and administration for the Health Provider and school staff while enabling nurses to focus on vaccination delivery rather than admin.
By automating the full immunisation consent, data management and reporting process, Providers save up to 60 minutes per child on administration. And in school, because SchoolScreener Imms is designed to be used either online or offline, nurses can be certain they have all the data they require to hand.
What was your last major milestone?
March 2021, agreeing with the provider of vision screening services in Oregon, US (The Lions Charity) to implement the SchoolScreener system for use by their organisation. This version of SchoolScreener enables the provider to fully automate in school and backend processes, including (amongst others) administration of results, parent communications, consent, pathway management, audit, KPI, Commissioner reporting and pathway management in all schools State-wide, in real-time. This enables the Lions to scale their programme while keeping costs down, fully compliant to US HIPAA requirements.
How has your company adapted to the outbreak of covid-19?
We already had well-developed systems for remote working. However, a major challenge was working to support colleagues as meetings in person could not take place. So we developed various company-wide virtual activities such as virtual picnics and a mutual support programme.
Also, with funding from Innovate UK, Thomson Screening was able to build the Covid 19 Test Manager Application rapidly, itself made on the Software architecture behind our SchoolScreener and WorkScreener applications. This enables organisations, from schools to care homes and companies, to manage the testing process of their staff, students and visitors, log and report the required information and ensure confidentiality.
How do you see the industry changing in a post-covid-19 world?
Covid-19 is highlighting the investments Health Services need to make in digitisation. But to derive benefits from digitisation at scale and at speed, there needs to be greater cultural alignment between the priorities of large Healthcare organisations and those of clinicians. Clinical leadership will need control of relatively small budgets for innovation to act nimbly and realise gains for their priorities.
In Education, digitisation is focused on curricular programmes and information systems. Increasingly, Schools will be empowered to deliver benefits to children through tech outside of these core areas, For, example, teachers know how important good eyesight is to learning and emotional wellbeing. But around 15% of children may have unidentified vision problems. In schools using Screening for Schools, a teaching assistant takes just three minutes to check a child (with no manual administration required).
For Occupational Health services, clinical time is expensive, in short supply and administration at scale can be complex and slow. Increasingly digital solutions will make parts of Occupational Health, quicker and cheaper to deliver.
- Scaleup Spotlight: Climeworks is the key to fighting climate change
- Scaleup Spotlight: How BuzzStreets supports hospitals and venues
- Scaleup Spotlight: How AssureStor ‘punches above its weight’
- Scaleup Spotlight: How Scandit blends physical and digital worlds
ABOUT MICHAEL TER-BERG
CEO and CO-FOUNDER, THOMSON SCREENING
Michael Ter-Berg is CEO and a Co-Founder of Thomson Screening. Previous experience includes CEO of University College London’s most successful Spin Out, The Map of Medicine (developed at The Royal Free Hospital). He has also managed and invested in global education services and information software businesses.
Michael has an MSc and Sloan fellowship from London Business School. He is a member of the Enterprise Board at the University of Liverpool, previously chairing the University’s Commercial Board and is a Trustee of the schools’ careers charity Future First, and a previous chair of the charity.