Meet #OurEntrepreneurs. Introducing Azeem Alam, a Doctor from Greater London
Tell us a bit about yourself
I am a medical doctor by background currently working as a Digital Health Clinician at Cera, one of the fastest-growing health tech start-ups in Europe aiming to predict and prevent hospitalisations of patients cared for at home utilising artificial intelligence.
Prior to this I worked as an Academic Foundation Doctor in London with an interest in academic surgery and anaesthesia and founded an education technology start-up, BiteMedicine. Through the BiteMedicine platform, we provided educational resources and mentoring to 100,000 students during the pandemic, culminating in my inclusion in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List 2021.
These experiences sparked my interest in entrepreneurship and business and crystallised my desire to create solutions within both health tech and ed-tech, thereby utilising my skills as a clinician and academic to have an impact at a larger scale than a purely patient-facing role would be able to provide.
Name: Azeem Alam, NHS Clinical Entrepreneur Cohort 6
Occupation: Doctor, Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital, Digital Health Clinician at Cera and Co-founder of BiteMedicine
In my spare time, I am a songwriter and actually won the BRIT Academy UK Songwriting Contest this year which was great fun to be a part of!
Why did you apply to the programme and what are you looking forward to?
I found out about the Clinical Entrepreneur Programme through Dr Ben Maruthappu, the founder of Cera, who recommended the programme to me as it provided him with the opportunity to take time out of training to build the company and opened numerous doors for him.
After reading more about the programme and its associated opportunities, including pit stops, pitching support, business planning, hackathons, workshops and one-to-one expert clinic sessions, I decided to apply; I am so excited to be a part of the programme!
I’m looking forward to connecting with like-minded individuals, as well as meeting people who challenge my mental models, ideas and worldviews, thus forging long-lasting professional and personal relationships.
Tell us about your innovation
My experiences with BiteMedicine and the feedback accumulated from tens of thousands of students from over one hundred nations opened my eyes to the huge burden that exams place on students’ mental health and emotional well-being. These experiences resonated with me and brought back memories of difficult times I had personally experienced at medical school and whilst sitting postgraduate examinations.
Looking at the literature, the number of students disclosing mental health conditions to their institutions has tripled (Universities UK, 2017) and the rates of depressive symptoms have also tripled (11% to 34%) in 16-29-year-olds since the pandemic (ONS, 2021). Without supporting students, burnout and dropout rates will continue to rise and the workforce crisis within the NHS, and in other sectors, will continue to worsen.
At a high-level, my start-up aims to take these lessons to create a personalised digital learning hub for students globally, regardless of age or subject.
What motivates you?
I am motivated by the prospect of creating tools and solutions that can positively impact thousands of lives, regardless of historically limiting factors such as geographical borders, time zones, language, and backgrounds. Technology and the internet have absolutely transformed the scope by which the traditional ‘clinician’ can work, and I believe that this is a space that I thrive in. I am also extremely excited to witness and be a small part of the future of Web 3.0.
What are your ambitions for the next year?
Over the next year, I aim to continue to grow the original BiteMedicine platform in order to provide value to undergraduate medical students globally, whilst also releasing the MVP version of our digital learning hub in order to assess traction, growth potential and work towards product-market fit.
I also aim to continue my own personal development within the health tech space, renew my music publishing contract and write with new artists and producers in London and LA, as well as run my first half marathon (which I have been putting off for far too long!).
How can we find out more?
To find out more please visit our website or contact me on LinkedIn
TRANSFORMING HEALTHCARE THROUGH INNOVATION