Our Entrepreneurs: Petra Hanson

Meet #OurEntrepreneurs. Introducing Dr Petra Hanson a Doctor from the West Midlands

Tell us a bit about yourself 

I graduated in 2009 with a first-class degree in Neurosciences and qualified as a doctor in 2012. I completed Academic Foundation Programme and Academic Clinical Fellowship at University Hospital of Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW). Following my PhD on a subject of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus, Obesity and Metabolism, I started working at a Clinical Lecturer in Diabetes and Endocrinology. In 2021 I was awarded a Topol Digital Fellowship, working on application of digital tools in obesity services.

Name: Petra Hanson, NHS Clinical Entrepreneur Cohort 6

Occupation: Doctor

My main research interests are in metabolic medicine, Type 2 Diabetes and obesity, digital health tools, mindfulness and its clinical application. Three years ago, I established a research network combining artificial intelligence and mindfulness for prevention of metabolic disease at Warwick University. I teach at Warwick university and supervise Digital Healthcare Science student.

Why did you apply to the programme and what are you looking forward to? 

I found out about this programme by Health Education Englands Topol Digital Fellowship. I applied because I wanted to learn how I can incorporate novel digital interventions co-created with industry partners into NHS pathways.

I’m looking forward to gaining a better understanding NHS structure, how to improve pathways, and how to secure funding for newly developed products/services.

Tell us about your innovation  

The growing problem of obesity now affects at least 25% of UK population. Obesity increases risk of chronic health problems, such as diabetes, heart disease, liver disease and shorter life expectancy. Individuals with a BMI above 40 or 35 with other conditions are eligible for a referral to a specialist obesity service.  Support for those referred is inadequate with the provision of specialists being in short supply.

My project is about incorporating digital tools into traditionally delivered NHS obesity pathways, to transform and improve the way care is delivered.

A personalised digital tool for patients attending NHS specialist obesity services was developed during Topol Digital Fellowship in 2021 and now can be used in our specialist weight management centre. 

What motivates you? 

I’m motivated by patient feedback, and that what I am doing is working for them.

What are your ambitions for the next year?

I aim to launch a new bespoke app (that I worked on with external partners and NHS team) in the obesity services.

How can we find out more?

To find out more connect with me on Twitter or visit my Topol page


Published by Lucy Dentice

Deputy Programme Manager for the NHS Clinical Entrepreneur Programme.