Social businesses up for the Challenge

Wed, 27 Sep 2017 12:53:00 BST

An occupational therapy graduate and GCU academic will go head-to-head in tomorrow's Converge Challenge 2017.

Callum MacKinnon and Professor Lorna Paul are successfully through to the final of Scotland's leading academic company-creation competition. The Converge Challenge celebrates start-ups and spinouts and received entries from universities across Scotland.

For the first time, GCU academic, Professor Lorna Paul has been nominated for her Web Based Physio platform, which helps patients with long-term conditions to gain easier and greater accessibility to physiotherapy.

"It's a digital platform which allows patients access to qualified physiotherapists regardless of where they live or their personal circumstances and where they can gain feedback on their progress," said Professor Paul. 

The spin-out company was originally developed by Professor Paul while working at the University of Glasgow. She recognised that patients with long-term conditions didn't have easy access to physiotherapy. 

She said: “Having worked in physiotherapy for more than 25 years, we realised many people with long term conditions had difficulty accessing traditional face to face physiotherapy so we developed webbasedphysio.com to offer patients a simple, easy-to-use, personalised exercise programme to give them the opportunity to self-manage on a long-term basis. 

"Unlike other online forums, which offer expertise and advice, the patient is assessed by a qualified physiotherapist and their individual programme is set up to meet their requirements. This is monitored by a physiotherapist and their journey is fully supported with their progress monitored and altered. It is this very personal service, backed up by robust research and a qualified expert, which makes our platform so successful.”

Callum, an occupational therapist, has been shortlisted for his work to help children and adults with additional support needs by using a trampoline for therapeutic use. The Forth Valley Rebound Therapy Service CIC is the first and only open referral service for rebound therapy in Scotland.

Professor John Lennon, Director of the University's incubator space, UHatch, which supports entrepreneurial students, graduates and staff members, said: "To have two shortlisted businesses in this year's competition within the social enterprise category is very encouraging and reaffirms our commitment to the common good and the centrality of social business to our vision and mission."

Converge Challenge