uMotif Q&A: Three years of doctor-monitored health tracking

We catch-up with Bruce Hellman, CEO and co-founder of uMotif, a start-up which helps patients engage in self-management

Back in November 2013, I attended a Dragon’s Den style event, run by Cisco, which looked to select the most promising company of the future and award it with funding and mentoring opportunities.

The winner was a company called uMotif – a (then very new) health app which aimed to help patients monitor long term conditions (like Parkinson’s and Diabetes) in conjunction with healthcare providers.

As I recently spoke to a wide range of industry professionals for feature on what health tech will mean for ordinary people in 2026, this event popped into my head. In fact, uMotif seemed to presage the general direction healthcare is heading.

And so, out of curiosity, I caught up with Bruce Hellman, CEO and co-founder of uMotif to learn more about how the company has progressed over the last two and a half years and where it intends to go next. The lightly edited Q&A has been published below.


I saw you win $100,000 and 12 months’ mentoring at the Cisco BIG awards in 2013. How did this help uMotif and how far have you come since then?

The BIG win had a massive impact on the business, helping us further accelerate our plans and growth.  The cash was very useful, but the ongoing help and assistance from Cisco and other partners has had an even bigger impact.

Cisco are now supporting our global '100 for Parkinson's' project, for example. [This is an initiative which anyone can take part in and aims to generate more data to help understand Parkinson’s disease.]
We've now progressed to delivering in 14 clinical conditions in the UK, USA and Australia.


As your app is only available for patients via a medical recommendation, have you found ‘buy in’ from health care providers tricky?

Health systems are rapidly adopting digital technology, such as ours, because they want to engage patients; collect more data; and have a better understanding of their population.
Not all organisations move as quickly as the leading innovators, but we're seeing more and more health providers realise the necessity of a proven patient-facing app.


You started in the UK and are now in the US and Australia too. Have some markets proved more challenging than others? And if so, how?

The NHS is an excellent home market to grow and test a product in. The complexity of the NHS makes the UK a tricky market, balancing the key social and clinical impacts of new technology with a business need to drive revenue. 

By growing in the UK, some other markets can be simpler by comparison!


How are health professionals making use of the data generated by uMotif to deliver extra insights on health outcomes?

There's a great case study on this on our home page in the Sam's Story video [Vimeo video] – about her clinician using the data she gathered to realise a change in medications timing was needed.

Most health professionals use the filtered health report to have a better understanding of their patient at follow up appointments. So a little bit of data is going a long way to improve follow up consultations.


I saw you’re now tracking some really interesting things, like the impact of the weather on certain health conditions, what other areas has uMotif allowed clinicians to track? And what have been the most surprising outcomes?

We are focusing more and more on the science and clinical validity of condition-specific symptoms. Symptoms are what people [patients] want to track and be aware of, and symptoms are what clinicians find increasingly useful in appointments.

The surprising - but obvious - outcome is that it's less about technology and data; and more about how we can help bring people together to have better person-to-person physical interactions.


This kind of professional tracking and the kind of data generated appears to be the future of all healthcare. How widely do you think it will be adopted by difficult, cash strapped, organisations like the NHS in a decade’s time?

In less than a decade every patient will have a personalised digital treatment journey, to accompany the healthcare services they are receiving from the NHS, or any other healthcare provider.

Digital solutions will help empower and engage more patients, lowering the costs of healthcare, and helping healthcare to align better around delivery of value based outcomes. 


What are your ambitions for uMotif short, medium and long term?

We're soon publishing evidence of our clinical effectiveness and are now focusing on delivering well for our current clients.  

We're then scaling up sales in the UK and USA in particular, and building some key partnership deals to scale-up delivery across a range of countries and clinical conditions.



Further reading:

What will health tech mean for ordinary people in 2026?

How will tech have transformed our lives by 2026?