When it comes to tech meetings I just love Soho. The lively streets are slightly frayed at the edges and the whole neighborhood oozes an optimistic, none pretentious energy. One street sports trendy coffee shops whilst the next hosts drug dealers who are so blatant at their trade, I’m shocked they’re not arrested within minutes. I have walked past them so many times with no problems, if they were to go, I might feel that Soho is missing something. This amplifies my sense of the unpredictability in life. The 18-year-old me from Norfolk would have never entertained the idea of potentially missing the presence of drug dealers in an urban environment.
The guy I met was Shubz, a GP who graduated from Imperial College London but who had turned part of his time away from traditional clinical practice. He now spends his time coding in HTML, working with a medical start-up and being the resident doctor at holiday destinations such as diving resorts. My task in our venture is to develop data models which can interact with each other, inherit attributes from one another and parse into the front end of the website. Shubz is developing the front end of the website. Whilst we are discussing what should go in our data models Shubz tells me that Vignesh, a PhD physicist from Imperial has rejected his job at Deloitte as he has got a place in a start-up boot camp. They get 3 months funding to develop a tangible concept before applying for another round of funding. To me, these stories are becoming common. Later on, I am catching up with Steve, an A and E registrar who is completing is physics degree, coding in Java and developing his own company. Shubz has been invited to talk at Camden and is talking with another GP who is developing a web framework for GP outcalls for big businesses, and I regularly catch up with Gareth, a registrar who completed an MBA and is developing his own triage app. It doesn’t stop there. I am also chat with a hematology consultant and an emergency medicine consultant who are developing software that streamlines the nurses’ triaging process. Yu Jeat Chong and his team showed very promising technical and business ability when I was at the Royal Society of Medicine.
I don’t know if the unique combination of the NHS and London has facilitated a grassroots movement potentially developing a Silicone Valley of medical innovation, or we’re just mad/delusional with optimism. Of course, I am only working on a couple of projects but catching up with the others doesn’t only excite me, it keeps me grounded by seeing what others are doing and their progression. You also get insights on the problems they face. I say grounded within this bubble, who knows where this bubble is actually heading.