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Orlando Agrippa, Chief executive officer , Draper & Dash

Path to power

 

It is hard to do justice to what I can only describe as the most fulfilling and rewarding career one can experience. My realisation of data’s potent capacity to transform lives began at university, when I helped reorganise a drug centre’s database. This led to a desire to transform data analytics in the NHS, moving from paper record systems into a more data-driven economy. As my NHS career continued, it struck me that nobody was addressing this core issue. While data analytics was enhancing corporate industries, the technological capabilities of a fundamental industry (one that affects us all) was being over-looked. As I delivered turnaround strategies across the NHS, I found that each hospital I visited had the same challenges. In response, D&D was formed to give back to the NHS to improve patient outcomes with the power of data. I am elated to be able to say that D&D has made great strides in improving efficiency in hospitals, with one hospital reducing mortality rates by 158 - by using our technology, 158 lives were saved. Ensuring that the NHS has easier access to data, insight and analytics has been my life’s work and I look forward to continuing this ambition.

 

What has been the highlight of your career in the industry to date?

 

Undoubtedly working with healthcare providers has been the highlight of my career. More specifically, knowing that the innovations we work on at Draper & Dash can really save patient lives, reduce the cost of care and drive better outcomes for patients and their family is truly the highlight. For me, it’s not just about disruptive technology or innovations, it’s about truly solving problems and helping patients who are also colleagues, friends and family to have great experiences and safe outcomes.

 

If you could give your younger self some advice about how to progress in this industry, what would it be?

 

Ah, now this is a superb question. I have a younger brother who I love very dearly and a number of nieces and nephews. I often see glimpses of younger versions of me in them and often restrain myself from boring them with too much advice. I recently had the pleasure of speaking to a group of young people on entrepreneurialism, compliments of the Canary Wharf Group and East London Community Foundation, and my advice to them, as it would be to a younger version of myself, would be to focus on something and become the best at it, even if at the time it doesn’t feel like it, it’s always worth it in the long run. Ha, ha - this question made me smile! 2018 was a great year for me as an individual and an excellent one for the company. Many of the plans we initiated at the beginning of the year were achieved, so I believe in that sense, it was a fantastic year, from accelerating our plans for AI and ML in healthcare to increasing the capitalisation of the business. Our focus on customer experiences, satisfaction and growth was laser sharp and we saw the returns from the delivery of this. However, like any company we would always welcome more customers and sales.

 

What do you expect 2019 to be like for the industry?

 

I genuinely believe that 2019 will be a great year for healthcare, with companies like Alphabet’s Verily opening the year with a $1 billion funding round led by Silver Lake to accelerate its traction in health. We will see a lot of capital being raised in this space really to tackle the challenges being faced by the sector. We will also see a lot of innovations and clearing out of firms with little value-add and a lot of hype. Like Verily, we kicked off 2019 with a fresh round of capital led by an excellent VC really to deliver some accelerated change in healthcare.

 

Talent and skills are always a challenge to find - how are you tackling this in your organisation?

 

This is true. However, we have been fortunate for many years to have a great deal of very talented people approach us to join. We almost never struggle with C-level appointments, developers or sales. I put this down to luck and having a great story and product which people can truly get behind. For roles which we do struggle to recruit, we tend to use trusted partner agencies.

 

What aspect of data, analytics or their use are you most optimistic about and why?

 

We have already seen so many great uses of data and analytics over the last few years. I am optimistic about bringing data and analytics to the hands of consumers and everyday users. I believe that this will really be the way for moving the data and analytics story along. Data and analytics technology/service provider

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