Usher Institute

Usher PhD student team wins Digital Health Product Forge 2020

Usher PhD student Holly Tibble and her team wins the Digital Health Product Forge 2020

Congratulations go to Holly Tibble, a PhD student at Usher who with her team has won first place at Digital Health Product Forge hackathon 2020! The event brings together health professionals, entrepreneurs, designers and technologists to develop products to solve real challenges within the health and social care sector.

Holly’s team, Unalome, come from a varied background in health, design, IT development and data science, and hadn’t met until they were introduced at the Product Forge. They had to conceptualise, design, develop and demonstrate their product, MIA (Motivational Interviewing for Adherence) over a 75-hour period. MIA was developed for use in reducing the burden on emergency and unscheduled care, which was one of the design tracks of the Product Forge.

MIA aims to encourage people to take their medication and reduce the 70% of prescribed medications which are not taken as directed. When patients do not take their medication as they should, this leads to increased hospital admissions, GP appointments, and subsequent treatment, which cost approximately £15,000 per person, per year worldwide. Demonstrated in the form of a fully interactive chatbot for each user, MIA will be able to answer patients’ questions about their medication using NHS-approved information, integrated into the interface of any health management app. By reassuring patients about side effects or symptoms of their treatment, MIA will encourage people to persist with their regimen.

As in previous years, the talent on display during this hackathon was extremely high; and special congratulations to the winners - Team Unalome - for developing an innovative digital solution to the problematic issue of medication non-adherence.

Graham WatsonScottish Health Innovations Ltd (SHIL) Executive Chairman, and Digital Health Product Forge judging panel member


We were so proud of what we achieved over the weekend, so we were very hopeful to win, but it was amazing.  We’re already in talks about the next step for MIA, so watch this space!

Holly TibblePhD Student, Usher Institute

Holly is a PhD student in Usher affiliated with the Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research (AUKCAR) investigating medication non-adherence in asthma.

Related Links

Digital Health Product Forge 2020 website

Holly Tibble's profile on the Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research website