Isoshealth co-founder Kim Guest: The ultimate digital healthcare package
By Hannah Southern, January 7 2019
Kim Guest, established Isoshealth to help individuals smash their own personal health targets. This innovative platform gives its users access to digital mental, nutritional, and physical health care tailored to each individual, your very own Team of Health Professionals. Isoshealth is the first digital platform of it’s kind in the United Kingdom and we managed to catch up with Kim to find out about her journey.
Hey Kim, so to start off what was the main reason you set up Isoshealth?
I have been working in digital health for over 10 years and I have witnessed the struggle to use digital platforms across health care. One of the challenges is making sure that digital gives as much to Health Professionals as it does to patients. I believe that we should be giving health professionals the right education/information to be able to embrace digital. Isoshealth provides health professionals with safe, and secure communication tools to deliver their services.
For instance, a physiotherapist or dietitian really does not want to have to struggle with web development, SEO, marketing, and digital data protection regulations — it can be a dangerous minefield. All these professionals want to do is to help and look after people. We provide them with the tools to do just that directly to the public that needs them. A worrying 61.7% of adults are overweight or obese in the UK and this can’t continue. We are all looking for great services to help us, and a team of professionals gives the best chance of success.
So how does it actually work?
It is essentially a marketplace which connects registered dietitians, psychologists and physiotherapists with safe and secure tools to be able to deliver a package of digital services, initially to help you with weight management. The ability to choose, book and talk to your own health team through our platform, knowing it is safe and secure, makes this a unique platform. Isoshealth gives consumers access to help and advice that may be difficult to reach through the NHS or the High Street. You might find access to one of these professionals there, but not all 3 collaborating for your health goals.
How does it fill the void in digital healthcare?
I believe it fills the void of the lack of accurate information we are subjected to online. Currently, Google searches are returning less than accurate information with 486,000 people asking Google “how to lose weight fast” per year. As our levels of awareness and education grow, particularly surrounding nutrition and exercise, so does our need for accurate information so that we can make good plans for ourselves.
For instance, it would be very easy for you to take nutritional advice from people on YouTube, who have only studied an online course for 3 or 4 weeks. Whereas, we provide registered dietitians who have completed years worth of training, using science and clinical experience to help you.
What do you think makes Isoshealth stand out from others on the market?
If you found yourself in a situation where you were very unwell, you would have access to a multidisciplinary team. This would combine the physical, mental, and nutritional experts to give you the best possible outcome. This is also true if you are a sports professional. It is the most effective way of taking control of your health and wellness. I believe this is the most effective package of advice and guidance that is on offer to consumers at this current time. A service that is truly personal, trusted and using digital to help humans connect to improve their health.
So who can use Isoshealth?
Isoshealth is for anyone who wants to gain control of their health, needing more support and guidance than their GP or their gym can give. We can help them get better, stay well and get fit, pushing us towards our personal best.
Our first product launch, which will be later this year, focuses on working mums which will deliver accurate information and practical tools to get in shape and stay there. We are currently trialling this with amazing results, so watch this space!
Have there been any really impressive success stories so far?
The standout moment for me was with a trial we had early in the business. During an online session with a trialist, one of our consultants very quickly realised that they needed a referral. They were able to write a referral for the customer to take to their GP. This showed how our service can operate in parallel with the NHS, not just privatising it which so many apps encourage: we are only steps away from someone’s GP. We are able to keep that close connection and deliver exactly what a customer needs, in the most effective way.
Isoshealth banishes the scenario where you tell your doctor “I was Googling symptoms and found this.” Currently, there is a lot of negative press surrounding artificial intelligence, algorithms and chatbots working through digital health apps. Isoshealth overcomes this with the power of human connection. We are using digital to empower healthcare and enable the best results, and I am really proud of that.
What has been the biggest challenge along the way?
Early on in the business my co-founder Abigail Wilson passed away. This was very challenging as I was very passionate about what we had created so far and had to be equipped to move forward keeping her legacy in mind.
Another challenge which we are having at the moment is fundraising. In business, I have always been a proud supporter of diversity. The distinct lack of female investors for me is a challenge as a woman starting up a business. Reaching these female investors is hard as they are so few, and therefore they are so busy. My ambition isn’t quite realised from that point of view, but as my business grows it will certainly be a top priority of mine to achieve a better gender balance.
Have you got any advice for those wanting to open their own business?
The biggest piece of advice I can give to someone in this position is to take their partner, their children or their parents out for a lovely meal. Talk to them about the kind of support that you will need through the ups and downs of developing a business. Their support and tolerance make a huge difference in bringing your passion to life. And they might have more to offer than you thought!
Have you had any success with your own personal health using the service?
Creating Isoshealth has spurred me on to try new things, such as yoga for the first time! I have also become much more informed regarding nutrition and diet and most importantly for me with starting a new business, is focusing on work-life business. Fitting my health goals into my lifestyle is so much easier now.
On the subject of work-life balance, since starting your own business, have you managed to maintain one?
Having had experience in running large teams in big businesses before, I know what it is like to be drawn into 14 hour working days. It is not the man hours that I find the hardest, it is the mental focus. I find that I’m constantly looking at the world through the lens of my business, mindfulness and resilience tools really help with that.
What is your favourite nail polish colour?
A French manicure, always! A French manicure will take you anywhere. You are prepared for anything.
(p.s. why not book a manicure with LeSalon – there’s nothing better than fresh nails!)
Find out more about Isoshealth here:
Make sure to check out other female founders in our Ladies Who Launch series!