Tag: Prevayl

“People know everything about the environment that they’re in, but nothing about the environment within.” Q&A with Martin Ashby.

Martin Ashby is Operations Director at Prevayl®.Having worked within wearable tech for over seven years, as well as a decade in leadership roles at Sports Direct and five years as General Manager, Sourcing Operations for Umbro, he joined Prevayl in September 2019.

We caught up with Martin to understand what first inspired him about the company and the impact he believes Prevayl can have for personal health, sporting performance and community wellness.

What first inspired you about Prevayl?

Before I joined the business I saw Adam present the concept. You just had to look in the eyes of the people in the room. The absolute belief in the possibilities of Prevayl. They were immediately sold on what Prevayl means for personal health and wellbeing as well as the wider industry benefits.

Adam had that vision from the outset. Let’s be clear, it was a vision to do something that had never been done before, which some people might question if it could be done at all. For me it always had to be worth a shot, as it takes guts to go for that vision, so I knew I had to be involved.

This is an industry I know and love. I’m extremely passionate about health and wellbeing and I’m convinced that technology can deliver huge steps forward in this area. Prevayl is the right place to be to do that.

Your previous employment has given you detailed experience of the wearable tech industry. How is Prevayl approaching things differently?

One of the biggest issues elsewhere has been a lack of flexibility and agility. While the Prevayl mission always remains the same, the scale of the team and the talent within means we can always respond to new ideas and thinking.

Previously there would be four tech heads and two commercial guys trying to get something off the ground. Adam’s approach to building something worthwhile and purpose-driven is therefore extremely refreshing.

His desire to have the best people and industry-leading minds in all areas of the business is fantastic. It’s a very different approach to many start-ups, but it enables us to move quickly in the right direction as a business.

Often new talent only drops in when a business is about to explode from lack of resource. The approach that Adam and the senior leadership team have taken is very much more a long-term strategic outlook.

By bringing some of the best talent in the industry in from the outset, there is a high degree of trust for the individual teams to deliver.

With so much going on, so quickly, it’s an exciting place to be.

You mention your passion for health and wellbeing. How important is it to change the way people view this and enable them to take control of their own health? What role do health and cognitive insights play in this?

Around 60% of the UK population is now overweight. We tend to use other people as a benchmark but taking control of your own wellbeing is all about understanding your own body and applying this to your individual situation.

I believe that if people actually see clearly in irrefutable data what they are doing to their bodies, they will do something about it. Personal health insights can completely change how people approach their health and wellbeing.

Our technology can spot changes in health, even micro changes very quickly such as an increase in heart rate or a decrease in heart rate recovery. We can tell very quickly when someone is dropping into a state that illustrates a lack of fitness, both mental and physical. That means that people don’t have to get 12 months into doing the wrong thing to realise they need to change their habits.

Ownership of health is all about taking these personal insights and making the right changes to your behaviour every day.

You’ve mentioned previously that you see a big shift in the medical world from treatment to prevention. How do you see this playing out in the next few years? What role does wearable tech have in this?

I think it’s already starting to play out. There have been reports already this year that GPs have begun to prescribe health club memberships as a preventative measure for things such as depression, obesity and heart problems.

While that is a start, it still relies on a personal perception of health rather than irrefutable data.

Currently we know everything about the environment that we’re in, but we know nothing about the environment within. The right use of wearable tech and associated health insights will help keep people fit physically and mentally as well as ensuring they stay in touch with exactly what’s going on with their own body.

The possibilities of Prevayl isn’t just about individual health and fitness. Performance, and specifically team performance can be enhanced. So, how can health and cognitive insights improve the collective team performance?

It has a ripple effect. Understanding where all the key players in those teams are and how they’re performing is crucial because any break in the linkage is going to create more issues.

Take Formula 1. The tyres need to be changed in under 2.5 seconds for example. By being on point with all their tasks, the team around the driver can keep them going throughout the race, but if they’re struggling and underperforming themselves it has a wider effect.

The guys in the pit all work in harmony together and if one of them is slightly off, it has a big impact. If one can’t twist his back the right way for example the whole team is let down by that millisecond of difference. These fine margins are crucial.

Now if this is a problem with his back, an old underlying injury, or an obvious illness it can be easily monitored and managed. Other external factors can also be spotted and managed simply.

Maybe certain team members need a rest, potentially a good massage will sort out a lack of flexibility, or perhaps a bit more practice will iron out any inconsistencies.

The internal side is much more complicated though. What about stress, problems at home, an illness that’s building but that person doesn’t yet have any symptoms?  

We’re giving teams the opportunity to monitor this.

Coaches can see when a heart rate is raised, and someone is breathing more heavily. If they are stressed it can be illustrated through the data. The individual might not have spotted it yet, but the coach can see it and do something about it.

They can make the people within the team better by changing things they haven’t even noticed yet. These marginal gains feed into the ripple effect of performance to help the team work as one.

Health and fitness is obviously hugely important for you. How do you keep on top of it during start-up life? How will Prevayl’s solutions be used to enhance community wellness?

My commute for me is thinking time. I think when I run, I can think when I can cycle, and I can probably think more clearly because it takes you to a type of meditative state.

I also make sure I’m disciplined. On a typical day I’ll get up early and do 40 minutes to an hour of yoga or gym. Then I cycle in – it’s around 13 miles.

That’s my personal approach. When it comes to community wellness, it’s focused on the wider approach. Real-time information across the workforce on individual wellbeing and personal performance enables a continued monitoring of community wellness. Employers can then make strategic decisions on how to improve things for their employees, with an ability to measure the impact too with actionable, validated and quantifiable insights.

It will be revolutionary.

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IP Protection: Strategy vs. Company Culture

Intellectual property underpins tech innovation. By protecting ideas, unique technology and processes, creativity and innovation can grow. Patents are the fundamental safety net for both tech start-ups and established players.

Concepts can move past the ideas stage and the industry can create unique products and services to benefit consumers and society.

At Prevayl®, our approach to IP protection is fundamental to our business strategy. Understanding and awareness surrounding IP is also a key pillar of our company culture, underpinning how we work as a business.

The question for many businesses, is why the importance of company culture when it comes to IP protection?

The Sonos conundrum

IP protection and company culture has been highlighted by the recent news of Sonos’ claim against Google for patent infringement relating to their speakers.

The two companies have a collaborative relationship.

For Sonos, the collaboration went too far when in 2013, their Execs handed over the blueprints for their speakers to Google when working together to incorporate Google’s music service directly into the speakers.

The lawsuit relates to Google’s subsequent speaker products, with Sonos alleging these infringe their patents.

Striking the right balance

“Start-ups with a clear IP strategy can be more creative and agile in protecting their ideas. This ultimately gives them an intellectual property currency in technology segments.” David Newns, Prevayl Co-Founder and Strategic Advisor.  

This is essential for all tech start-ups. Without it, there is no opportunity to grow, innovate and ultimately bring products to market. That’s the first step.

David got to the crux of the matter when he said: “Companies big and small need to rethink their internal culture to IP.”

This is where many businesses continue to fall down. The importance of intellectual property simply has to be ingrained into all levels of a business, from start-ups to major industry players.

Forgetting this and taking a collaborative relationship too far, clearly can have consequences.

Prevayl’s approach to IP

At Prevayl we’ve invested in our approach to IP and made it a fundamental aspect of our business strategy from the outset.

We have an in-house team that began filing patent applications from day one. This continues daily, providing our team with the safety net to protect our ideas and ensure innovation can drive our products and business forward.

We’ve also made sure that it permeates into every layer of our business. Our IP team collaborate with all departments within the company from idea stage, right through to conception and delivery. Everything is protected.

Knowledge sharing, collaboration and protection within our business ensures every team member knows the importance of IP and understands the value of their ideas.

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Adam Crofts, CEO of Prevayl: 2019’s Key Learnings

Adam Crofts co-founded Prevayl® in April 2019. With the business enjoying huge growth before the end of the year, we sat down with the CEO to find out about his three biggest learnings from 2019.

Recruitment

Getting recruitment right was of fundamental importance to Prevayl this year.

The first step was to identify those areas where the business needed to excel. We then began a detailed search to secure the best possible people to make it a reality. Finding talent is just one aspect. They also need the desire, hunger and drive to propel us in the right direction.

The big challenge for me as a CEO was the fact I simply couldn’t be everywhere. We’ve undergone rapid growth in such a short space of time. That means it’s essential to find the best leaders who enable me to focus on certain tasks to ensure as a team we’re excelling in the right areas.

This is something we’ve done extremely well and will endeavour to do in 2020, as our team continues to grow at such a fast rate.

Alignment and Strategy

This has been a fundamental requirement from day one.

With what the business has set out to achieve, the scope and possibilities are huge. The team we have built have so many innovative and ground-breaking ideas, it’s vital that we keep the right direction and build these new ideas into the product suite when the time is right.

Again this comes back to getting an experienced and innovative team together. We’ve made some crucial hires from a strategic perspective to ensure we are all aligned with the right strategy, vision and goals. Always reverting back to this ensures we can move quickly when it comes to launching our products.

Collaboration is key for product development

Cross-department collaboration is of course always encouraged within the business. I find that the best ideas come from bringing a cross-section of people together and letting the ideas flow. At Prevayl, we have what I call an “eclectic mix of amazing minds”. Put them in a room together and some brilliant ideas will come. I’m genuinely excited to see what they come up with.

This same attitude needs to apply to the market you operate in also. While competition can drive innovation to ensure the end users get the best possible products, service or experience, collaboration can potentially push it further.

The Prevayl platform and health-tech ecosystem, Base, provides essential health insights to the end user. It isn’t closed off, however.

We could potentially see other businesses in this space as competition. We’re turning it the other way and encouraging collaboration by ensuring that wearable tech providers can work with us to improve their own offering. It’s my belief that this collaboration will drive innovation in the sector and ensure that users continue to receive tailored, personal and actionable health insights.

We’ll be hearing from Adam again soon when he’ll be discussing his ambitions for Prevayl in 2020.

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2020 Predictions from Prevayl

With 2019 coming to an end, the beginning of a new decade promises real change in the tech industry. New technologies are set to enter the market, transforming the daily lives of consumers, while ideas that have been surfacing for a while are finally set to become the norm.

Since April 2019, Prevayl® has enjoyed huge growth as a business, adding leading experts from the fields of engineering, fashion, health-tech and intellectual property to our team. We caught up with them to understand their predictions for the year ahead.

Adam Crofts, CEO

One of the biggest trends for 2020 is set to be increased consumer desire to take ownership of their own health. No longer will people be happy to rely on an external assessment or interpretation.

Personal health data is fundamental to this change. When users can interact, curate and evaluate their own health data they can make the right decisions that will benefit them in the long run. We will then get to the stage when each person will have their own pre-emptive health insights to signpost them away from illness.

Noel Hamill, Chief Commercial Officer

Robotics. We’re already seeing day to day usage in Amazon warehouses for example. I can imagine more robotics coming into the home and performing menial tasks.

I also see the likes of artificial intelligence and machine working impacting the healthcare industry. Robotics will be involved in medical operations, with the ability to scan medical records and predict whether people would have any kind of future diseases. That’s very exciting.

Bella Hepworth, Apparel Design Director

In 2020, we’ll see more and more brands looking at sustainability and increased initiatives around this, following on from the likes of Adidas’ recycled plastic shoes earlier this year. I expect to see more innovation around sustainable materials with existing materials re-engineered to be more high-tech substitutes. R&D will be heavily focused on materials in 2020.

We also need to be wary of ‘greenwashing’, with so many brands jumping on the bandwagon of sustainability and creating content that makes it look like they are going the extra mile, but rarely doing so in reality. This leads onto the potential need for more self-regulation of the industry.

Education for consumers around sustainability continues to be extremely important as recent studies suggest it still isn’t a priority for many customers when they choose where to spend their money.

Tahir Mahmood, Director of Engineering

Robotics is set to change completely. Where once robots were primarily used to perform work that was too hard, dangerous or repetitive for humans, we’re now set to see human-robot interaction and cooperation, as the demand for robots to work with humans or to be controlled intuitively grows.

This covers a range of scenarios from robotics working interactively with humans in industrial manufacturing, robotic appliances designed to care for and help the elderly, and even autonomous robots in space or underwater.

Georgia Castleman, Marketing Communications Director

Biometric research is set to become integral for brands.

The right use of biometric data provides detailed audience insights, as well as patterns of user behaviour in relation to buying decisions, content, and online and offline experiences.

Biometrics can be used to track and measure a wide variety of different physical responses from users that are closely aligned with your target audience. When brands have that data it can be used to guide their future marketing, brand, and business strategies.  

Martin Ashby, Operations Director

2020 will see a growing interest from individuals in taking control of their wellbeing, resulting in demand for insight that reports on mental and physical health and offers advice on how to manage or improve it.

Additionally this will fuel a distrust of global food manufacturers, with more people taking control of what they eat. This could take the form of consumers insisting on knowing where their food comes from and how it was grown, clearer guidelines on the impact food will have on their body, or more actionable health data on labelling such as calories also shown as the equivalent duration of cardio exercise that would be required to burn them off.

In the medical world, there is likely to be a continuing shift from treatment to prevention. This will include GPs providing prescriptions for exercise or meditation as opposed to treatment using medication.

Sam Bird, Director of Intellectual Property

There are likely to be tussles over whether an AI can be a legal inventor of a patent. The Artificial Inventor Project is fighting for the rights of AI inventors. 2020 could potentially see a legal conclusion to this issue.

We’ll also see the implementation of the unitary patent system in Europe, but questions remain as to whether the UK will be able to take part in this project due to Brexit.

There may also be an increase in claims for employee compensation for the benefits of patents following the Shanks v Unilever ruling at the UK Supreme Court in 2019.

Michael John Lynch, Director of Electronics

Smart technology is becoming the norm for consumers.

We’ve recently seen the news that Ikea has invested in a dedicated business unit for smart home tech. While the Ikea target audience was never a tech-first audience, this recognition illustrates the importance of smart tech for the everyday consumer and their continuing expectations around it.

While these expectations in the home increase, we’re also set to see consumer frustration and apathy towards the need to have multiple contracts with various content providers, such as Netflix, Amazon, and Spotify for example. Could this open the door for aggregators to enter the market?

We’ll be catching up with the team again in early 2020, to showcase what the year ahead holds for Prevayl.

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Innovation and the importance of intellectual property rights: Sam Bird, IP Director

At Prevayl®, our intellectual property is one of our most valuable assets. Since the company’s inception in April 2019, we have filed 79 patent applications relating to the technology we continue to develop.

As part of our intellectual property strategy, we have an in-house department consisting of patent attorneys that work to ensure any intellectual property generated from within the business is identified and protected in the best possible way.

Today we’re catching up with Sam Bird, Prevayl’s IP Director, and Chartered and European Patent Attorney.

Sam is a specialist in protecting electronics and software inventions and has a master’s degree (First Class Honours) in Biomedical Engineering from Imperial College London.

Why is intellectual property protection so important for tech businesses?

Any tech business, from start-ups to established market leaders, must protect their intellectual property rights.

Intellectual property rights are essential for innovation. When a business patents its ideas, it is the only entity that can take commercial advantage of those patentable ideas. This creates the room for that business to innovate and develop unique products and services that ultimately benefit consumers in the long run and help society to grow.

Without these rights around intellectual property there wouldn’t be the safety net to develop products past the idea stage. Innovation would be impeded, which would ultimately result in stagnation of the tech industry. The ability to patent your ideas underpins everything.

Is that why it’s so crucial for Prevayl?

Exactly.

The team at Prevayl continues to come up with new ideas and concepts every single day. To bring these ideas to fruition in the form of products and services, protecting our IP rights has to be fundamental to our business approach.

How are you doing things differently at Prevayl?

We’ve invested in this side of the business from the outset, ensuring that we have an in-house team that began filing patent applications from day one. To date in 2019, we’ve filed 79 patent applications.

We’re also encouraging inventors from across the business. Bella Hepworth, our Apparel Design Director is a great example. Since joining Prevayl, Bella is listed as a sole inventor on a number of our patent applications. Bella is addressing the under representation of women inventors (accounting for just 13% of patent applications worldwide).

As a business, we’re embracing diversity in the tech industry.

Finally, what’s next for Prevayl and IP in 2020?

It all comes back to innovation. As the team continues to come up with unique, creative and new ideas, it’s our job to make sure that they are protected to eventually become part of our product suite.

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“Company culture is the single largest competitive advantage”. Q&A with Noel Hamill

Noel Hamill is Prevayl’s Chief Commercial Officer. We sat down with him to understand his experience in the technology sector, to gain insight into his vision for Prevayl®, and to find out what 2020 holds for the future of the tech industry.

What did you do before Prevayl?

Before Prevayl, I worked as the Chief Marketing Officer at Ladbrokes and Coral. This was an extremely interesting industry, which was very digital orientated and faced continual digital disruption.

Before that I consulted with Google and I was the Managing Director of Marketing for EE, the largest mobile company in the UK. All three were very different experiences.

EE was very much based around retention, providing leading edge technology to mobile users but the consumer customer experience was critical as well.

With Google I was involved with the launch of the Pixel product, reviewing their distribution and go-to market strategy. You’re looking at their consumer insights to help inform that. The Google Pixel was very successful and I am a loyal customer as well.

This came at a time when Apple was dominant, so Google had to get very sharp about why you would choose them and their product and what the benefits were. These included unlimited storage of photos and subsequently, photo recognition, specifically the ability to categorise photos through identification of the individual person. It was very innovative.

What first appealed to you about Prevayl?

When I first heard about the project it just sounded really exciting. I’ve been in the mobile, IOT, connected worlds space for a while. One of the first IOT projects I heard about was putting systems and sensors into your fridge to order immediately when you started running out of milk for example. It showed what was possible.

Now it’s migrated to people. The technology in its own right excites me, but it’s more about what you can do with the application of it.

I’m super interested in what wearable technology can do for business problems. To improve efficiency, enhance learnings, and make it better to work in certain industries. For example monitoring engineering field staff – the ability to monitor people to make sure that they’re okay and to advise them on what they can do to improve their wellness and their health. In a B2B construct that brings productivity gains to businesses and makes them more efficient, but also has numerous benefits for consumers.

What Prevayl is doing is super clever and it has definitely got that cool factor.

What excites you about innovation in the tech industry?

I’ve worked in technology for twenty years now. What I’ve learned is that innovation is actually the lifeblood of the industry.

Technology is a super incredible thing when it innovates constantly because it adds value to people’s lives.

For example technology such as fingerprint recognition and retina recognition with smartphones. This protects both the individuals and industries.  

How will your previous experience impact your work at Prevayl?

The experience of mobile is particularly applicable in many areas as you’re building relationships. You’re collecting a lot of customer data and you have to create trust in those relationships and add value. You have to be extremely data-centric and insights-focused.

Gaming was a bit different. It was about instantaneous benefit. You must structure customer offers to stand out in an extremely competitive environment.

For our wearable tech to be applicable we have to do both of these things. Any new tech has to bring a new benefit with it. It’s crucial to be very precise on that.

What do you feel are the biggest challenges when launching new tech products?

The critical thing with launching technology is to not just look at the technology but to look at the consumers and the markets that you’re targeting. Understand your target market, define who your customers are and what attributes they have.

Focus on the need or problems that your technology is resolving.   What problem are you fixing?

That means you’re coming at it from a customer perspective and not necessarily a technology push perspective. You then need to be super clear on the communications, so that potential customers understand the benefits and why they would want this technology.

It sounds like common sense but very few people and companies actually take the time to do it.

Technology also moves incredibly quickly, so you have to be flexible. Once the first version is out there, you have to move fast. If you don’t get it right on the second version, your competitors will. The mobile industry is a really good example of that because the companies that didn’t respond to the technology changes aren’t there today.

Now if you think of Nokia it has a kind-of romantic and historic feel, but it was bleeding edge technology at the time. They were really good on call data, but then people started using data applications and they weren’t as good. Apple came in and were much worse on call quality, but it didn’t matter.

Because of touchscreens, integrated advanced camera capability, and music, as well as the software, iPhones were iconic within 18 months.

They released versions so quickly that all the smaller issues were improved on.

A Nokia phone would last two or three days before it had to be recharged, whereas an Apple iPhone version one probably would last half a day max at the beginning.

At the time, market research would have said it would be dead in the water, but because of the tech capabilities people were prepared to sacrifice the traditional functions of a phone. Nokia felt that Apple would fail because of that, but they were so in touch with the consumer need that it didn’t matter.

How important is consumer desire in driving new products and innovation in tech?

There has to be balance. If you have a vision, it will be something that you know no consumer has ever said that they need. Visionary technology and products didn’t come from consumer desire.

Vision on its own isn’t enough. You need to balance the two. Technology for technology’s sake doesn’t work. You have to form it into a need. That can either be a brand or a cold fact. Say for example, you know that consumers are moving towards data usage, you therefore make that a higher priority in your design.

When technology is in that space where it is capable of doing a lot more things than consumers can imagine, it’s then our job to educate them on that.

What role does company culture play within tech companies?

Company culture is the single largest competitive advantage.

I’ve worked in many companies now in multiple continents and different sectors, and the ones that are successful have invested in their culture.

In the world we live in where interactions with brands are less transactional, people are looking for the soul of a company. That doesn’t come from a PowerPoint presentation, a poster in a shop window or a social media ad.

It comes from the feeling that people give to their work and how they go about it, as well as how they care about their products and customers. Company culture and the ethos that runs through the business drives that. For me it’s the number one competitive advantage you can have.

Finally, what do you think will be the biggest technology trends in 2020?

The first one for me would be robotics. We’re already seeing day to day usage in Amazon warehouses for example. I can imagine more robotics coming into the home and performing menial tasks. Of course driverless cars too. Everyone is waiting for that one.

The second one would be augmented reality. I went to the Tutankhamun exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery on Friday and it was just a totally immersive experience. I never thought I would like something like that, but I loved it. 

The third one would be blockchain. We’re seeing a huge evolution of that technology which is very interesting. Being able to identify single transactions and allocate them to an individual without being corrupt is going to change the whole voting environment.

Then there is artificial intelligence and machine to machine working. Imagine having AI scanning our medical records to predict potential future ailments.  That’s very exciting.

Last but not least wearable technology.  Especially in the B2B environment.  Wearing technology that can provide data to allow better care for our ageing populations, improve the safety for infield on the job technicians.  This is where Prevayl comes in. 

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Prevayl Company Culture. Q&A with Adam Crofts

Adam Crofts, CEO of Prevayl®, has been building the business from day one. Since setting up Prevayl he has put in place one of the most talented and innovative teams in the industry.

We sat down with him to find out how he approaches creating the right team and the importance of company culture in a start-up.

1.Why is company culture so important in a start-up?

Company culture is important in any business, but even more so in a start-up where the pace of change is so fast.

Getting company culture right from the outset enables you to establish the pace and ambition of the business, set the values, and define how we represent ourselves in the world. It’s essential not to be too rigid with it though and to ensure it’s flexible and respectful enough to keep a growing team happy and productive.

It can sometimes be a hard balance to strike, but it can be so effective when you hit that sweet spot.

2. What makes Prevayl different?

The nature of our mission and our day to day work means that we have to hire a really diverse mix of people. I like to refer to them as an “eclectic mix of amazing minds”.

The disciplines required within the business are as diverse as the people who lead each team. We always welcome new personalities and require those that think outside the box and approach new challenges with a different mindset. That’s essential for how we work.

It’s also crucial to instil a collaborative culture both for our internal day to day operations and for the future of the business.

3. How much of this is influenced by your own experiences?

From my previous experience working within and leading businesses I’ve been able to identify those things I don’t like or haven’t enjoyed, whether that’s big egos or rigid, regimented structures. That really doesn’t sit well with me.

What I do like and always look for in the people we employ at Prevayl is respect, drive and motivation. If you have that, you can go far.

4. How do you approach building a team?

The first step is to identify those areas in which you want the business to excel in. You then have to search far and wide to find the right people with the desire, hunger and talent to propel you forward.

Following that, it’s all about trusting your instinct. If you get a good feel for someone then it’s important to go with it and trust your gut.

For a start-up that’s undergoing rapid growth, as a CEO you simply can’t be everywhere. There are key things that I need to focus on and make sure I’m excelling in myself.

In order for the business to flourish, you need to establish and trust leaders within the team and surrounding yourself with energised and motivated people that want to learn and share your vision.

5. The Prevayl team is multi-disciplinary with team members experts in very different fields, what are the key attributes that link them?

Apart from all being the very best at what they do in their own respective fields, they all share a genuine ambition to create a product that will change the world we live in today. You can feel the excitement and drive every single day.

6. With the team growing so quickly, how do you make sure you’re hiring the right people? That they are the right fit for the business?

Beyond the usual process, like a great CV and references as well as a gut feeling, I like to be able to enjoy a one on one conversation with them on my own.

It’s super important that I feel comfortable with the individuals we hire. As the business grows it’s vital for me to be able to put a lot of trust in the people we have hired to continue hiring the same calibre. Introductions always go a long way.

7. How have you structured the team at Prevayl?

Our team structure is extremely robust.

We have experienced leaders and some of the best brains in the industry across each workflow. Below that is a super capable, innovative and motivated team.

Most importantly we are all aligned and driven to work towards the same shared vision.

8. How do you make sure every member of the team sees their value in the business?

We’re a new business, so that means putting thought into this is super important.

To me, we’re only able to progress if each individual is working to the best of their ability. People do this when they feel valued and appreciated.

We hold regular monthly awards with categories like MVP, behind the scenes boss, fastest feet and best energy. It’s a great way of showing appreciation and a good vehicle for regular team bonding. I also find that simply saying thank you and acknowledging the amazing efforts people are going to, always goes a long way.

9. Lastly, what do you and the team do for fun?

Well, we’re working on that. The team might see a few surprises coming this month!

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Start-up Culture: Our Approach to Community Wellness

Remote working, flexibility, a vibrant office environment. This is the minimum employees expect when it comes to start-up culture.

Those businesses that are going above and beyond and focusing on community wellness, employee healthcare, and staff happiness are those that are breaking the mould and offering employees a true advanced environment in which to spend their daily working lives.

This is our approach at Prevayl®. Our technology has the capability to revolutionise individual health and performance across multiple industries. This has to begin with our own staff.

The desire for employee benefits  

According to a recent study, the quality and flexibility of health benefits was the most important factor for employees, with close to 90% citing this as their number one consideration when looking for new opportunities.

Other key benefits included perks that help to improve mental well-being, such as flexible working and gym memberships. Paid time off and annual leave is of course the minimum requirement, but for a high volume of employees, of all genders, an employers’ parental leave policy is of crucial importance.

So, how are leading businesses catering to this employee desire?

Burberry Parental Leave

At the end of November, Burberry announced the introduction of a new global parental leave policy.

Under the new policy all employees are offered 18 weeks of parental leave at full pay, with the opportunity to work a 30-hour week at full pay for an additional four weeks once they return to work.

Coming into effect in April, the policy will apply across the business worldwide, having a huge impact in those countries with much lower periods of statutory maternity and paternity leave.

Burberry’s aim is to create an open and inclusive environment, to give their staff the best possible experience, and the opportunities to continue to succeed in their roles during times of change in their personal lives.

Statutory parental leave may no longer cater to modern needs, Burberry is recognising the opportunity to do something different.

Amazon Care

October saw the pilot healthcare service go live for Amazon employees in and around the Seattle area.

The scheme, which is soon expected to be rolled out to Amazon staff across the board, offers virtual and in-person care, with telemedicine via app, chat and remote video. Follow up visits can be arranged, and medicine delivery is even included; unsurprisingly this applies to delivery to Amazon offices but also an employee’s home.

Amazon is just the latest of the Silicon Valley tech giants to offer this kind of staff healthcare scheme as a compulsory part of the employee benefits package. This is an innovative step right now, but you can expect it to become the norm in a just a few years’ time for tech companies of this scale.

Prevayl’s approach to community wellness

Our approach is to enhance the wellness of everyone within our Prevayl community.

The Prevayl team is packed with talent and creative minds from the worlds of technology, fashion design, data science, electronics, finance, marketing and Biosignal processing.

They each face daily challenges from solving complex problems, building innovative tech solutions and travelling the world. Keeping them physically and mentally healthy, well and fresh is of crucial importance.

Whilst our technology is set to provide the platform for individuals across the world to take ownership of their own healthcare data, for us innovation starts at home.

Individual health eco-system

Through the combination of our full coverage wearable and health-management platform, our employees have access to their own individual health eco-system. This provides access to their personal health data and offers the opportunity to take ownership of their individual health and well-being.

Whilst employees want benefits that cater to positive mental health, often individuals lack the self-awareness to know when work is beginning to impact this.

Each of our Prevayl employees’ individual dashboards ensure that the signs that are sometimes difficult to recognise, like stress indicators, will be clear to see.

The constant monitoring of their body’s signals provides a continuous stream of data and insight into how they react during moments of stress, illustrating when to slow down and when they can healthily push themselves. These daily reminders enable each individual to be guided on a gradual incline of improvement and self-awareness, with the foundation to make the right decisions for their personal working lives, every day.

Importantly it enables them to be healthy and happy at work.

The future

This is just the start for our staff. This technology and the insight into performance and health at work will begin to become the expectation amongst employees.

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The healthcare industry and consumer data anxiety

The modern consumer understands the value of their data. With the increased importance of connected experiences, personalisation and tailored brand communication, consumer-data is currency.

Huge corporations deal in it, it’s the focus of mergers and acquisitions and unfortunately it’s at the centre of information security breaches. This has led to many people experiencing data anxiety about how their data is being used and how safe it is. The use of data and data security is always of critical importance to the work we do at Prevayl®.

Data Anxiety: Healthcare Industry  

No other industry experiences as many issues with information security as the healthcare industry.

Specifically four out of every five data breaches involve health data, while it is expected to cost the US healthcare industry $4billion by the end of 2019.

It affects the likes of hospitals, insurance companies, private healthcare providers, and pharmaceutical companies, making it no surprise that consumers are continuing to feel anxious about the safety of their health data.

The healthcare industry relies on internet-enabled technology. It has revolutionised the industry in various areas from how patient records and lab results are stored, to how equipment is used.

This is essential to improve the care provided to patients by facilitating data integration, patient engagement, and clinical support. The core issue is that these technologies can be vulnerable to information attack, resulting in patient data being stolen, and entire hospitals being shut down.

The NHS suffered a huge information security attack in 2017, which really alerted people in the UK to the value and vulnerability of their health data.

The good news is that the industry is changing to better protect this data, with those in the health sector in the UK increasing their spending on cyber security by 500% in figures released this week.

Not only that, there is an increased commitment to recruit chief information security officers to ensure cyber security procedures and processes are adequately implemented and followed. This is something that was previously lacking according to reports from last year.

The latter is essential for any company or body involved in the collection and processing of health data. Consumers need to feel confident in the information security measures put in place by all entities that collect their individual health data.

Data Anxiety: The use of personal health data

Misuse of personal data sourced from information hacks is clearly one area of concern that is fuelling consumer information security anxiety.

Another is how it is set to be used by those companies that collect and store it. This was again thrown into light by the recent acquisition of Fitbit by Google, with the worry amongst consumers being that any existing and future health data sourced from Fitbit devices is to be used to power Google’s advertising arm.

This has been denied by all parties concerned. What the focus of the deal should be is the importance this could have to the future of the industry as a whole.

Health data and innovation in healthcare

As we move into 2020, the importance of health data is only set to intensify.

The insights gained are set to fuel the next innovations in the sector promising a better experience for individuals and the ability to make informed choices about how to live healthier lives.

At Prevayl, our wearable technology is enabling the creation of the world’s most advanced health-tech eco-system.

Through the collection of more bio-data from the human body than any current leading wearable device, we’re powering the largest ever known platform of human insights. Health data is at the core of our mission.

As is the benefit to the end user. They have the ability to interact with their own health data in their own personal curated health management system. Crucially, our technology ensures that this data is always anonymous, unless explicitly agreed to by each user. It’s from this health management system that each individual will obtain their own tailored insights to assist them to make the right decisions for their own personal health.

That’s the benefit of health data to the end user. Our commitment to data protection, privacy and information security is central to our consumer-driven approach to health data.

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FT NextGen: Consumer desire fuelling disruption

All disruptors put consumers at the core of their product. Those businesses that succeed in changing markets, altering customer perceptions, and re-imagining business models don’t set out to be disruptors.

They begin with the notion of catering to consumer desire and improving the lives of the end users.

For us at Prevayl®, everything we do is focused on helping people to live healthy lives; a core human desire and an intrinsic part of human nature. By enabling individuals to interact with their own health data they will have the insights to help them make healthier choices every single day.

Consumer desire fuels change for the better. This was central to the discussion at FT NextGen, where we were lucky to attend. These are some of the biggest consumer trends fuelling disruption now and into 2020.

Disrupting banks of the future

Digital banks are completely re-imagining the market in the UK. Where once the old establishment dominated the sector, now the number of people using digital banks is expected to exceed 35 million in 2020.

Nearly 30% of consumers in the UK are willing to use a digital-only bank. Digital banks promise real-time spending updates, instant payments to friends, tools to monitor personal finance, no charges for using cards abroad, and enhanced security through facial and voice recognition for account access and transfers.

Put simply, they focus on exactly what consumers desire and provide market-leading tech features to cater for their needs. These are the seeds of disruption coming to fruition.

The future of content

Define ‘content’. Gone are the days of content being purely limited to the websites we visit, the newspapers and magazines we read and the TV channels we tune into.

Today, we’re all content creators.

Our online lives are our personally curated content feeds. Social media platforms began this trend and their algorithms have fostered and fuelled this desire. Your feed is created in line with the content you like and engage with, while your own page is the outward extension of your personality you want the world to see.

This phenomenon of the last decade or so has been driven by the desire for an individual experience, based around a personal customer journey. It has completely re-imagined how we consume content and detrimentally impacted traditional media outlets that simply can’t cater to the desire for personalisation on such a granular level.

This desire for personal curation of our own lives is beginning to be taken a step further by brands with innovative concepts to enhance engagement and create a personal customer journey. This is the central concept behind Burberry’s commitment to bring social selling to their stores, beginning in China. It feels like just the start.

Fashion’s sustainability problem

Consumer desire isn’t just fuelling the revolution of the shopping experience. Consumers are ever-more clued up on sustainability and how various industries continue to impact the world we live in.

Growing numbers of people globally are beginning to turn away from fast-fashion due to the environmental impact it continues to have.

This has led to a step-change from the world’s leading luxury brands. In August this year prior to the G7 Summit, fashion companies reached a landmark Sustainability Accord with the aim to enlist at least 20% of the global fashion industry in an effort to reduce their environmental impact. Brands involved from the outset include Gucci, Kering and H&M.

Consumer desire might once have fed the fast-fashion industry, now the world’s consumers are beginning to turn their backs.

The pursuit of passion

It isn’t just sustainability that is changing in the fashion industry.

The entire retail model is beginning to shift, especially when it comes to those smaller businesses requiring a route to market away from the costly traditional brick-and-mortar model.

This notion of the retail model being broken as opposed to the fashion model led entrepreneur Ross Bailey to launch Appear Here; an online marketplace for short-term retail space. Since it began in 2013, Ross has now worked with over 200,000 brands and operates in a number of cities worldwide including London and New York.

It means more brands on the market and better options for consumers.

Our work at Prevayl

Consumer desire continues to frame our approach to everything we do at Prevayl, ensuring we help people to live healthier lives through market-leading solutions to wearable technology.

The combination of our connected-clothing and health-management platform enables consumers to curate their individual health dashboard, offering everyone that wears Prevayl-enabled garments a personal customer journey.

Our technology is responsible and our fashion solutions sustainable, while our ability to offer fashion brands Prevayl-enabled solutions ensures a diverse marketplace in the wearables sector.

We have innovation at our core. We know that everything in our lives can be improved.

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