By Irfan Hassan, Head of Digital Health, AI and Software and UKHSA NHS COVID-19 App Regulatory Lead
Psephos Biomedica is very proud to be recognised with the TOPRA (The Organisation for Professionals in Regulatory Affairs) Innovation Award 2023 alongside others in the NHS COVID 19 App Regulatory Team, UK - UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, Netcompany and Zühlke Group.
The Award was given for ‘outstanding achievements in the deployment and successful implementation of innovative ideas.’
I attended the Awards ceremony with Jacques du Preez (Psephos) and my NHS COVID-19 App Team colleagues; Hollie Wild (UKHSA), Sarah Hicks (DHSE), Mark Grumbridge (MHRA), Neil Moorcroft (Zühlke), James Graveston (Zühlke), Jamie Whysall (Netcompany) and Paul O'Looney (Netcompany).
It was a wonderful evening from start to finish in a beautiful setting. Throughout the evening I found myself gazing around our table feeling blessed to be part of this collaboration for 3+ years. It was lovely to have dinner together and celebrate recognition of regulatory excellence from across the globe of all finalists. I raised my hands in preparation to clap and applaud the innovation winner as the announcement was being made and was over the moon to hear the NHS COVID-19 App Regulatory Team being announced, I was so proud of our Regulatory Team and collaboration. It took a few minutes to accept the Award as everyone was so humble and offering the opportunity to each other.
The Global Awards for Regulatory Excellence are a great accolade for the shortlisted nominees and winners, which is also validated by an independent judging process. There were 17 judges in total each with different responsibilities/categories to look after. Within the Innovation category, we had some tough competition from the United States, Finland/Belgium and Canada. This gives us even more reason to feel incredibly proud and grateful to TOPRA for giving us this award.
Over 31 million people downloaded the NHS COVID-19 App – one of the highest uptakes globally. Leading scientists at the University of Oxford and University of Warwick estimated that the app prevented around 1 million cases, 44,000 hospitalisations and 9,600 people dying during its first year alone (https://lnkd.in/er5nF9-a Published February 2023).
A really big thank you to TOPRA for this acknowledgement and for a really wonderful evening, and to all of our NHS COVID-19 App Regulatory Team colleagues.
Here are a few of the lovely comments we’ve received:
Comment from Hollie Wild, Lead Product Manager, UCD team at UKHSA:
“Congratulations Irfan Hassan, Jacques du Preez and every single member of the App's regulatory team through time - a wonderful recognition of a truly impressive achievement. I saw first-hand how much effort and devotion went into keeping the app compliant through some extremely challenging times - it simply could not have been the success it was, with all those lives saved, without your work. Thank you so much for inviting me along to the awards, it was a fantastic night.”
Comment from Neil Moorcraft, Managing Director Technology, Member of the Executive Board & Partner at Zühlke UK:
“Congratulations Irfan Hassan and Jacques du Preez! This was, by far, one of the most challenging projects any of us will ever work on - long hours and very difficult days - yet you always worked with a smile and were never flustered or bad tempered. Thank for all your guidance and support, we would never have got the App out the door without you.”
Comment from Ramesh Kumar, Technology Manager, Web & Mobile App Delivery at Netcompany:
“Congratulations Irfan Hassan, Anusha Venkatesan, Hillary Asiedu, and all the other members of the apps regulatory team. Well-deserved recognition”