SME of the Week: NuKi Health – How the COVID-19 crisis has helped us explore the NHS

NuKi health is a tele/digital health solution for child nutrition, allowing parents on-demand access to dietitians and nutritional advice. Parents can get support from home through video calls, chat-based coaching and tools for optimising their children’s nutrition. We’ve helped parents with challenges around allergies, food intolerances, weaning and food refusal. Although we launched with a private (direct-to-consumer) offering focusing on the above issues, we noticed an increasing number of parents who had received initial NHS support were reaching out due to the disruption of services. For many people allergy follow-up appointments were being postponed or cancelled, including parents with infants suffering from cow’s milk protein allergy who need help with diagnosis, breastfeeding support, advice on specialist formula, and support with weaning and allergen reintroduction. All these steps are time sensitive and occur during a critical period of child growth and development. As such, having a long waiting time or a cancelled appointment can cause a lot of anxiety for parents. On the other hand, the number of qualified paediatric dietitians in the UK is very limited, they are geographically dispersed, and a large number work part-time in the NHS. We believe we can provide extra capacity to the NHS by offering dietitians flexible work and digital tools to manage their workload.  

The NHS has made great strides in terms of responding to the crisis, such as adopting telehealth tools and running phone clinics, and this has shown the organisation’s willingness to accept innovation. The problem lies in figuring out how this innovation can be adopted within smaller NHS organisations and across the different layers of the NHS.

With the help of the DigitalHealth.London Launchpad programme, we’re currently exploring NHS entry points, how to evidence our innovation and how to build relationships with key stakeholders who can advocate for our solution.