A physiotherapy professor from Glasgow has won £5,000 and on-going business support to help her develop an online service for people with neurological, cardiovascular, respiratory and orthopaedic conditions.
Professor Lorna Paul with GCU graduate Callum MacKinnon
Lorna Paul, professor of allied health sciences at Glasgow Caledonian University, triumphed in the social enterprise category of the Converge Challenge Awards, held in Glasgow on 29 September.
It was the first time that a member of staff has been put forward for the competition which celebrates start-ups and businesses ideas and is aimed at creating the next generation of entrepreneurs.
Professor Paul’s website, Web Based Physio, first launched in 2011. Since then it has been used as an academic resource, forming the basis of studies into the remote delivery of personalised physiotherapy exercise programmes.
The site allows a qualified physiotherapist to remotely assess a patient, provide them with an individualised rehab programme and regularly monitor their progress.
Ms Paul told Frontline: ‘Up to now we’ve used it as a research platform, for different projects that have been funded by organisations like Arthritis UK and the MS society.
‘But we entered the competition to get some funding, as we need an income stream to keep it up to date and develop it technologically,' she said.
‘The prize money and business support will help us set up the website as a social enterprise, so it will be a clinical service as well as a research platform.
‘And we will be looking to keep the research component, which is international, as well. We currently have studies running in Canada and New Zealand.’
Former student Callum MacKinnon received the runner-up prize for his social business, The Forth Valley Rebound Therapy Service CIC, which helps children and adults with additional support needs by using a trampoline for therapeutic use.
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