Welcome to Virtual Health Labs!
Virtual Health Labs is a digital health start-up run by Dr Tim Anstiss and Ogi Bataveljic.
We are a healthcare organisation with specialist digital and IT skills.
We have developed a customisable, smart, interactive coaching platform underpinned by motivational interviewing and robust behaviour change principles and techniques.
This platform / app (mi-healthcoach™) can be customised and locally branded by our clients to help them deliver more of the health and wellbeing outcomes they want
We are currently working with:
Durham and Darlington NHS Trust developing 3 different versions of the platform: one to help pregnant women stop smoking, one to help people with cancer recover lost health and wellbeing and engage with local groups, and a third to help less active men become and stay more active.
The Healthy London Partnership, to help people with musculo-skeletal pain become more active, take up local services (IAPT, Supervised Exercise Classes), become less depressed and stay in, return to, or find work.
Professor Paul Gilbert OBE, to develop a compassionate mind training app which might then be evaluated in a clinical trial.
MacMillan Cancer Support and The Royal Marsden NHS Trust on an immersive virtual reality experience for people with cancer, helping them to cultivate self-compassion and reduce activity in their threat emotional regulation systems.
The Virtual Health Labs Team
We have a unique mix of skilled, experience and motivated professionals to help our digital health solutions deliver health and wellbeing improvement over time.
Dr Tim Anstiss: Founder, Medical Director and CEO
Tim is a medical doctor, specialising in health behaviour change, mental health and wellbeing improvement. He has trained thousands of staff in motivational interviewing, brief interventions and health coaching and worked on several national and international health programmes. As medical adviser to the Rugby Players Association he helped develop and deliver the #LiftTheWeight mental health campaign and is currently working with the British Medical Association running a series of half day seminars and an online course to help busy doctors protect and improve (and recover) their mental health and wellbeing. Tim has published several papers and book chapters on various aspects of health and coaching and is a popular international speaker and presenter. He is a part-time lecturer on the MSc in Coaching and Behaviour Change for Henley Business School. Tim led the design of a children’s cancer app for the University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust and the Teenage Cancer Trust and recently led the patient co-design phase of a virtual reality intervention for people with cancer at the Royal Marsden Hospital funded by a £100,000 grant from MacMillan Cancer care, as well as physical activity, smoking and wellbeing improvement apps for the Darlington Healthy New Town project. Tim is a former international athlete (pole vault) and contender on ITV’s Gladiators. He was also one of the Slough 50 in the BBC documentary ‘Making Slough Happy’
Ogi Bataveljic: Chief Technical Officer
Ogi is an experienced technology entrepreneur and executive with a track record in the creation and delivery of complex intelligent systems in the health & wellness market. He is passionate about building and leading teams that create exciting innovative technologies, especially those with a social benefit dimension. Under his technical leadership, the AXA PPP Health Services became a leader in technology-enabled services within the UK healthcare sector. Before this Ogi was co-Founder and CTO of Imperative Health Ltd, a spin-out from Unilever. He led the design, development and deployment of Imperative’s Health behaviour change technology, including software platform (automated coaching service) and hardware devices (wireless biometric monitoring). Under his technical leadership, Imperative Health developed arguably the world’s leading automated health behaviour change system at the time, comprising a sophisticated, unique mix of social psychology, cardio-vascular health strategies, biometric monitoring devices and adaptive machine learning algorithms. The system was able to deliver consistently high user activation and continuing engagement as well as changes in significant health outcomes (e.g. increased physical activity, weight management, reduction in blood pressure, reduce CVD risk factor score) with studies were published in 3 peer-reviewed health journals.
Matthew Burton McFaul: User Interface and User Experience Lead
Matt is a veteran interface and app designer - currently design advisor for the product wing of Microsoft Research: MSR NExT. Matt has designed over 100 products in the gaming and app space, including educational games for the BBC, original Facebook games with millions of players, and popular computer vision and machine learning powered apps like Microsoft Fetch!. Matt brings skills and experience in Brand Design, Web App and Game Design, Large TV and Entertainment Clients, Facebook games (played by millions), Serious Games for industry, education and health, UX wireframes, storyboarding, fast demos and final production. His coding experience includes JQuery, HTML, CSS Adobe Suite expert, Flash animation and motion graphics.
Paul Davies: Healthy Analytics
Paul is an experienced management consultant in Population Health Management (PHM) and Digital Health. He has previously developed and led the Milliman UK Health Analytics practice where he oversaw: the proto-typing of (PHM) analytics and reporting for NHS England; deployment of actuarial cost models to support the development of a Multi-specialty Community Provider; Development and deployment of chronic condition hierarchical groupers to support development of population budgets and risk adjustment. Prior to this Paul operated in a business development role as Director of Analytics for Optum International (part of United Health Group) where his responsibilities included: Evaluation of case and disease management services; Implementation of risk-reward finance mechanisms to support provider contracts under pooled or capitated budgets; Management of digital platforms and applications that underpinned Optum’s Global Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) programme.
Prof Paul Gilbert OBE
Professor Paul Gilbert OBE is Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Derby and Head of the Mental Health Research Unit, Derbyshire Mental Health Services NHS Trust. He is a Fellow of the British Psychological Society and has written, taught and researched extensively in the areas of mood disorders and shame. He is a former President of the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapists. He has published over 150 academic papers and 20 books and is a series editor for the Compassion Mind Approaches to various psychological difficulties. He set up the charity The Compassion Mind foundation in 2006 (www.compassionatemind.co.uk) and was award an OBE in March 2011.
Prof Steven Rollnick
Stephen Rollnick is an Honorary Distinguished Professor in the School of Medicine in Cardiff University, Wales, UK with a research record focused on good practice in efforts to promote change and behaviour change among patients, clients and the practitioners who serve them. Stephen is also a clinical psychologist with many years of experience in service provision and in the training of practitioners. Stephen is a co-founder of Motivational Interviewing. His work has included support to programmes for pregnant teens, children with HIV-AIDS in Africa and medication adherence in different areas. He is a co-founder of PATA (Paediatric Aids Treatment for Africa) and the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT), an international network for trainers. He is the co-author of Motivational Interviewing: Helping People Change(Miller and Rollnick, 1991; 2001 & 2012), Health Behaviour Change: A Guide for Practitioners (Rollnick, Mason & Butler, 1999) and Motivational Interviewing in Health Care (Rollnick, Miller & Butler, 2008), Motivational Interviewing in Schools (2016) and is completing a book on motivational interviewing for sports coaches. and is active in several technology transfer initiatives.
Dr Tim Anstiss and his colleagues were commissioned by Department of Health to develop a training package and supporting materials to underpin the roll out of a national primary care initiative. Tim brought a wealth of knowledge and experience to the project. He works in an open and transparent way, taking on board and integrating feedback while also assisting and enabling DH colleagues to better understand topics that fall outside of their areas of expertise. Tim worked very closely with the project team to make sure that training content was absolutely right, and the materials produced by Tim are of an exceptionally high standard. Furthermore Tim has gone well beyond his contractual obligations in supporting the development of the DH initiative, as he has also provided specialist knowledge, expertise and guidance in the development of the primary care implementation guidance, as well as promoting the initiative across a range of his medical networks. It has been a pleasure working with Tim and his colleagues and I would make no hesitation in recommending him to other DH and NHS colleagues.
Katherine Thompson. Department of Health Physical Activity Team
I am a GP and lead for Long Term Conditions for NHS Rushcliffe CCG. I attended a course organised and run by Tim Anstiss in late 2012, along with a number of clinicians from the area. We were interested in learning about motivational interviewing techniques and applying them to clinical practice in a primary care and community setting. This approach dovetails very well with the national and local priority to optimise self-care for patients with long term conditions. Tim brought a real understanding of the health service, combined with a pragmatic approach to applying complex techniques into busy clinical practice. He was able to adapt MI theory and teach it in a way that lent itself very well for use by non-specialist clinicians. A mix of teaching styles was used that appealed to and engaged all the learning styles in the room. He has a charismatic and engaging approach and is obviously very passionate as well as knowledgeable about the subject. As a CCG we are exploring how to embed the use of MI techniques across our clinical community, and will no doubt be involving Tim in this process.
Dr Neil Fraser. Long Term Conditions Lead
Tim is a creative and integrative thinker with a solid knowledge base, inspiring communication and a contagious enthusiasm. It is a pleasure to work with him. He is a constructive and inspiring facilitator. He has a tremendous breadth of knowledge and ideas on health and wellbeing, coupled with a good sense of humour and the flexibility to relate well to the views and personalities of those around him. He helped us to move on when we felt it was needed, in directions that were at first difficult to define.