Co-creating innovation in digital healthcare

We co-create digital platforms with innovators in healthcare who share our mission: to generate practical benefit for patients, clinicians and society through technology.

We are a multi-award winning team of healthcare professionals, creatives, engineers and visionaries united by a single goal: to produce the best possible work, and in doing so, to make a meaningful impact on the world around us.

We see other people doing the same-old and we see same and old. We embrace curiosity, difference and the questions no one else asks. The present and the future are about disruption: new business models, differentiated services, betterment through collaboration. At the same time we believe that innovation must be protected, nurtured and allowed to evolve. We want, do, think, walk and talk difference.

We are collaborators with values, committed to research and development, to finding better answers, to blending rigour with magic to accelerate strategic innovation and create stand-out products and campaigns for our clients.

 
$50,000
 
Undisclosed
 
10 - 49
 Founded
2011
Show all +
London, United Kingdom
headquaters
  • Ampersand + Ampersand
    179 Great Portland Street
    London, LND W1W 5LS
    United Kingdom
    +44 (0) 20 7112 7100

Portfolio

Key clients: 

Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Barts Health NHS Trust, Boehringer Ingelheim, TedX, Wikipedia, The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, King's College NHS Foundation Trust

Reviews

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App Development for NHS Foundation Trust

"What they came up with is very much in line with our vision and our brand."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Dec. 2016 - Jan. 2017
Project summary: 

Ampersand designed and developed an app to support NHS foundation trust staff and their HR team. Ampersand integrated existing content with high-quality design to create a fast, easy-to-use solution.

The Reviewer
 
1001 - 5000 Employees
 
London, United Kingdom
Head of HR & Business Partnering, NHS Foundation Trust
 
Verified
Feedback summary: 

The project turnaround was extremely tight, and Ampersand excelled under pressure. While the app’s goals were simple, the final product exceeded expectations for functionality, appearance, and professionalism.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I work for an NHS foundation trust in London, and I’m the head of HR and business partnering.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Ampersand?

You can imagine that we have different staff members working around the clock here in the hospital, from doctors to nurses to support staff. In the HR and other back office functions, we work 9-5, so there’s only so much support we can give them in terms of having difficult conversations, training, and development.

At the same time, there was a national survey of all hospitals in the UK which found that quite a few of our clinicians don’t log on to computers. They only do very basic updating of patient information on computers. We realized that quite a few of the things we try to communicate via technology aren’t always available to them, or they don’t really access it. We wanted to improve that. In essence, we engaged Ampersand to develop an app to make it as easy as possible for our staff to access HR support and guidance so they have more time to prioritize patient care.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Basically, we came up with the idea of creating an app so all our staff can access important HR information within seconds right from their phones. It could take as long as three minutes to log into our old system, so one core feature was really just decreasing the amount of time it takes to access information.

We created the content for the app, but we didn’t have the skills to create it. That’s where Ampersand came in. We gave them an overview of what we were looking for, and they digested that and came back with a proposal. We changed a few things and agreed on a very tight turnaround time, and we were able to launch the app quite soon. The product was delivered in a matter of weeks, and they actually exceeded our expectations in quite a few ways.

How did you come to work with Ampersand?

We do have a procurement process, but Ampersand was recommended to me by someone who’s used them before. I tried to do some research myself, but I’m not an expert in creating apps, so it wasn’t easy to find somebody I knew I could trust. The recommendation that came in was quite good, and it was important for us to see that they had worked with similar clients. From their website, it was easy for me to pitch them to the decision makers in my organization.

How much have you invested with Ampersand?

Sorry, this is confidential.

What is the status of this engagement?

I gave them the brief in December 2016, and we agreed on a January 2017 turnaround, so it was a very rapid partnership. I wanted to make quite a few changes, even though they delivered a really good project, and they were accommodating.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

We were looking for kind of a basic app, but what they came back with was a lot more advanced, and it looked a lot better than we expected. We have various ways of gathering feedback, and the feedback has been positive. One was hitting deadlines, and they actually beat them for both phases of the project.  Another thing was making sure the app was user-friendly. Because of our budget, we did expect quite a basic app, but what they delivered was a lot better than that, and it looks good.

How did Ampersand perform from a project management standpoint?

When we discussed the initial project with them, they came back with a project plan that included timeframes, what they’d do at different stages, and the overall look-and-feel of the app. What they came up with is very much in line with our vision and our brand in terms of the visual aspects of it, not just the content. In terms of project timeline, we had different project milestones, and they achieved each of them.

What did you find most impressive about Ampersand?

They’re very quick at coming back to us. I had quite a few changes I wanted to make to the app, and they made them quickly. But the most impressive thing has been their pace of work: I didn’t expect them to have a finished project in a matter of three weeks, which they did.

Are there any areas Ampersand could improve?

Honestly, I can’t think of any. That’s not to say they’re perfect – everybody has their pros and cons – but nothing stands out at the moment.

What tips or recommendations could you share that might increase the likelihood of success with Ampersand?

If you have a clear plan and if you’re very open about that from the early stages, they’ll happily work with you to achieve it. I haven’t always been able to meet my commitments to them in terms of giving them the content to put in the app, and they’ve been very flexible. So, the more organized you are, the more organized they’ll be.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I would definitely recommend them to others.

App Development for Services Matching Startup

"Ampersand seemed to understand the business logic of the startup world, solving various problems from our first meetings."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
Dec. 2015 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Ampersand performed market research, defined the MVP, and created a timeline to help the client build an app that would match buyers and vendors of maintenance-related jobs.

The Reviewer
 
2-10 Employees
 
United Kingdom
Founder, Services Matching Startup
 
Verified
Feedback summary: 

Ampersand successfully delivered an MVP that was actually quite detailed and opened up additional opportunities to explore. The client appreciated that Ampersand + Ampersand made an effort to understand the business and thus proactively solved problems and offered new ideas.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

We are a tech startup developing a platform which matchmakes services and service providers, with the twist of having smart teams put together by a system and assigned to particular tasks. We focus on both the B2C and B2B markets, with services like maintenance and other manual jobs. Our system tracks data around how personalities and teams match, creating an algorithmic HR solution.

I am the founder of the company.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Ampersand + Ampersand?

I had an initial concept for a mobile software which would record work being done and provide billing. The main business challenge was to create a scalable product and one which was better than what was already on the market.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

After a couple of meetings with Ampersand + Ampersand’s team, we put a couple of ideas together and I saw how much larger the platform could be. Ampersand also performed market research on my behalf, coming up with a utopian vision, defining the MVP [minimum viable product], and creating a tech timeframe.

We needed to solve the issue of looking at a service provider as an individual working on-site. As a side note, a recent case in the UK found that Uber was actually an employer. We had anticipated that this would materialize, and any similar startup business would be in serious trouble. The solution was to discuss how we could create a marketplace where independent contractors could set their own prices and be matched to clients willing to pay those sums. Not setting a fixed price was a bit of a challenge, both technically and business-wise. Ampersand came up with many good solutions in regard to the technologies we should use for minimizing the cost of the MVP.

How did you come to work with Ampersand + Ampersand?

I had an idea and wanted to get the work started quickly, so I looked for development agencies online and spoke to friends. Ampersand's founder had experience as an entrepreneur, which meant that he wouldn't provide the typical factory experience for the project. He took interest in delivering what a startup wants, namely a solution which reflects the concept and business goal, not just a functioning prototype.

I tended to find that other companies only had dollar signs in their eyes, and were not very flexible. Ampersand's members actually love what they do, so they kept in constant touch with me and thought of solutions for my project.

How much have you invested with Ampersand + Ampersand?

The cost of Ampersand's work was around $200,000. Outside of this, including my legal costs, the total investment has been around $350,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

The initial meeting with Ampersand was in December 2015. The work itself started in January 2016, and the product was delivered at the end of April.

The MVP was quite detailed, and because we started to interact with the market in the pilot stage, looking at how people were reacting to it, we recognized additional opportunities. It's an ongoing process, but Ampersand + Ampersand delivered a product which I could bring to the market.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

Even though I could set a delivery date, there are things which fall outside of the metrics. I had additional ideas along the way, including a more detailed rating system. Ampersand + Ampersand factored this into our sprints, always keeping the time and budget in mind. The costs were increased, but I was given the ability to restructure various parts of the project, as it was ongoing.

How did Ampersand + Ampersand perform from a project management standpoint?

Ampersand performed well in this regard.

What did you find most impressive about Ampersand + Ampersand?

Ampersand cared about my startup and made an effort to understand it. Many agencies work with large corporate entities, paying a lot of money, so they don't require a very high level of innovation; they can simply knock out a website or an app. Ampersand seemed to understand the business logic of the startup world, solving various problems from our first meetings. Had I chosen another company, I would have received a basic MVP which didn't reflect my goals.

Are there any areas Ampersand + Ampersand could improve?

We changed much of the work based on feedback. Our user interface/user experience was aligned for a marketplace with a single contractor and client, instead of a team, so we've had to change some of the designs and branding.

What tips or recommendations could you share that might increase the likelihood of success with Ampersand + Ampersand?

If the client is a startup, they need to consider that even though they are paying a bit of a premium on Ampersand's services, it's worth it. They'll have access to some very experienced people who have been founders themselves on other businesses, and who understand the process. Ampersand's team takes into account that a solution might fail, but they'll work to minimize the risk. They're great people to work and communicate with, and I'm considering putting Ampersand's founder on our board of advisors, given the amount of value he's provided. Other people in the industry tend to be a little jaded, which can demotivate a client, especially when they're outsourcing the work.

I would also recommend Ampersand + Ampersand to corporations, but startups can benefit the most from their services.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

App Development for an NHS Trust

"Ampersand has a lot of experience in the app space, and they were very good at focusing us on what users would be thinking."

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
3.5
Willing to refer: 
4.5
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Nov. 2015 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Ampersand was hired to develop an app for the client, a large teaching hospital that wants a specialized app for the UK rather than a limited functionality one or a hospital-specific one. Work began in November 2015 and is ongoing, as the app hasn't launched yet.

The Reviewer
 
10,000+ employees
 
London, United Kingdom
Consultant Gastroenterologist, Royal London Hospital, Barts Health Trust
 
Verified
Feedback summary: 

The client isn't yet able to provide metrics since the app hasn't launched, but so far Ampersand has been praised for their personable and friendly team. The client also appreciated Ampersand's innovation and guidance when designing the app.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

The Royal London Hospital, Barts Health Trust is a large teaching hospital in the UK.

I am a consultant gastroenterologist seeing adult patients, and I have a specialist interest in an area called inflammatory bowel disease. I have been in practice as a consultant for 3 years. My activity is clinical as well as research-related.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Ampersand?

We wanted to find an app that could support patients with inflammatory bowel disease. We knew that there were a few on the market. I reviewed them, trying to see if we could encourage patients to use one for support on organizing their lives and communicating with us as a service.

Unfortunately, we found solutions that were too general and only allowed patients to form a diary of their symptoms, offering no communication functionalities with the hospital, or were highly specific to one hospital. For example, a child in Toronto under the care of the local hospital could have access to an excellent app that was very usable and did many of the things that we wanted, but it was specific to that hospital.

Our goal was to make an app for the UK. I met up with a colleague who was designing one aimed at only his hospital. My part of the process was to suggest making an app for the whole of the UK, which is where Ampersand came in.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We had to come up with a detailed map of how the app should look. Ampersand's work involved coming up with a way of communicating between us and the patient in a secure manner. Ampersand designed a backend that could be used by different hospitals through a login system specific to just their patients. The patients could select the hospital that would provide care for them, and as soon as that happened, a user from the trust would have an overview of the patients. We also asked for push notifications, going beyond email and phone consultations. This allows each hospital trust to communicate directly with all patients, either on an individual or group basis.

How did you come to work with Ampersand?

Ampersand had done work for a rheumatology department, and I met them through a colleague. We were able to attract a lot more funding, and have created a nationally-available app through Ampersand's help.

How much have you invested with Ampersand?

The total cost of our project with Ampersand was between $150,000 and $180,000 [100,000 and 150,000 GBP].

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with Ampersand in November 2015. The app hasn't yet launched on the Android and iOS app stores. Ampersand will maintain both apps, and we plan to continue working with them for the foreseeable future.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

We haven't launched the app, so it's a bit hard to provide specific metrics. Our users are split between patients and the trusts that they're interacting with. Feedback from both of these camps will be very important for us, but we're not there yet.

How did Ampersand perform from a project management standpoint?

For us as doctors, the process was different than normal. Ampersand typically develops applications over short periods of time, but this couldn't fit in with a project that we were working on in our spare time. Someone building a car in their garage would do it over a period of 1-2 years, as opposed to a factory which has 20 people working on it. I failed to appreciate that Ampersand needed absolutely everything in advance and that the development would be done incredibly intensively. We almost needed to program in a whole series of times when we could take part in the query process. As a doctor, I don't have the time for even weekly meetings, and I would have needed a minimum of 2-months' notice for doing this.

What did you find most impressive about Ampersand?

Ampersand has a very personable, friendly, and open team. They were able to innovate in many areas and steered us around bad ideas. Ampersand has a lot of experience in the app space, and they were very good at focusing us on what users would be thinking.

Are there any areas Ampersand could improve?

None that I can think of now.

What tips or recommendations could you share that might increase the likelihood of success with Ampersand?

If I were to ever take on this type of work again, I would discuss with the developer about what would be needed from us during the build period and make sure that I knew what I wanted. The developer offers an enormous amount of resources for short bursts, and we need to get the most out of them.

4.5
Overall Score I'm English, so I can't give a perfect score.
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 3.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 4.5 NPS
    Willing to refer

App Development for an NHS Provider

"In terms of success, now nearly a quarter of our patients have downloaded the app [built by Ampersand]."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
Project summary: 

Ampersand & Ampersand worked to create an app for the client that allowed its users to easily access relevant information about their health diagnosis as well as available health services.

The Reviewer
 
10,000+ employees
 
London, UK
Consultant Rheumatologist, King's College Hospital
 
Verified
Feedback summary: 

With more than a quarter of patients having downloaded the app, the client has already experienced measurable success through working with Ampersand & Ampersand.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I work for King's College Hospital NHS [National Health Service] foundation trust which is a large secondary care NHS provider.

I am a consultant rheumatologist. We look after a variety of conditions that affect the musculoskeletal system, like rheumatoid arthritis for example. It is a disease that has a predilection for the hands, and as a result, it impacts people's ability to carry out daily tasks, including writing and performing fine manual tasks.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you were trying to address with Ampersand & Ampersand?

We wanted to develop an app because one of the challenges we have in our clinical service is getting information to and from the patients. It became apparent through some focus group work with patients that touch screen technology was easier than traditional paper based questionnaires for people with arthritis.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

The aim of the app to be developed by Ampersand & Ampersand was to be three-fold: (1) provide information about our services, (2) provide links to information about rheumatic diseases, and (3) enable patients to send back information about the state of their disease.

How did you come to work with Ampersand & Ampersand?

At the outset of the project, we had a goal to develop the app but did not have a specific provider in mind. We undertook a scoping exercise to look at the market, and contacted four different app developers in the London region. Originally, our aim had been to identify a developer in our local borough as the funding source was a local charity, and we were keen to reinvest locally. However, there were none available. We identified Ampersand as a suitable provider based in part upon their prior work with the NHS and also a very effective presentation they delivered when I went to meet them.

How much have you invested with Ampersand & Ampersand?

We had a budget of up to £20,000 [US$ 26,400] to work with, which included the cost of patient involvement for development of the app as well as IT costs. 

What is the status of this engagement?

It took 12 months to deliver the project.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

In terms of success, now nearly a quarter of our patients have downloaded the app. It has become a standard tool in clinic to signpost patients to clinical services. The app contains a map of the hospital and a calendar function, which are very helpful for the patients. In addition, the links to educational resources for patients are invaluable as they include links to websites that patients know are trusted and contain reliable health information.

Are there any areas Ampersand & Ampersand could improve?

The major limitation of the app is that it cannot link into the central hospital record. In an ideal world, I would like the app to enable patients to view and change appointments, but due to the NHS firewall, the integration and development costs are prohibitive. However, this is something we are working on for the future.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer