Business partners Pauline O’Sullivan and Michelle Kazukaitis started their business in April 2010. They were already living on the Sunshine Coast with their families and wanted to create a global internet business so they could continue to live here.
Pauline and Michelle have developed a comprehensive Nutrition Database with specialized software to enable Health Practitioners design and deliver personalized nutrition plans for their patients.
““We have created a continually expanding recipe database that currently contains more than 1500 specially adapted recipes"
“We have created a continually expanding recipe database that currently contains more than 1500 specially adapted recipes, scientifically classified to ensure labelling and filtering accuracy. Patients can access their health program immediately from home on their smart device or computer, using their personal login code,” Pauline said.
Patient Nutrition Plans include:
- An individualized digital cookbook
- A mobile database of personalized dietary and lifestyle guidelines
- The facility to upload health-tracking records such as test results, food diaries, videos and photos documenting progress and/or physical symptoms.
What are the operating advantages and challenges to being based on the Sunshine Coast?
We have been very fortunate to be based at the Innovation Centre Sunshine Coast for the past two years. This has enabled us to get well and truly plugged into the thriving community of innovative businesses here on the Coast. The support we have been given by this community has been invaluable. People here are generally very open and generous.
The main difficulty about living here is the limited access to investment capital. We have just returned from a trip to Silicon Valley in the USA where we were exposed to a whole new level of opportunity for investment funding and business development support at all stages of business growth.
In Australia early stage funding is much harder to get. Innovative companies here need to target angel investment if they want to scale fast and there is a lot of competition for the limited dollars available.
The USA is a much bigger market and as a consequence you can find specialist investment funding groups for your particular market, which makes it so much easier to pitch. They understand the market and the problem you are solving so you can get straight to explaining your solution.
Still, we believe that if you have a great business idea and are passionate and persistent you will find a way to build and scale it. Sometimes early struggles make for a better business model in the end. At least it has for us.
How are you using digital technology and systems to evolve your business practices?
Our whole delivery system relies on a custom-built digital platform that we’ve spent four years expanding and refining. In 2010 we developed the first website in the world to enable recipes to be filtered for multiple food allergens; we have now built a Cloud-based platform that enables an even more extensive array of special diets to be tailored according to a variety of health problems as well as 40 food allergens and 21 food intolerances.
What are the key digital innovations changing your industry sector?
Cloud-based technology will enable the delivery of innovative health programs regardless of a person’s location.
The key to improving healthcare in this new era of escalating lifestyle-related chronic disease is to deliver preventative, personalised and participative health programs that enable coordinated care from multiple providers.
New Cloud-based, web-enabled platforms have the power to improve access to information, streamline systems, limit duplication and simplify complex data which will ultimately free up resources, reduce costs and most importantly enable health care practitioners to better prevent, manage and treat disease. It is this vision that motivates us to do what we are doing right now.
Do you have sufficient access to broadband and/or WI-FI facilities for operational purposes?
Yes we have good access to broadband and WI-FI.
How do you think the expanding digital economy will benefit the Sunshine Coast region for businesses, families and communities?
The expanding digital economy means that what was once only available to people with deep pockets or powerful connections, is now available to the ordinary person. You will be mainly limited by your creativity and persistence.
I am the last person anyone would have expected to be building a global, digital business (including myself). I was a complete technophobe when we began, but I saw a need and an opportunity and I knew that I had the drive necessary to make it happen.
I was blessed to have been able to partner with my very technically capable friend Michelle, but that fact just reinforces my point - that the old rules of good business still apply in this new digital age. No one has all of the skills required to build a business. We all need to partner with people who have skills in the areas that we are lacking in. So even if you think you are not technical you can still enter this new economy if you can see a great need and can develop an innovative solution for it.
For more information visit www.victushealth.com