Innovative Strategies that Helped Tickit Health Scale in the Healthcare Industry

On December 5, 2017, I had the privilege of representing Tickit Health at TechVancouver, an event which brings together some of Vancouver’s leading tech innovators and enthusiasts every month. I was asked to give a 5-minute, TED-style presentation on some of the strategies we used at Tickit Health to build a innovative digital product, and a strong company culture to support that product.

Healthcare is a risk averse, highly regulated, slow moving sector, where innovation can be challenging. As I reflected on Tickit Health, there were some important strategies that helped us move forward as a company in the healthcare industry.  


1. Know the industry deeply

My 25 years in clinical practice in Adolescent Medicine allowed me access and knowledge to the complexities and drivers in the healthcare system. We knew healthcare is risk averse, highly regulated, and slow moving, and understood the stakeholders, decision makers, the vision of healthcare organizations. But most importantly, we understood and were empathetic to their challenges and constraints.

2. Lead with design

Our mandate was that patients and our clients, the managers and healthcare providers, were people first. So, technology had to work for people, be “person-friendly”, rather than the other way around, which is the status quo for many EMR records and other hospital technology.

We acted on this strategy using design first principles, including:

Communication design with the desire for inclusivity - using clear language principles, usability design, understanding the challenges of health and overall literacy

Graphic design to make our product stand out by being beautiful and inviting

UX design focussing on ease of use, simplicity, and accessibility (motor and visual). Whether that be for patients, or healthcare professionals.

Environmental design, understanding that each healthcare setting is unique, with respect to layout, workflow and staffing.


3. The importance of processes

One of our early advisors gave us sage advice. He emphasized that the product was only 10% of the business. We needed a company that would support the product to successfully bring us to market. This included bringing together a strong, talented accountable team, and developing a supportive, nurturing culture.

Today, we are very fortunate to have such a diverse team, 16 members strong. With We originate from 9 different countries, speak 14 languages, and 40% of our team are women.


These strategies have proven to be effective and monumental in establishing our company within the global healthcare scene. They are stable building blocks with which to scale and expand our reach to improve patient well-being and care outcomes.

Nina Chen