Start Up Corner: Interview with Avril Copeland of Tickerfit

Interview with Avril Copeland, CEO and Founder of Tickerfit

TickerFit In Brief: 

TickerFit was built to empower health professionals, enabling them to prescribe and deliver personalised interventions to patients who are at risk of or are currently living with a chronic condition. In primary care, GPs and other health professionals are prescribing TickerFit to patients at risk of developing cardiovascular disease or cancer.  TickerFit makes prescribing a lifestyle intervention as easy as prescribing a medication.  In secondary care, TickerFit enables health professionals to deliver programmes of self management education and exercise to patients who have been diagnosed with a condition or who have just been discharged from acute care.   Patients receive their personal programme through their smartphone and complete daily tasks in order to fulfil their curriculum.  Patients have the ability to monitor their progress and share this with their health professionals, facilitating continued support and engagement.   TickerFit amplifies a health professional’s reach, leveraging the health enhancing relationship with the patient, supporting them engage in healthier behaviours and ultimately achieve better outcomes.  


founder & co-founder tickerfit Words of Advice: 

This is a tough one. What works for one person doesn't for another. I guess the most important thing is to be passionate about your business and to believe in it. Without that it won't be possible for you to get buy-in from others. It also really helps on the down days, you’re doing this to make a difference and that hasn’t changed. 

Secondly, build your support network, this includes other startups, industry experts but also family and friends. Surrounding yourself with a well rounded network will enable you to remain objective. On the subject of objectivity, this can be tough to maintain when it is your baby that you are dealing with. So regularly, try to take stock of your business and remember to take advice from professionals who have done this before. Try to keep in mind at all times it is business and not personal.

Lastly, leave space for other things in your life. A little downtime or getting away from things for a few days or even hours can often help bring you back with fresh ideas.


Key Goals: 

  • Expansion of our Technology: Work with HSE clinicians to develop new pathways for our technology so that we can enable health professionals to support more patients
  • eHealth Ireland Implementation: We are big supporters and believers of the eHealthIreland Framework.  We are really eager to support the implementation of the framework and believe our technology can assist more people in Ireland live healthier lives. 
  • Business Goals: We are actively hiring more team members to grow the team and help us achieve our mission.  We will continue to look for the right people to join us both as employees and as clinical supporters.  We will raise additional funds to grow the company and accelerate adoption in a wider set of clinical areas. 


Why did I start TickerFit:Avril Copeland & Minister Harris

Previous to TickerFit, I worked as a chartered physiotherapist in one of Dublin’s large acute hospitals.  I loved my job and felt so lucky to have the education and opportunity to support people when they were recovering from illness or attending outpatients.  While I loved my job, I had one major frustration.  I built up such a strong rapport with many of my patients, watching them go from strength to strength as they were recovering.  I soon realised what a privileged position I was in and how the relationship I had built with my patients could be used to help them recover at home once they were discharged, or went home from outpatients. I could help them and educate them about choosing healthier behaviours to prevent the onset of disease.  While I realised this opportunity, I also realised how difficult it was, due to a lack of tools to do this.  This is where I had the idea for TickerFit.  I knew technology could help overcome these barriers, facilitating me as a health professional continue my care and support in a scaled way.  I had to leave my clinical career to set the company up.  Greg Balmer, my cofounder and CTO came on board in 2014 and ever since then the company has grown with the mission of amplifying care, supporting and facilitating the health enhancing relationship between health professionals and their patients.  

You can find Tickerfit's website here, on twitter @tickerfit, on Facebook and most other social media (see their website for more!) 

Thanks to Avril for this interview, the first of our Start up Corner interviews for our two monthly digital digest. To sign up to get our digest directly to your inbox, click here