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How many healthy people are part of the half a million undiagnosed hypertension sufferers?

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is known as the silent killer because there can be very few symptoms . There are an estimated 550,000 people in the UK with hypertension who know nothing about it.

It occurred to me that perhaps part of the reason there are so many people with undiagnosed hypertension is that those people appear to be otherwise healthy. Whilst people with health concerns visit their GP where they probably have their blood pressure checked and so high blood pressure gets discovered, people who don’t have any health concerns don’t visit their GP, and so remain undiagnosed.

So, in an attempt to validate this assumption I downloaded data from the NHS on the estimated prevalence of hypertension across each of the Care Commissioning Group areas, and using the total population of those areas calculated the percentage of the population with undiagnosed hypertension. I compared this to the surveyed percentage of people in the same area who are inactive (as a proxy for being unhealthy) and active (as a proxy for being healthy).

Blood pressure activity analysis uk ccg

There is no clear correlation between areas with a higher than average percentage of people with hypertension and higher than average percentage of activity or inactivity, so based on this data it doesn’t look like activity has any direct relation to the prevalence of hypertension. Of course this doesn’t mean that being active or inactive doesn’t affect hypertension, or that my assumption is right or wrong, just unvalidated.

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Week Notes #116

What happened this week…

  • Discussed RMSP cutover plans for December and January.
  • Attended IPOS training.
  • Revised phase 1 ecommerce order management processes.
  • Booked tickets for the MedTech Innovation Expo.
  • Began learning about Lloyds Payment Gateway services.
  • Added South Downs Way Travel Tickets to the Online Shop.
  • Attended Introduction to mental health in the workplace training.
  • Worked on Christmas cards email marketing and advertising.
  • Worked on Amazon account validation.
  • Figured out ticket load balancing in Freshdesk.
  • Finalised the contracts with our first Blood Pressure Monitor and Defibrillator suppliers.
  • Worked with Events teams to improve ticket information.
  • Met with the Events clothing supplier.

Read this week…

Doing next week…

  • Overview meeting to discuss Ecommerce activities for the next few months.
  • Discussing medical devices with the Giftware B&M Team.
  • Agreeing the range plan for medical devices.
  • Forecasting clothing sales for the next year.
  • Discussing data protection of connected medical devices.
  • Creating a Selling Defibrillators plan for the Survival team.
  • Implementing Captcha on the Online Shop to foil those Russian spammers.
  • Induction with the new Retail Customer Services Manager.
  • Discussing phase 1 ecommerce order management processes and cutover activities.
  • Discussing the Central Ordering site with the OneCRM team.

Interesting stat of the week…

  • Since moving to the new Online Shop the number of pageviews has increased 5.37% and the number of sessions per user has increased 2.88%, showing that people interacting with the Online Shop more, visiting more pages, using filters, etc.

In the not to distant future…

  • Listing a range of health devices on the Online Shop, including defibrillators, blood pressure monitors, weighing scales and pulse oxymeters.
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Week Notes #115

What happened this week…

  • Bought a DNA testing kit to see how a customer might experience it.
  • Tested back order and credit memo functionality in Magento.
  • Wrote the requirements for getting returns info into AX.
  • Helped launch the Restart A Heart Day CPR Chatbot.
  • Tested bundle and group products on Magento.
  • Started selling Christmas Cards on Amazon.
  • Met with the Cards Merchandising team to ensure Christmas card stock levels.
  • Completed a data brief and requested data for the November Christmas card marketing email.
  • Started competitor analysis of Blood Pressure Monitors.
  • Started customer analysis and user research for Blood Pressure Monitors.
  • Redesigned the delivery note for Ecommerce orders.
  • Got Christmas cards on the main website menu and shop page.
  • Started designing the Christmas card marketing email.
  • Updated the Ecommerce Time Tracker

Read this week…

Doing next week…

  • Setting up a Blood Pressure Monitor supplier.
  • Finish the Blood Pressure Monitor dashboard.
  • Doing IPOS Training.
  • Discussing the costs of the Magento dev work for imports into AX.
  • Designing Christmas card content for Heart Matters and monthly email newsletter.
  • Writing a marketing brief for blood pressure monitors.
  • Discussing how to deal with VAT on giveaway events clothing.
  • Refining requirements for the Central Ordering Site.
  • Looking into advertising Christmas cards on Amazon.

Interesting stat of the week…

  • The best performing product, the Wildflower Seeds Wedding Favours, achieved the same sales this year so far as the 256 worst performing products.

In the not to distant future…

  • Moving refunds, returns and cancellations into Magento to automate reporting into AX.
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Meetings. What are they good for?

Generally speaking, meetings suck, we all agree about that. But there is one thing meetings are great for. Meetings reveal what kind of people you are dealing with.

Some people turn up without much of a clue. They sit there passively with very little to contribute. And they don’t get much out of the meeting. They could have just as easily have not gone and just read an email about it afterwards.

Some people use a meeting purely to push their own agenda. They may or may not have something to contribute, but their first priority is to ensure they get out of the meeting what they want.

Some people only want to derail or disrupt meetings. They distract from the discussion with misleading questions, statements and jokes.

Some people show up informed and interested. They have prepared for the meeting, thought about what is going to be discussed ahead of time, figured out what questions to ask and what they want to get out of it, and what they want to say and how they are going to contribute.

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Week Notes #114

What happened this week…

  • Went to the Pharmacy Show and met four new suppliers.
  • Wrote a supplier agreement for a blood pressure monitor supplier.
  • Tested the improvements to Donations for the Online Shop.
  • Reviewed and rewrote defibrillator web page content ready for sign-off.
  • Experimented with a canvas-type format for documenting a piece of work.
  • Reviewed the final changes to the AX sales interface.
  • Worked with the Infrastructure Team to make changes that will hopefully resolve some issues with Mimecast.
  • Completed the half year financial analysis of Ecommerce.
  • Created example export files for the Central Ordering Site.
  • Discussed working with Service Innovation & Evaluation on a public blood pressure testing campaign.
  • Discussed how the NDN can be more user-need driven.
  • Fedback on the CPR Chatbot for Restart A Heart Day.
  • Onboarded the Ebay Hub team to Freshdesk.

Read this week…

Doing next week…

  • Reviewing the Christmas card marketing plan.
  • Discussing RMSP cutover, stock take, and how to handle sales embargo.
  • Writing requirements for getting order cancellations and returns into AX.
  • Discussing the next steps for the new tender for the Events clothing supplier.
  • Following up with Blood Pressure Monitor suppliers.
  • Testing the IT changes for fixing the Mimecast/Freshdesk issue.
  • Writing the guide to writing a business case for your defibrillator.
  • Adding Donations upsell to the Online Shop.
  • Testing Back Order functionality in Magento.
  • Looking at Supervisr Rules in Freshdesk to see if they can be more useful.

Interesting stat of the week…

  • Since launching the new site, the Conversion Rate has increased 8.91%, the Abandon Rate has reduced by 4.10% and most surprisingly, the percentage of customers registering for an account has increased by 36.36%.

In the not to distant future…

  • Selling blood pressure monitors.
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Greater Good Time

Google is often mentioned for it’s ‘20% time’ where its employees are allowed to spend up to twenty percent of their time working on a side project. Google justifies this through case studies such as gmail which came out of a side project and became one of it’s core offerings. They say it’s one of the things that helps them to remain an innovative company.

But I think the majority of other companies would have a hard time justifying this, and charities would certainly struggle to explain to their supporters why the people that work for it are only delivering to 80% of their capacity and are spending time working on things that ‘might’ pay-off in the future. So, I have a different take on it. Something called ‘Greater Good Time’.

Greater Good Time is about colleagues at charities helping to deliver extra value in existing projects. It’s about making current things better, rather than coming up with future possibilities. It’s about recognising that people have skills and knowledge outside of their day job that can be of benefit to the charity, and if those people are given the opportunity to spread their abilities to other teams, everyone benefits.

If a colleague has skills, knowledge or experience that might help a project be better than it would have been if the colleague didn’t contribute, then there is almost a moral responsibility for that colleague to be part of that project, even though it isn’t part of their day job. Delivering more value for supporters with limited resources is something almost every charity wants to do, and Greater Good Time is a way of doing that.

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What is school for?

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Week Notes #113

What happened this week…

  • Discussed our approach to registering defibrillators with ambulance services.
  • Sent a survey to a few businesses to learn about their experience of buying defibrillators to validate some assumptions.
  • Wrote the first iteration of the guide to writing a business case for defibrillators.
  • Set up the EBay team on Freshdesk.
  • Tested moving the Online Shop email to Office 365.
  • Analysed the half year costs for Ecommerce.
  • Experimented with using Airtable API to call content into a chatbot.
  • Attended presentations from clothing suppliers.
  • Discussed clearing of the old stock and clothing rebuys with the Accessories team.
  • Scaled out the Christmas card Advertising
  • Added the 2019 Diary, 2 Christmas Pin Badges and London to Reading Travel Tickets to the Online Shop.
  • Fixed an Order Confirmation email issue.
  • Launched our new downloadable travel tickets for events teams.
  • Worked on the Donation upsell on the Online Shop.
  • Agreed an approach to handle pre-orders.
  • Discussed how to improve planning for Ecommerce.

Read this week…

Doing next week…

  • Attending the Pharmacy Show to meet with medical device suppliers.
  • Meeting with a Blood Pressure Monitor supplier.
  • Reviewing the returned agreement from one of our defibrillator suppliers.
  • Discussing handling partial-ship and short-ship orders in AX.
  • Adding to the defibrillator range plan.
  • Analysing Christmas card stock cover.
  • Arranging a meeting with Mimecast.
  • Reviewing defibrillator web page content.
  • Writing more for the guide to writing a business case for defibrillators.
  • Agreeing how to use codes in the Sales Export to support AX in recording sales and MDA in fulfilling orders.

Interesting stat of the week…

  • Comparing September 2018 to 2017, traffic from Google increased 173%, the percentage of that traffic that went to the basket increased by 72%, and the percentage of that traffic that completed an order increased by 69%.

In the not to distant future…

  • First iteration of drop-ship order exports.
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Testing the hypothesis for lifestyle fundraising

I’ve been learning about how to implement geolocation in chatbots and had an idea about tracking walks, which made me think about Just Walk, a BHF fundarising product, and whether it would be possible get supporters into ‘lifestyle fundraising’ where they don’t have to organise anything special but include their fundraising in their daily routine.


How do we encourage supporters to enter into long-term small-value recurring fundraising?


Just Walk, a participant-lead fundraising campaign where a supporter commits to walking and gets sponsorship. Usually supporters are encouraged to organise a significant distance walk but short distance walks, e.g. on the way to work, could become fundraising opportunities.


Digitaising the Just Walk product to validate the hypothesis that dedicated supporters can collect ongoing small value sponsorship from their sponsors, rather than a one-off fundraising, by integrating their Just Walk activities into their daily routine.

What might it look like

When the supporter registers for Just Walk they are encouraged to download the app or start a conversation with the chatbot or visit a mobile optimsed web page with geolocation functionality. Registration generates a link that they send to their potential sponsors and ask them to register on the website, where they enter they payment details into Stripe/Changebee or some other recurring payments provider.

When a supporter decides to go for a walk they record their start location and when they have finished they record their end location in the app, chatbot or web page, which calculates how many miles they walked and asks them if they’d like to ask their sponsors for the same number of pounds or save the walk to add up for the week. If they say yes, their sponsors receive an email with a link to a pre-populated payment web page where the payment is taken. To prompt them into going for more walks the app could include notifications such as ‘It’s Sunday morning, great time to go for a walk’, a chatbot could do the same with messages, and automated emails could be used for the website.

The sponsor can unregister from the supporters Just Walk at any time and their payment details will be deleted. And supporters can unregister at any time and delete the app/stop the conversation with the chatbot/close their account on the website.


I think the metrics around supporters recording their walks would be interesting but most interesting thing will be to see how often a sponsor would pay those small amounts before they stop supporting as this would help tell us what people think about ‘lifestyle fundraising’.

Potential issues

Per transaction costs exceeding the value of the donations.

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Methods for working together

A few years almost every meeting I went to was face-to-face with only a few phones as rare exceptions. This year it feels like at least half my meetings are group Skype calls. Although the technology isn’t always perfect being able to work with someone who isn’t in the same place has meant we’ve been able to get more things done more quickly.

So whereas before we only had one method for working together, now we have two. I think we need more. We need more clearly defined methods of working together that make it easier to people to know what is expected of them


Workshops follow a step by step approach to achieve a clear output. They need to stick to the structure, e.g. Design Sprint, and not vere off track. They are all about action and production, if by the end of the workshop the group hasn’t actually produced something useable (not just useful) then the workshop was a waste of time. They might involve blank sheets of paper, wipeboards and post it notes.


Discussions are more informal and less structured. They are about collective information gathering. Everyone talks freely about the topic, sharing their experiences, knowledge and opinions. They require strong leadership and good listening skills from everyone, but they are great for uncovering stuff and getting it all in the same space. The output of a discussion should be shared understanding.


Interviews are likely to be one to one or two to one. They are about getting answers. They require that the person holding the interview comes prepared with questions that they want answers to. The person being interviewed brings their knowledge and tries to frame it as answers not discussion points. The output of an interview should be documented specific answers to questions.

So far, all of these are synchronous methods, that is they require everyone to be working at the same time but I think we need some asynchronous methods too that enable people to still work together when they can’t be together at the same time. We all work asynchronously most of the time, but this is about trying to formalise some methods for asynchronous collaboration.


Reviews require a number of people to read a document, consider it in light of their knowledge, assumptions and experience, and then feedback comments, questions and any concerns. Reviews are best conducted by people on their own at a time they can concentrate and not be distracted. The output from a review should be the collated feedback from however many people were involved into a single source.