Scottish sports medical app revolutionising player safety secures £400k funding

A Scottish firm that aims to transform the way sports and event medicine patient care is delivered is aiming to operate on an international scale after being administered a major funding boost by a former Rangers player-turned top sports medic.

Professor Gordon MacKay and wife Jackie have invested £400,000 in ScribePro, an innovative medical app platform that records medical interactions in real-time for clinicians working in team sports. Professor MacKay, who has been credited with pioneering sports career-saving surgery, has given his backing to the business, believing it will become a world leader in its field.

Founded in April 2018 and commercially launched at the start of 2021, ScribePro was set up to improve the welfare and safety of patients by making their medical information instantaneously accessible and transparent to all clinical staff in any location.

Already, the business has signed up users including medics working with the Scottish FA, FIFA and the SRU, as well as national associations across Europe and in the Middle East. A number of SPFL and SWPL teams have also joined the platform. This month (November), ScribePro has been working with 20 of the 32 Rugby League World Cup teams to enhance the medical care of players competing in the high-profile tournament.

The concept is the brainchild of Jonny Gordon, a Consultant in Emergency Medicine at Glasgow’s Queen Elizabeth University Hospital and the First Team Doctor for the Scotland National Team, and David Lowe, an Academic Consultant in Emergency Medicine and Co-Director of the EmQuire Research. The pair teamed up with top tech-savvy healthcare specialists to establish ScribePro after determining the need to bring the rudimentary paper-based systems in place for team managed sports into the 21st century.

Utilising a user-friendly portal that can be accessed on a desktop, tablet or phone alongside a companion app, ScribePro provides a portable digital solution to record clinical interactions between athletes and medical staff. Sports clubs at all levels including senior, development and women’s teams have adopted it, with the records able to be transferred seamlessly across different squads.

ScribePro will soon market its new FirstAid and Event companion apps alongside its flagship Teams system, the first to be introduced to the commercial market.

Explaining the concept, 50-year-old CEO Gordon, who is currently working with FIFA at the World Cup in Qatar, said: “The platform improves player welfare and safety with transparent, instantly accessible medical information available to all clinical staff. It can be accessed by anyone linked in a player’s medical team, anywhere in the world. It is also a tool for minimising risk to clinicians who are open to legal action.

“All too often medical information is stored as paper records, if there are even records at all. We also noticed it was quite common for there to be very little communication between different medical teams, for example club and international sides.

“The platform alleviates major GDPR and player health risks. The software is secure, user-friendly and affordable. As soon as someone who has seen the player and administered treatment enters the information, anyone else in that medical team can see it, instantaneously.”

With the significant six-figure inward investment, ScribePro, which currently has five full-time employees and is growing, will accelerate its market entry and route to internationalisation while furthering its product development and research, with a predicted revenue of £4.5million in 2025.

Professor MacKay, a renowned Consultant Orthopaedic Sports Surgeon who has held roles as the official surgeon for both Celtic and Rangers, the Scottish Rugby Union, Commonwealth Games and Ryder Cup, switched his focus towards medicine after suffering serious ligament damage which brought his playing days to a premature end in 1990.

He’s since saved countless careers of sportsmen and women thanks to his world-leading technique to repair traumatic ligament injuries, adopted by elite surgeons across the globe.

The 58-year-old footballer-turned-surgeon, who played in the Rangers reserve team alongside Ally McCoist and Graeme Souness, feels ScribePro will also be a trailblazing force in sports medicine, believing its use will bring ‘massive’ benefits towards improving players’ safety and their treatments.

Commenting on his and his wife Jackie’s decision to invest £400,000 into ScribePro, he said: “When I was a footballer, I realised the insecurity of injury and just how devastating it can be. Simple problems can become a serious disability if they’re not addressed or identified at the appropriate time.

“I was also very aware of the lack of continuity or recording or evidence-based advice for players, not just in the footballing world, but in other sports and other disciplines.

“So when I heard about ScribePro and about what Jonny was trying to do in the world of sports medicine, I immediately saw the potential and the importance of this. I have a lot of confidence in Jonny’s clinical ability and when he explained the vision for ScribePro, I was very keen to do whatever I could to support their venture.

“The vision is also very timely – sport is looking for someone to take the lead in this field and provide something that allows medical information to travel with the player, to ensure that continuity. If medics have instant access to that information, it can dramatically improve the outcome for those involved in sport and ScribePro is really going to address this very successfully.

“I wouldn’t be at all surprised if in due course it becomes the norm that clubs and associations expect people to be able to provide that kind of information and I believe ScribePro is clearly going to lead in this area of sports medicine.”

To find out more about ScribePro and its digital medical record solution for the sports industry, you can visit the ScribePro website here.

Header image: L-R – Gordon MacKay David Lowe CEO Jonny Gordon Jackie MacKay

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