leeds.tech / features

In Contact With Charlotte Knowles, Managing Director of TPP

We chat with Charlotte Knowles, Managing Director of Leeds’ TPP, about this healthcare technology company dedicated to delivering world-class solutions, and the company’s sponsorship of Leeds Digital Festival. 

Please tell us a bit about yourself.

Originally from Tyneside, I came to Leeds University, initially to study Medicine but switched to Mathematics (which was much easier!). I started at TPP in 2001, as a programmer, when the company was only around eight people. I still remember my job interview – Frank, the CEO, told me all about the amazing technical architecture that he’d written and how it was going to improve the lives of patients and clinicians.  

As MD, I am responsible for the day to day running of the company and overseeing the activity of all teams, from product development to system deployment. Alongside our software, I believe our staff are our greatest asset – they are an amazing, diverse group of intelligent, hard-working and passionate people. As the company grows, it is vital that we maintain that energy and drive.

I love living in Yorkshire – it’s such a beautiful place and the people are so friendly. Leeds has the perfect balance of city and country life. There’s nothing better than going for a windy walk on the moors, then having a pint in a cosy pub!

Tell us more about the history of TPP and how the company got to where it is today. 

TPP was founded in 1997, with a vision of delivering connected care across all health settings. Our philosophy is to join up healthcare with a shared electronic medical record, improving access to clinical data and empowering patients to take part in their own care. Over the last 23 years, the company has grown, hiring the brightest and best minds. We look not only for academic excellence, but also for that rare quality of dedication and passion for the company’s mission. This philosophy has given TPP many world-firsts, from inventing the technology underpinning shared care to data-driven AI for early cancer diagnosis. We currently host over 50 million patient records and our solutions are used by over 200,000 clinicians, across 7,000 organisations. 

What are your plans for the future? 

There’s so much on the horizon for us, it’s hard to summarise. Coming up we have lots more international work, some exciting collaborative projects with other companies and some really cool research projects. The work we’re doing with AI is going to make a huge difference to patients and clinicians’ lives. Also, healthcare is changing, in that patients are becoming more and more involved in their care. When I started it was only really about providing software for healthcare professionals, whereas now there is such a push to give patients Digital First options to access health resources. It is going to be exciting to see how we move more and more into personalised healthcare and interact with patients directly through our products.

Why has TPP decided to get involved with Leeds Digital Festival? 

Leeds Digital Festival is such a fantastic event, it was a really easy decision for us to get involved – especially given it is right on our doorstep. There is so much going on at the Festival; it will create a real buzz in Leeds. 

Leeds Digital Festival prides itself on collaboration. Why do you think this is so important to Leeds and the wider region within the sector?

Collaboration in the tech industry just makes sense – putting lots of great minds together means we can share ideas, learn from each other and make better digital decisions. Leeds is jam-packed with fantastic technology companies, so Leeds Digital Festival is the perfect way to bring us all together.

How do you think Leeds Digital Festival will benefit Leeds and what do you think the future digital landscape looks like in the City? 

Leeds Digital Festival is brilliant in terms of generating noise and attracting more people into the City. Leeds is a great City, so we need to shout about it more. We already have a reputation as the digital capital of the north so these kinds of events only help with that. The digital future really is shining bright in Leeds.