Technology from a Scottish software firm ''Administrative' helps Canada fight Covid-19

28 Sep 15:00 by Victoria Masterson


SCOTTISH tech firm Administrate is helping a Canadian healthcare company distribute 10,000 ventilators by delivering specialist training to its customers.

The Edinburgh-headquartered software company helps clients automate and evaluate staff training and started working with Montreal-based CEA Healthcare after it designed a new ventilator to help combat Covid-19.

“They had a prototype ventilator ready to go in 11 days and needed to deliver training to users very quickly,” said Administrate chief executive John Peebles. “We’ve seen an acceleration in healthcare companies coming to us with urgent training needs because of their role in tackling the pandemic.”

When lockdown began, Administrate launched a ‘super-fast’ implementation process designed to help companies switch live training events to online platforms in less than two weeks.

“If you really have a burning need to get your training out there and do it remotely, we can help with that,” Mr Peebles said. “When the pandemic was spreading across the globe, we were helping customers virtualise their training operations country by country, in some cases overnight.”


CEA employs 10,500 people in more than 35 countries and involved 500 employees from 45 departments in developing the ventilator, which was subsequently certified by the Canadian government’s health department, Health Canada.

The training being delivered on Administrate’s platform includes on-demand ventilator training and e-learning modules related to Covid-19 patient management.

Administrate’s customers also include Edinburgh-based tech company, Current Health – formerly known as Snap40 – which has developed a wearable device to allow healthcare patients to be monitored at home.

“Current Health is certified by the US Food and Drug Administration, which means customers have to be trained before they can use the device, and they use our platform to do that,” Mr Peebles said.

“They’re growing quickly because they can help healthcare professionals monitor patients remotely, especially critical during a pandemic. It’s a great story that we’re proud to be a part of.”

Administrate employs around 100 staff across bases in Edinburgh, Bozeman, Montana and Beirut, Lebanon.

When a large amount of ammonium nitrate stored at Beirut port exploded in August, causing at least 190 deaths and more than 6,000 injuries, Administrate’s staff raised £5,000 through a crowdfunding campaign to help their colleagues.

“Hopefully our team could use that to repair blast damage in their homes, or help out someone else in need,” Mr Peebles said.

“Our office in Beirut is about a mile from the explosion site. All the windows blew out, so it could’ve been very dangerous, but thankfully all of our team were working from home because of the pandemic.”

Administrate has had an office in Lebanon since 2016.

“It’s an unstable region, but we’re really pleased with the calibre of people we’ve been able to recruit there,” Mr Peebles said.

Administrate furloughed about ten staff during lockdown but has avoided lay-offs and is currently recruiting in three new roles.

Since last July, the company has been focused on building its business in North America, where it has secured new customers including technology company Siemens. Other customers include Danish shipping company Maersk, Netherlands-based publisher Elsevier and professional services firm PwC.

Mr Peebles said the company’s core customers were complex multinational organisations who were typically looking to integrate multiple learning management systems into one platform. They also need to be able to measure what value their training was delivering to to the organisation, rather than just its volume.

The pandemic had led to a slowdown in some sectors, but increased demand in others.

“Obviously uncertainty was really high particularly as lockdown started in March,” Mr Peebles said. “We expected to see delayed decision-making in sales and our order pipeline being affected. We have seen some of that, for example in traditional industries like transport, but we’ve also seen acceleration in other sectors like healthcare.”

Administrate has raised £11 million in funding since it was launched in 2012. Its investors include the Scottish investment syndicate Archangels and asset manager Mercia.


(To see this article at it's origin: