Our partners

As part of our extended team at NeedleSmart we work with several expert organisations as our strategic partners including CAL international who are our design partner of choice.


Meet the NeedleSmart team

Cliff Kirby
With a degree and extensive experience in mechanical engineering and product development Cliff is the inventor and founder of the NeedleSmart product and company.
David Latham
Head of Development
David is responsible for managing processes from concept through to product development.
David has extensive knowledge of project management in multi-disciplined roles across a variety of medical and engineering sectors.
Elizabeth Kirby
Business Development Director
Elizabeth is responsible for the management of strategic and customer relationships both in the UK and internationally.
Julie Paul
Marketing and PR
Julie is responsible for the Marketing and PR activity for NeedleSmart. Julie has worked both in the UK and internationally on many leading global brands.
John Bryne
John is an experienced director developing companies from grass roots and has taken the lead role in the development of several start up companies both have which have led to an exit for multi million sales prices. He has held CEO positions and currently sits on the board of various companies including NeedleSmart.
Dean Fathers
Dean joined the Board in 2020 and brings with him a range of relevant skills and experience. Initiating his commercial life in logistics with Pioneer, TNT and Abbey Hill BMW, he progressed to build a portfolio career, founding, growing and selling several organisations and taking on numerous Non Executive Board appointments, mainly in the health and technology sectors. In addition to his considerable commercial and entrepreneurial experience Dean brings NHS and executive education experience to the NeedleSmart board. He has chaired Acute, Community, Mental Health and Primary Care Trusts, as well as a Health Authority, and has been on the board of both NHS Providers and the NHS Confederation’s Mental Health Network. He has also been a lead tutor for the Institute of Directors and been honoured with professorial appointments by Cass, Leeds, Lincoln and Nottingham Business Schools. In addition to working with NeedleSmart, Dean is also currently Chair of GreenKite Associates, a Non Executive Director of both Diagnostic Healthcare and the PHSO, is on the Board of the GLLEP, where he is chair of their Health and Care Enterprise Committee and also chairs the Centre for Organisational Resilience and the Lincoln International Institute for Rural Healthcare at the University of Lincoln.
Michael Ricks
Michael’s focus is to enable the team to scale the business through acquiring capital, growing revenue and profitability, and expanding geographies served. As partner with a London investment bank, he specialised in advisory and capital raising for fund managers and corporates, focused on high-tech and health-tech. While partner with three of the “Big Four” consultancies, he held leadership roles in national, regional and global financial services / insurance practices, focused on delivering business strategy through technology and process design and implementation, as well corporate finance and M&A. As a board member, advisor, mentor, and investor, Michael teams with entrepreneurs and their investors to grow businesses leveraging scalable technology, from inception through exit. He is particularly interested in practical application of data analytics, artificial intelligence, machine learning, IoT, geospatial, and distributed ledger technologies to improve health and quality of life.
Charles Alessi
Charles Alessi will chair NeedleSmart’s new advisory board. He is MD and Chief Clinical Officer for HIMSS, a global advisor and thought leader supporting the transformation of the health ecosystem through information and technology. Charles travels the world assisting governments, large corporations, hospital chains and HIMSS members in the utilisation of data and information to improve the health and wellbeing of citizens. Charles Alessi brings a wealth of experience around health systems and the interface between healthcare, social care and the personalisation of wellness to the NeedleSmart team. Alessi is also senior advisor to Public Health England, leading thought leadership around productive, healthy ageing and has extensive experience in military medicine. He was also a past chairman of the National Association of Primary Care and holds a variety of international academic positions both in Europe and the Americas having been published widely in the media and journals.