"What is my job on the planet? What is it that needs doing, that I know something about, that probably won't happen unless I take responsibility for it?" - Buckminister Fuller
Founded in 2009 with a maverick spirit, Doctot's primary objective was unsurprisingly a daring one: to dramatically improve Global Patient Care via the delivery of the World's First Interactive Clinical Rating Scales and Guidelines.
The Origins of Doctot...
To go further forward, we must first go backwards. Twelve years previous, a London-based Irish doctor named Declan Lyons faced a life-changing decision – continue a blossoming career as a Senior Lecturer at the prestigious King’s Hospital, or come home to his native city of Limerick and take care of his own. Guided by his heart, he chose the latter option.
Working as a Consultant Physician upon his return, Declan witnessed at first hand the biggest impediment to 21st Century health care in Ireland - the continued use of
the paper medical record. Fragmented, fragile and incommodious, paper records were not only very difficult to analyse, interpret and share, but expensive to transport, store and copy. In an era where virtually every industry was embracing computerisation and digitisation to great reward, the world of Medicine lagged behind.
Foreseeing the incredible value that Electronic Information could have as a Health Care Resource for Patients, Clinicians, Service Providers, Governments, Health Authorities and Researchers alike, Declan knew the future must become the present. With necessity being the mother of invention, Declan envisioned a radically reformed Irish Hospital Environment powered by low-risk, high-return integrated Clinical Information Systems. To convert his vision to action, Declan co-created a Business Logic Management Consultancy group named Clinisynergy to design, develop, train and support these systems.
"purpose into practice"
Upon entry to a complex and uncertain business sector that had bested competitors of infinitely greater resources, Declan accepted that Clinisynergy’s journey would inevitably be fraught with difficulties. Over time, these difficulties unfortunately became too great a burden for the start-up company’s other co-founders to bear, which resulted in their eventual departure. Unperturbed, Declan restructured Clinisynergy’s Modus Operandi. Central to this was the formation of a Strategic Alliance with Tailteann Medical, a fellow Mid-West of Ireland firm that shared not only Declan’s unbridled passion for healthcare reform but his steely determination (a.k.a. stubborness!).
The move proved to be a masterstroke. Today, the "Lions Alliance" has over 20 different software solutions in operation within the Irish Health Service Executive, all of which significantly improve the quality, value, efficiency & capacity of each client hospital. With a culture of Kaizen at its core, the partnership continues to go from strength to strength, with the best still very much yet to come.
"Products of our environment"
Everything begins with an iDea...
declan's office - where the idea for doctot was born
Admiring their peerless ability to accurately diagnose medical conditions and provide treatment strategies, Declan the Geriatrician always kept at hand validated Clinical Guidelines and Rating Scales, which were meticulously developed over a number of years by world-class researchers.
Whilst fully acknowledging that these paper-format charts were “best practice”, many of Declan’s medical colleagues were however reluctant to use them, as they felt they were just too time-consuming and cumbersome to deploy in a clinical setting.
To better understand their perspective, Declan decided one Spring day to time how long it took to complete one of his particular favourites, the Hamilton Depression Scale (a standardised multiple item questionnaire used to provide an indication of depression, and to help evaluate recovery). Stopping his timekeeper some 36 minutes after he had started the test, Declan instantly realised the validity of his co-workers' viewpoint.
Tuning into the news from his office that evening, Declan happened to hear Apple co-founder Steve Jobs say at an App Store Press Conference that if one defines a problem correctly, the solution is then within grasp. Immediately grabbing his iPhone, Declan rang his Business partner at Tailteann Medical, Fergal McDonnell to urgently schedule a meeting for the following day. The one and only item on the Agenda surrounded the reconfiguration and adaption of the Hamilton Depression Scale for use as a precise, fast-acting, and user-oriented iOS App that required minimal learning time.
Hugely excited by Declan’s visionary idea, Fergal suggested that MacDara Butler, a UX entrepreneur whom Tailteann had close ties with, should also attend. At the proposed meeting, the trio agreed to combine the forces of their respective SMEs to form a Mobile Health Informatics Consortium, which would be known as Doctot.
a portmanteau of "Doctor" and "Robot", doctot is also an abbreviation of "Doctor’s Tools of Trade"
#FiRST The Original Clinical Diagnosis App
8 months of intricate, inventive and attentive work later, Doctot released the App Store’s very first Clinical Diagnosis Aid, which was entitled Depression. One of a number of widely respected Assessment Scales that were presented within the App in wizard form was the aforementioned Hamilton Depression Scale, which could be administered 9 times faster than the paper equivalent.
Rather than having to write down and self-calculate the numbers as was previously the case, the Health Care Professional could now use cutting-edge iOS touch-screen technology to instantaneously calculate and categorise patient scores. In further ground-breaking developments, the HCP was provided with access to an electronic Patient Results Management System, and relevant "Depression Information". Pin-protected for security purposes, the App received considerable praise in not only the world of Medicine but iPhone Design, which provided the Consortium with the required energy and confidence to continue upon their collective journey.
our depression app - the very first medical app of its kind
From Small Acorns...
A passionate Geriatrician; Declan wished to immediately follow up Depression with a dedicated, native Geriatric App, which is exactly what Doctot did. A revolutionary Stroke App that could be administered 5 times faster than the paper-format equivalent (thus enabling up to 32 million extra brain cells to be saved) was launched very soon afterwards.
Doctot’s next move took the Consortium to the World Class level they had always dreamed of reaching. Partnering with The International Osteoporosis Foundation, The World Health Organisation's renowned Fracture Risk Assessment Toolwas “app-ified”, and launched at the World Congress on Osteoporosis to previously unmatched Medical App acclaim.
Wholly aware that expertly developed Assessment Scales existed in numerous Therapeutic areas, Declan’s next goal was to put electronic versions of such in the pockets of relevant Healthcare Professionals. Pain, Diabetes, COPD, NIHSS, Parkinson’s, and Syncope Apps were to soon hit the market, with each playing a significant part in changing the way clinicians made their patient diagnoses. Admiring our COPD App, the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease made contact in relation to exclusively making their Guidelines and Calculator (which are considered the “Gold Standard” of COPD tools) available in App form. Privileged to partner with this World-Leading Consortium of COPD Clinicians and Scientists, GOLD COPD Strategy was launched with it going on to play a major clinical role in one of the world’s most important disease areas.
The Doctot juggernaut continued with the release of a further string of highly acclaimed Premium Quality Mobile Apps. Among the highlights were Dementia and sMMSE, which Doctot created in partnership with Prof. Willie Molloy (a World Authority in the field of Dementia), not to mention Antibiotic, which was produced in collaboration with University Hospital Limerick’s Microbiology and Pharmacy Departments.
Believing today's laurels are tomorrow's compost, Declan continues to research and review primary literature, evidence-based medicine and clinical guidelines with obsessive enthusiasm. With several pioneering new Clinical Diagnosis Apps in the pipeline, all team members are extremely excited about the release of the Consortium's best produce yet.
THE QMCI, which is A BREAKTHROUGH IN DEMENTIA TESTING, IS EXCLUSIVELY AVAILABLE IN OUR DEMENTIA APP
Our Modest Gift to Medicine...
As previously alluded to, Doctot’s raison d’étre has always been to improve patient safety and well-being. Whilst a need to generate sufficient revenue in order to sustain itself obviously existed, the Consortium’s founders were always adamant that people should be placed far ahead of profit. Particularly inspired by Jonas Salk’s decision not to patent the Polio vaccine in order to distribute it as widely as possible, a unanimous collective decision was made in late 2013 to make available a Free Clinical Diagnosis App range.
Incurring all Development costs (as well as ongoing Tech Support and Maintenance ones) themselves, Doctot released 16 Market-Leading Apps in areas ranging from Neurology and Cardiology that were not only free-to-download but were ad-free, with no strings of any description attached. The feedback received from the Medical Community confirmed what Doctot's founders suspected in advance – that the move would be the best decision they’d ever make as a Consortium.
A SELECTION OF OUR AWARD-WINNING CLINICAL DIAGNOSIS APPS
A New Product Area. The Same Desire to Support HCPs' Work.
Drug Usage and Guidance Apps
When Declan commenced work as a Consultant Physician at University Hospital Limerick in 1997, conventional wisdom stated that Clinical Knowledge doubled every 17 years. Today, numerous respected sources claim it is doubling every 17 months. Metamorphic changes in medical practice have undoubtedly been witnessed by Declan during his time with the HSE Mid-West, with the area of Drug Usage and Guidance, and how nuanced it has become, being a clear example.
In the not so distant past, a relatively basic appreciation of the characteristics of a limited number of Medicinal Products would often suffice. Nowadays however, an exact knowledge of complex issues such as Posology, Contraindications, Special Warnings and Precautions for Use, and Interactions with other Medicinal Products is a requirement. With a huge number of Medicinal Products now on the market, Declan felt Assistive Technology was the optimum solution to the obvious difficulties today’s trying situation presents.
Working in conjunction with multinational pharmaceutical company, Sanofi with respect to their respected anticoagulant, Clexane; Doctot developed their first Drug Usage and Guidance iPhone and iPod App. Providing Health-Care Professionals with the full Summary of Product Characteristics, also included as part of this officially licensed App were:
- Prophylaxis with Clexane - the treatment of Acute Coronary Syndrome with Clexane - the treatment of Renal Impairment with Clexane - the treatment of DVT/PE with Clexane
With a simple flick of a switch, the SPC could toggle for Forte syringe and normal syringe data, a feature Health Professionals seemed to particularly admire.
Delighted with the end-product, Sanofi immediately commissioned an Android version from Doctot, which was delivered with trademark precision and style.
Strongly believing in the value of Drug Utilisation Apps going forward, Doctot continue to invest heavily in the programme in the quest to provide safer, more effective use of Medicinal Products.
Further Broadening Our Horizons...
Doctot iCon - The Medical Conference Information App Platform
To help stay up-to-date with the latest research and treatment, Declan would attend numerous Medical Conferences each and every year. At such events, he would be inundated with a huge amount of weighty print literature that was irritatingly burdensome to carry around. Due to print deadlines, Declan also found that said literature was often littered with programme errors. Aware that paper and ink prices were going through the roof (thus driving the price up for attendees), and of society’s increasing preference for convenient, accessible produce, Declan believed Mobile Technology once again provided the solution.
Sitting down with the extended team, Declan et al started to devise what would become the App Store’s most complete Medical Conference Information App platform. Intended to supplement the traditional Conference Brochure before eventually replacing it, each “iCon” App would take advantage of its digital form, thus providing exciting, interactive bonus material (such as Online Ticketing and Accommodation Booking Systems, Interactive Conference Centre Maps, and Social Media Integration). Presented in a touch-screen wizard format that enabled the user to easily navigate through the App in a clear and time-efficient manner, the Irish Gerontological Society were the first Conference Holder to sign up to the contemporary concept. Ripples felt across the sector, the organisers of TheSt. Luke’s Symposium and The IOG Conference soon followed suit.
Continuously refining the platform for the benefit of users and clients alike, the future of the iCON programme looks rather bright for all concerned.
a SAMPLE DOCTOT ICON SCREENSHOT
If it's true that the future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams, it may just be worth your while bookmarking this site for future reference!