A new networking and clinical education platform for Doctors
Delia: Steve, you’re co-founder of Praxhub, a platform for doctors to share educational information and to network. Can you tell us a little bit about your company?
Steve: Praxhub was founded in 2014. After several prototypes, we’ve launched an online platform, which is across web and mobile applications.
It allows Australian and New Zealand Doctors and students to connect with one another, for the purposes of accessing CPD education, other industry information, and accessing referrals.
Delia: Steve, what’s your work history?
Steve: Well I took a fairly nonlinear path into the work that we’re doing now.
Both Steve and Rob previously worked in the pharmacy industry
Originally, I started off as a lawyer.
I really got my grounding when I was working for a major pharmaceutical company. I started to learn the trade of health care law. And it was really as a part of doing that work, that I started to see disconnection within the (healthcare) market.
“So that really set myself and my co-founder, Rob Beveridge on a path, looking at ways in which we could solve the issues of fragmentation, using the constructs of internet and technology.”
Combining conservative backgrounds and an entrepreneurial passion
Delia: And are you an entrepreneurial person… a conservative lawyer person? Who is the real Steve Snow?
Steve: Well, if I had of asked myself that question about 10 years ago, I probably would have called myself a relatively conservative person. I don’t think that has significantly changed. I haven’t changed my stripes overnight.
But I’ve always had interest in the way organisations come together, and through my law practise I’ve had an interest in health.
So it’s really combining those two, that have got me to a position where I am today, as a co-founder of a business.
Delia: So, you’ve got a conservative background, but you also like to see problems fixed?
Steve: I think I take a fairly calculated view on things. As probably as part of my background and training, is that I like to fully understand problems and issues before taking action.
Where I do see a strength is being able to identify opportunities and then to act on those.
This is a market in which there’s a lot of opportunities to provide better systems and better outcomes for the Doctors that we work with, in order to allow them to better connect and access information.
“It was actually my dad who worked for pharmaceutical companies… his entire life… on the manufacturing side. It’s always been a language and an industry which has been familiar to me.”
Steve: I actually started in banking and finance, and from there I then went to work for a pharmaceutical company. My dad always thought that I was following in his footsteps!
A community for Doctors to network, learn, and share
Delia: Can you explain to us what Praxhub actually does, from the user point of view?
Steve: Praxhub is an online platform for Australian and New Zealand Doctors and medical students, in which they log into the system through either a web based application or a mobile application.
They require a register identify number in order to join.
So, in Australia an APRA number or the equivalent in New Zealand.
From there, they are able to create a very medically specific profile. And that’s really important, because if you are a specialist who is looking to have referred patients, GP’s need to be able to see what sort of work you actually do.
“Praxhub gives Doctors the ability to be able to find other doctors with a level of specificity, that doesn’t exist on similar platforms.”
Steve: Equally, Doctors can access education such as CPD accredited courses.
Industry has a desire to provide information to doctors, such as hospitals’ professional services, so doctors can access that information as well.
And finally, there’s collaboration. Doctors within specialties and across specialties are often looking to collaborate on areas of medicine.
Praxhub provides a platform which they can easily do that, either a web based application or on their mobile.
Senior Doctors can upload educational videos shot on their smartphone, to help junior Doctors with clinical exams
Delia: You mentioned to me that a senior Doctor could take a short video of patient assessment and upload that to your platform, so that information shared among doctors. Is that the case?
Steve: Yes absolutely. We have senior Doctors on the platform who are supporting the clinical education of junior Doctors. They record certain procedures, with the consent of the patient, then upload the videos to the platform, to make them available to others.
“The consultants have been in some instances, uploading educational instructional videos to the platform to help other junior doctors within their area of specialty.”
Delia: Well, that sounds great, because I know that junior doctors do need a lot more hands on assistance, the same with junior nurses.
Steve: It’s fantastic because that means that people can learn from each other.
We’re trying to connect the medical industry in a way which is convenient and efficient for them.
Delia: What are the pain points that Praxhub addresses in the health industry?
Steve: Praxhub is looking to address the issues of fragmentation.
For example, the medical industry has over a hundred recognised areas or specialties of medicine.The industry is very siloed and as a consequence of that, quite disconnected.
Which makes it hard for areas of cross collaboration.
So, what we’re looking to do is, solve the areas of disconnection and to bring the industry together.
Delia: Doctors have a big need for privacy, to safeguard their patients’ information and protect themselves legally. How do you deal with this?
Access is restricted to people with a medical registration number
Steve: A doctor needs to provide their medical registration number, which is validated by the system, in order to access Praxhub.
Privacy is really important for many doctors, in terms of having those open conversations and sharing information.
Delia: What sort of technology do you use?
Steve: Praxhub is a web based application as well as a mobile app.
The underlying concept is the relevance of clinical information and the quality of professional connections.
So by that we mean, Doctors are only presented with information that is specific and relevant to them.
In order to do that, we use Artificial Intelligence and Algorithms.
Artificial Intelligence is becoming very common in many industries. It is able to make information more efficient, and more effective.
“What we want is for doctors to be able to come onto the platform to have a good user experience. If they’re going to be recommended to connect with other Doctors, those Doctors work must be relevant and specific to them.”
Delia: What has been your customers’ feedback? What of the doctors who’ve logged on and used the platform have to say about it?
Steve: The feedback that we’ve received so far has been very positive.
We do our best to understand through site statistics as well as working directly with Doctors how well the platform is meeting their needs. That will always be evolving process for us.
Delia: Where do you see your company in five years’ time? I mean, are you branching out to other countries?
The company is already in Australia and New Zealand, and reaching out into Asia
Steve: We are currently operational in Australia and New Zealand. We are constantly getting feedback from Doctors to improve, so when we do launch into other countries, we can be successful.
Delia: And are you reaching out to other countries, like in the Asian Pacific region?
“We have been doing some work in the Asian region already. The platform isn’t available yet in those markets, but there’s certainly strong levels of interest in Praxhub.”
Delia: It sounds a bit like a LinkedIn or a Facebook style social networking for doctors. Is that the case?
Steve: No. There are elements of those platforms in terms of aggregating information, but our platform has a very specific functionality, relevant to the industry in which we’re working.
Delia: Are there Doctors involved in your company who gives advice or feedback?
Steve: Yes, we have a medical advisory board, which is made up of two specialists and a general practitioner. And we’re looking to very soon have a medical student to join our advisory board, to provide us with guidance and feedback.
Delia: Steve, thank you very much for your time speaking to Wikihospitals. This is a unique Australian platform. For the listeners, check out Praxhub, and let us know how you go.
Steve: Thanks, Delia.
For more information on platforms for Health Professionals, see the Dallas Mayne interview.
© Wikihospitals September 2018