Five Questions with the Co-Founder of Docphin, a medical journal organization tool

Yesterday, I reviewed the Docphin app on the iPhone.

I could not have done it without the help from Dr. Patel, as he was very kind to allow me to test out his app and the website for my review.  Dr. Patel is one of the Co-Founders of Docphin.

He has been very energetic about the progress Docphin has made and was happy to answer several questions about his platform.

He agreed to a short interview as I had several questions about Docphin and where he wants to take it. The questions are below.

How did you choose what journals to list on Docphin?

Dr. Patel: “Before we launched the platform, we leveraged our network of over 100 physicians across training levels (med students to residents to practicing docs) and we held focus groups, took surveys, and learned about how physicians consume content. We set out to find the top 8-10 journals for each specialty.  We also curated the twitter feeds based on feedback about the most important medical societies and experts in each specialty.  Now we are now expanding our content adding journals based on feedback.  Each of our sources leverages a technology that helps identify the difference between valuable studies like randomized control trials and less valuable ones like replies to the editor.  This makes the content more valuable for our readers.”

Does Docphin work by integrating your app through the organization libraries?

Dr. Patel: “Yes, less than 20% of medical research articles are free to access.  However, two-thirds of providers have access to this content through their institutional subscriptions.  The problem is that this access usually requires at 5 to 7 step process and has never been done well on a mobile platform.  Our platform provides one-click seamless access online or on your iPhone.  You type in your login and password once and then you have free seamless access to everything during your session.”

To follow up on that answer, will some users be constrained to certain journals if not supported via their institution?

Dr. Patel: “We have over 250 journals on Docphin and are adding more.  So far this has not been an issue.  Most institutions buy their journal access in a bundle that includes thousands of journals.  Thus far, we have not had a complaint about someone’s institution not having a journal on our site and we are now at 23 institutions across the US.”

What institutions are you looking to collaborate with?

Dr. Patel: “We are currently expanding nationally.  We have a long waitlist and are opening the platform to 1-2 institutions per week.  Although we’ve most focused on academic medical centers, our platform is also in use by large health systems that are not directly affiliated with a University such as Henry Ford Health System and Main Line Health System.  We’re looking to collaborate with institutions that have the same passion as we do towards transforming the way we practice medicine to better integrate medical research and to help providers connect through content.”

Where do you see Docphin in the next few months?

Dr. Patel: “Docphin is based on a movement to transform the way we practice medicine and connect through content. We’ll be expanding the platform, integrating features that enable providers to collaborate and connect based on their content and interests, and then expanding our mobile platform with an iPad app that will include features and discovery tools never seen before in a medical application.”

Where do you see mobile technology taking the medical field in the next few years?

Dr. Patel: “Medicine is rapidly evolving and our current healthcare system is not setup to handle the volume of information.  Mobile technology will help to break these barriers by providing timely and relevant information to patients and providers at the point of care.”

I have greatly enjoyed testing Docphin, and look forward to when my institution adopts it for use. I think it will help decrease time of accessing key medical literature and help with organizing my own personal references for later use and reading.

Dr. Patel and the rest of the developers at Docphin are dedicated towards addressing the integration of our medical libraries and smart devices for increased speed and access. In this age of fast moving technology and demand for up-to-date literature in the medical field, this may help ease the burden on practitioners.

I eagerly look forward to the release of an iPad app, and to see what changes they have coming out in the next few months.

Author:

Timothy Aungst, PharmD

Digital Pharmacist seeking to integrate technology and mHealth into pharmacy practice and patient care. Assistant Professor by day, blogger and writer by night.

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