By: Rebecca Coelius, MD

Things move quickly over at Doximity, the physician social network we covered several weeks ago that counts 11% of all US physicians as active users.

Doximity has since launched Version 2 of its popular mobile application with an end to end rebuild, release of features previously in private Beta, and most noticeably a dramatic positive change in the user interface.

According to Doximity’s Nate Gross, “We rebuilt Doximity from the ground up to seamlessly integrate with the physician’s daily workflow…. and enable secure, convenient collaboration that bypasses the artificial boundaries and limitations of the fragmented American healthcare system. ”

The bulk of the Doximity app homepage is now a personalized, dynamic, news-feed; featuring colleague and classmate updates, DocNews Highlights, and trending conversations in iRounds. The professional network bar may notify you that a classmate has a new publication or a colleague a new connection, with a tap taking you on a deep dive into all recent classmate and colleague updates.

The DocNews Highlights bar will be an entirely new feature for some users, as it was previously in private Beta. DocNews aggregates hundreds of journal RSS feeds, and will become increasingly personalized in future updates by preferred topic areas and popularity amongst colleagues.

The final content bar within the homepage, “Trending in iRounds”, is perhaps most interesting. Here the user can view recent and popular conversations within iRounds, where topics as varied as medical curbsides, technology, and health policy are discussed in a secure but transparent environment. Tapping on any of these conversations makes the user an active participant.

In this release, it’s no longer possible to filter iRounds discussions to specific Groups, but Doximity promises this update is coming in July.

A key, though potentially easy to miss icon on the homepage, is a paper airplane in the lower left hand corner. This “action button” enables the user to send a HIPAA secure fax or message from within the app (made easier by the physician search functionality), start a new iRounds topic, or send a secure clinical text (still in private Beta, but coming soon).

It also remains possible to do a global search of physicians from a homepage search bar.

A swipe to the right or tap on a three-barred icon (red if you have unviewed notifications) takes you to the “navigation slide menu”.  Here you can view (though not edit) your Doximity profile, search for other physicians by name, city, specialty, or medical school, view your notifications, access your Doximity inbox, visit iRounds or search a growing number of Phone Lists for hospitals and national medical hotlines. The “integrated inbox” located here is the first time doctors have been able to send and receive HIPAA secure messages and attachments across medical institutions through an iPhone app.

Returning to the homepage, a swipe to the left or tap on the figure icon takes you to your colleagues page. Your current colleagues self-populate, and can be filtered by name, specialty, and city. The Find Colleagues function does useful things like pull co-authors, classmates, and nearby physicians as suggested colleagues to connect with.

The back-end rebuild is perhaps the most important, though unseen, aspect of this update. Doximity is now primed to serve as a platform for a suite of applications, such as the already released Alumni and Amion scheduling applications. We see potential as varied as facilitating trustworthy mobile health app reviews, to allowing for secure sign on and physician verification when taking CME courses online. The opportunities here are significant, and Doximity promises more announcements along these lines later this summer.

In summary, the Doximity application is now engaging in a way that is was not previously, and I foresee myself opening it repeatedly throughout the day for up to the minute insights into what other physicians are talking about and reading. The app now feels behaviorally sticky, similar to the way the Facebook or LinkedIn feed turned those products into addicting sources of social and professional news and targeted content.

I found the homepage “action button” a bit confusing in its choice of features, it would be more intuitive to allow posting to iRounds through the obvious homepage feed. The virtual office features remain extremely valuable, especially the integrated inbox. I was unclear on the intent of the “navigation slide menu” beyond a collection of features that took second chair to those on the homepage, but rather like the potential of using this space to group virtual office features. It may keep the business and social/information gathering workflows within Doximity a bit cleaner, as I imagine most physicians are not looking to receive colleague requests or DocNews updates while completing patient care activities.

Altogether, though, Version 2 represents a significant step forward for Doximity.  Additional commentary on Doximity’s business model, team, and browser-based experience may be found in our previous coverage.

[Disclosure: One of our Editors, Felasfa Wodajo, serves as an advisor to Doximity; Dr. Wodajo did not write this article, but was involved in reviewing the article.]