VentureBeat is reporting that Doximity, a company that has long been known for being a "Facebook for doctors," is expanding its mission. After collaborating with the non-profit academic medical center Cleveland Clinic, Doximity hopes to become a digital education provider for practicing physicians.
Prior to Doximity, the continuing medical education required of all working doctors took place in an environment that resembled a very large college lecture hall. Doximity is hoping to change all that.
"Doctors spend about 40 hours a year to get accredited and 90 percent of physician education happens offline," said Doximity CEO Jeff Tangney said. "This is time spent away from practice, not to mention administrative time needed to track the courses they've completed. It's a pain. This platform will make it easier for doctors to track all these credits and automatically keep them up-to-date."
CME refers to the practice of physicians learning about new areas of the field, and staying on top of the latest research. In the past, doctors have needed to travel to a remote auditorium; now they can access cutting-edge research from a smartphone device.
Doximity made the announcement on the stage at the VentureBeat's HealthBeat conference. Among the benefits of the new online system, Tangney – who was also a founder of Epocrates, a company that develops mobile health applications – believes that it will eliminate a large proportion of paperwork for students since the system will be able to keep track of what courses each doctor has taken an passed. The online format could prove to be quite a time-saver for busy medical professionals.
Doximity's new service offers relevant medical research to its community of registered physicians — about 170,000 and growing. The company's existing suite of secure HIPPA-compliant collaboration tools will enable doctors to share and discuss cases.
San Mateo, Calif.-based Doximity is one of the fastest growing digital health startups; it recently closed a $17 million series B round led by Morgenthaler Ventures. During a fireside chat with Rebecca Lynn, a partner at Morgenthaler Ventures, Tangney said that doctors "get a bad rap" when it comes to technology, but they were the first adopters of pagers and Palm Pilots. Doctors are busy and on-the-go, and they need solutions that fit into their workflow.
According to VentureBeat, nearly a quarter of all physicians practicing in America make use of Doximity services to send secure messages to colleagues without having to worry about running afoul of HIPPA. As Tangney explains, technology tools like Doximity free up the doctors to focus on what is really important – the patients.