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Tom Whicher | CEO & Founder | DrDoctor

DrDoctor: Digitizing and Democratizing Delivery of Healthcare

Making medical care accessible to everyone is one of the most noble tasks of all nations. To deliver sufficient medical attention to the patients and curing them from their diseases is the most important aspect of good healthcare. It is essential to have the culture of care, compassion, and concern at the care giving centers for the well-being of the patients by using the latest technologies and all available advanced sources. DrDoctor values the culture of compassion and kindness and it utilizes technology to deliver transformational healthcare.
Tom Whicher is the CEO and Founder of DrDoctor. He states that DrDoctor’s mission is simple; putting patients first and using technology to create transformational change in healthcare. DrDoctor supports NHS trusts to digitize and democratize the delivery of healthcare with a cost-effective digital-first patient engagement platform that puts patients in control of their care. More than 30 NHS, organizations use its flexible and intuitive technology to attend to more people, by actively involving patients in decisions about their care, such as when, how and whether they want to be seen.
DrDoctor combines this with efficiency-driven digital systems and processes that have evolved from working with NHS organisations across the UK. As a result, it can show how its platform reduces the burden on clinical and non-clinical staff and realises financial and non-financial benefits for the immediate and long term. The impact of DrDoctor includes cutting DNA rates by 35%, reducing waiting lists by 27%, and using virtual consultations for 42% of patients. By supporting digital-first interactions between patients and hospitals, DrDoctor aims to help healthcare systems be more sustainable, using the data and technology that will be the basis for value-based care.
Cutting Path through the Jungle
DrDoctor has been a journey of passion. Tom is so proud of the fact that DrDoctor has gone from three people and one hospital department to 88 people and 10 million patient users. He doesn’t think any of them could have achieved what they have done, if they didn’t really care. He states that, “You work in healthcare if you care about people and their outcomes.”
The company believes in gentle disruption — working with existing processes and teams to create change from the inside out. So, the right patient is seen at the right place and the right time. Tom states that DrDoctor has been lucky to work with some amazing forward-thinking NHS techies to be some of the first people in the UK to store patient data in the way that it did it. DrDoctor has certainly had to cut its own path through the jungle and it is really pleased to see all the companies that have followed it. Tom says, “It’s fun to be a market-maker! You’ve got to be tenacious.” And it’s one of the reasons Tom is so excited about the next 10 years as there’s a whole heap more jungle to cut through.
Solving Biggest Challenges for Hospitals and their Patients
DrDoctor’s vision is a digital-first healthcare system where it meets the challenge of rising demand without compromising the quality. It started on this journey in 2012 and its vision has always been really similar. It started working with hospitals and their appointment management because it felt that that’s where the biggest challenge existed at the time and it has stayed true to that ever since; reiterating its product offering to ensure it solves the biggest challenges for hospitals and their patients.
Forming a Complete Patient Engagement Platform
DrDoctor’s products form a complete patient engagement platform. Within that it has three features; patient engagement tools which are about communication and video consultations; a set of automations which focus on administrative efficiency and self-scheduling (patient-initiated follow-up for example) and waiting list management; and a set of clinical tools like data collection and pre- and post-clinic assessment, remote monitoring and follow-up management which allow it to help clinicians change clinical practice.
Utilizing AI Platform for Streamlining Services
DrDoctor created a platform which allows hospitals to work in a whole different way. Underpinning all of that is a first-class data infrastructure and a set of machine learning AI tools. DrDoctor was really fortunate to be one of the AAC phase 4 award winners. It has developed some AI platform which predicts on attendance and ensures patients turn up for their appointment appropriately. This AI platform also helps Doctors to find linked appointments which makes them first in class in scheduling. And finally, to identify whether or not a patient needs a follow-up appointment, helping to solve the challenge of the long waiting lists in the NHS.
Valuing Culture of Growth and Challenger Mindset
DrDoctor values the culture of growth and people that have a challenger mindset, who want to be the best they can be. It values insurgency which is change and people that want to make a positive impact. It values compassion and kindness. Tom doesn’t think there’s any point setting up a business that is not true to oneself and what one represent. He states that life or business is about the journey and if one does not have fun while one is doing it then there’s not much point!
Business is a cut-throat but Tom believes that if company has a great culture and great people then one can achieve anything. So, staying true to company’s values, staying true to its insurgency and growth mindset is most important for DrDoctor to sustain its competency.
Achieving Greatness through Strong Relationships and Shared Goals
In coming five years, DrDoctor will continue to seek out new problems and search for new challenges. That’s what it has done for almost 9 years and Tom believes that formula is golden, and he doesn’t think they need to change it. He states that it’s important to work together with company’s clients (who frankly, most of them have become its friends), because healthcare is going to go through this massive transition in the next couple of years. Tom believes that it’s through strong relationships and shared goals that they will achieve greatness and the NHS, their customers and DrDoctor will come out much stronger.