Tech start-up of the week: Medxnote

1 Dec 2013

Pictured: David Curran CTO, Ruth Kenny COO and Niall Rafferty CEO of Medxnote

Our start-up of the week is Dublin-based Medxnote, creator of a real-time, secure pager replacement app for medical professionals that will move healthcare communications from analogue to digital.

“Our focus on compliant health care communication and the app will replace both the laborious pager-and-call-back workflow and unsecured SMS text messages which leave protected health information at risk,” Medxnote’s chief operations officer Ruth Kenny explained.

“We’re targeting the hospital health care market with particular emphasis on replacing existing pager systems with our innovative solution,” Kenny said.

Future Human

“We’re starting in Ireland and plan to scale and sell to the UK market with over 1,000 hospitals and later the EU and US markets with 8,000 and 5,000 hospitals respectively. Our solution will also provide substantial savings for hospitals through increased staff productivity and efficiencies.”

The founders

Kenny describes the NDRC-based Medxnote founding team as rounded with complementary skillsets; a team that works well together and all are passionate about changing healthcare and at the same time building a viable business.

Niall Rafferty is the founder and CEO. Rafferty worked as a radiographer specialising in Radiology IT Systems (RIS and PACS) and also lectures occasionally in UCD.

Kenny is a qualifying chartered accountant, holds a degree in law and has a keen interest in mobile health and the efficiencies it can bring.

David Curran is CTO. He previously worked as a security engineer at Symantec and also with Amdocs. At Amdocs he gained experience developing communications software. He also work on his own start-up and gained experience creating and deploying cloud-based software and mobile applications.

Medxnote’s app designer is Niki Tisza, an experienced UX designer for mobile apps and who is currently completing design training at the NDRC.

Diarmuid Cahalane of Open Innovation Partners is Medxnote’s regulatory compliance advisor. Diarmuid has been consulting to the technology and life sciences sectors for over 20 years.

The technology

Kenny explained that the Medxnote technology works by allowing doctors to use their own smartphones to send and receive information.

“Before a message is sent we use location data to know that the doctor is actually on-site.

“We have a full audit log recording when the message was read and a message acknowledgement feature so we know the doctor will act on the information in the message,” she said.

Achieving goals

Kenny said that Medxnote’s goal is to build a global world class healthcare IT company in Dublin and scale and grow to serve international markets.

“We have secured St. James’s hospital as our pilot site. We hope to deploy our Medxnote solution in St. James’s during the first half of 2014.

“Blackrock Clinic has also agreed to be our testing partner and pilot site so we now have a private hospital on board as well at St James’s.

“We have a lot of inbound investor interest with our investor demo day on the 12 December in the NDRC. We plan to close our first funding round before the end of December.”

Navigating Dublin’s start-up scene

Dublin is now famous throughout Europe for its vibrant start-up scene, myriad of tech events and start-up meet-ups and a growing investor scene.

However, like any other start-up hub, be it London, Berlin, New York or San Francisco, there are many people willing to help and offer advice. Navigating this environment, Kenny says, can be tricky and start-ups and entrepreneurs need to stay focused and true to their objectives.

“As a young company you get a lot of different advice from mentors also known as ‘Mentor Whiplash’. The key challenge is to filter all this information and make decisions that stay true to our vision for the company.

“The Dublin start-up scene is vibrant and exciting and there is a real sense of community and positive goodwill amongst all tech start-ups.

“The medtech ecosystem in Dublin is particularly dynamic with some wonderfully innovative eHealth start-ups.”

Kenny’s advice for other start-ups arriving on the scene in Dublin is to dive right in and make connections. For example, Medxnote was born out of Start-up Weekend in Google, an event that Medxnote won in June this year. Niall pitched the idea and met Ruth at the event.

“Don’t wait – Start now by attending one of the many networking events for tech start-ups such as Dublin Beta or Pub Standards,” Kenny recommended.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years