Some aspects of medical care in Barbados could be in for a major change, thanks to an innovation from 26-year-old Dale Trotman, who is seeking to alter the way patient information is handled –– specifically for outpatient care.
The former Foundation School student has developed a suite of apps (applications) –– MedRegis –– that could change the way nurses, doctors, pharmacists and front desk workers in medical facilities document, store and share patient information within their network.
Trotman’s innovation came as a result of the need to improve efficiency within the health care system, eliminating to a greater extent the use of paper.
“This is the age of technology and you need to move yourself forward into more efficient processes. Paper is a very inefficient process in a medical establishment such as doctor offices and clinics, and even hospitals,” stressed Trotman.
“What I am looking to do is create a suite of complete medical apps that cater to medical and non-medical ambulatory care staff . . . . It is a suite of four separate apps centring on the four main professions in ambulatory care. We have the app for the front desk, for the nurse, for the doctor and for the pharmacist.
“Each of these apps will connect with the patient’s electronic medical profile with various levels of access to information,” he said, noting that the front desk operators would have less access while the doctor would have more than anyone else.
The application is Web-based and can work on any electronic device with an Internet connection.
Trotman’s journey started two years ago when he took part in the inaugural Caribbean Innovation Challenge organized by the Young Americas Business Trust (YABT). From that competition he was chosen as a finalist for this year’s Talent And Innovation Competition Of The Americas (TIC Americas) to be held in Panama from April 7 to 10.
Beaming with excitement Trotman, who is the only Barbadian in the competition, told Barbados TODAY that he was one of 32 finalists chosen from more than 2,700 entrants in the Western Hemisphere. There are only four other Caribbean contestants.
“When I heard about the Caribbean Innovation Challenge, I didn’t have an idea as yet, but I always knew from a young age that I wanted to be an entrepreneur. So when I thought about the competition, I started to look at various sectors in Barbados and the Caribbean that lack innovation and that I could probably come up with an innovative idea for.
“When I looked at health care, I realized that throughout the Caribbean you have paper being used from the check-in to checkout process in most medical institutions. When I looked at that, I told myself that it could be done more efficiently with an electronic solution. And that is how it started with that idea now called MedRegis,” Trotman explained.
Apart from health care, the innovator had explored areas in retail, construction and online shopping that could do with some improvements.
But after deciding on health care, Trotman, who works as an administrative assistant at the Barbados Revenue Authority, has been developing his solution and making the necessary improvements in time for the competition next month.
“Since 2013 the idea has evolved vastly. I have an IT health care mentor on board. We have done some data modelling for the solutions, and I have also applied to some of the most prestigious health care accelerators in the United States,” he said.
Trotman has also been getting some assistance from the Sandy Crest and Coverley medical centres, which he has been using as pilot sites, as well as feedback sources from private doctors.
The St Philip resident said he believed he could be used as an example of the innovation young people were capable of to help drive the development of entrepreneurship.
“Entrepreneurship can be a lot further in Barbados, and I think that by getting in the limelight and showing people there are young people with good ideas that can make international finals, Barbados as a whole may come to see the need to push these youngsters . . . .
“At the end of the day, one more business established in Barbados is better for the country, because it helps financially; it increases employment,” Trotman posited.
And he has pledged that whether he wins the competition or not, he will be seeing his project through to fruition.
“The competition is a stepping-stone.”
And although the reception has been great so far with his getting a lot of praises from family members and friends, as well as business operators, Trotman said he had one major challenge. He is “struggling” with some of his preparation and is mainly in need of financing to help him become fully prepared for the competition, which is less than a month away.
Noting the plane fare and accommodation had already been taken care of, Trotman said “for the finals I have things I need, some things to prepare”. Those things, he said, included a hard-frame poster to place in his booth, an iPad, as well as assistance with printing and production materials.
At the finals in Panama, where there will be potential investors and judges perusing the booths, Trotman will be required to make pitches to each of them throughout the day.
There will also be a segment where the finalists actually face the judges in a room.
Going after the top award in the social innovation category, Trotman said he was remaining focused with “a level head”.
“I look at who my competition is, but . . . at the end of the day, whoever my competition is, I still have to give my best.
So I try to understand who they are and what they are doing, but I don’t focus too much on them because at the end of the day I have to focus on my project,” he added.
The aspiring businessman said while growing up he would read a number of magazines highlighting entrepreneurs.
“When I see the stories of a lot of entrepreneurs, especially those who started with nothing and built an empire or business into one that is very successful, when I see that, I see something that I wanted to do as a young person. I want to do something that makes a difference, instead of being just an employee,” he said.
Trotman is yet to finish his labour and employment studies at the University of the West Indies. He studied tourism and travel at the Barbados Community College’s (BCC) PomMarine institute.