At PointClear Solutions, Scott Frederick provides clinical insight and product research for software and app developers looking to disrupt healthcare. He’s directly associated with one aspect of the PointClear business model that we find fascinating and innovative: the use of nurse technologists to vet the workflow effectiveness of every technology the company manages.
This week, we sat down with Frederick, the Executive Director of Clinical Insight at PointClear, to talk about nurse technologists, effective application workflows, and more.
Q: First, tell us a little bit about you. What led to your shift from clinical work to PointClear?
I’ve been working at PointClear for four years now. The “Aha!” moment came when I met the Chief Experience Officer and the founders of PointClear. Our chief experience officer, Lee Farabaugh, was getting her master’s at the same time I was, and for me, it was her passion for building healthcare applications that users actually want and need. Healthcare is full of applications that actually don’t help their users, and we knew that product managers could benefit from more knowledge of how healthcare settings really work.
Q: How would you describe the role of a nurse technologist?
Nurse technologists are clinicians who have multiple years of experience working in the healthcare system. We also have a healthcare information technology background – personally, I have a master’s degree in health informatics. And what we do is we function as the bridge between clinicians and technology firms. We know what it’s like to use technologies in a healthcare setting, and we understand the workflow.
Q: Why are nurse technologists an integral part of the PointClear business model?
We participate in product strategy work, so we work with clients and help them find how to bring their technologies to market. We work with their user research team and help them conduct research on how products are being used. Our clients obviously want their products to be user friendly for workflow purposes, and we help figure out how products will fit in with existing technologies.
Once we were working with clients who were building an iPad EMR, and my clinical knowledge and experience helped them determine the specialties this would help the most. Because I was familiar with the workflow of many different specialties, I envisioned how this technology would fit in different settings. My insights combined with market sizing helped them market their product more specifically.
Q: It seems like the clinical insights of nurse technologists have been integral to the success of PointClear. Do you see more businesses using a similar model in the future?
A lot of companies who develop healthcare technologies already have nurse technologists on staff. But a lot of them have been with that same company for 20 years, so they really only understand their own company’s product. We bring in a wealth of knowledge and we work on a wide range of products, so we have a better sense of the entire healthcare tech picture. I think other businesses could definitely benefit from our model.
Brendan Pease was MedTech Boston's first ever editorial and events intern. He is now a junior at Harvard University where he studies Molecular and Cellular Biology. He’s also the Co-Editor-in-Chief for the Harvard Science Review. Previously, he worked as a Market Intelligence intern at athenahealth and as a research assistant in the Goldberg Laboratory at Massachusetts General Hospital.
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