About

Where medicine and technology collide…

I am a doctor specialising in Emergency Medicine. I am also a seasoned software developer. I run a medical software technology company. For fun I like to do a bit of radio broadcasting, public speaking and write rants.

Having medicine and technology in the same brain gives you interesting insights into what is possible in the world of healthcare. You can see which bits of healthcare are cutting edge, and which bits are just rather backward. You can spot which new technologies have real impact potential, and which are just glossy fluff.

We have 4D MRI for assessing cardiac function in astonishing detail. Yet we are still using paper prescription cards, pagers and landlines in those very same hospitals. Why?

Medicine is a dangerous place. Get admitted to hospital and there’s a 10% chance (1 in 10) that you’ll be a victim of a life changing medical error. 23% (almost 1 in 4) of prescription charts contain a mistake of at least moderate significance. Misdiagnosis is the number one reason patients come to harm. It needn’t be like this.

I believe that the right technology has the potential to greatly assist doctors and nurses in delivering healthcare. We just need to tear down the barriers to make this happen.

 

Emergency Medicine:

I work as a Middle Grade (SpR level) in an Emergency Department in the UK. I have over 3200 hours experience on the shop floor of the ED, with 1200 hours running the department as the most senior doctor on-site.

I am developing subspecialty interests in Emergency Ultrasound, and Critical Care.

I had to sacrifice a “training post” in Emergency Medicine when I set up my company because at the time there was no way to pursue entrepreneurial interests alongside clinical training. My career in Emergency Medicine has been mostly “portfolio”, meaning that I have had to organise and fund my own courses, undertaken my own online learning, and gain experience on the job. It has been really rather difficult to tick the boxes such as Revalidation, and it is only through being stubborn that I have resisted the advice to take the path of least resistance and give up clinical practice altogether. This is just one of the many ways that bureaucracy harms medicine.

 

Entrepreneurship:

I run a medical software technology company called PatientSource Ltd, based in Cambridge UK. We have built a cloud-based Electronic Patient Records platform called PatientSource, using a principle called “Clinician-led iterative design & development”.

PatientSource allows hospitals to dig into their patients data to perform analytics to identify how to better run their services. It allows doctors to analyse hundreds of cases to find new evidence to guide the 85% of medical practice which currently has none. It allows Artificial Intelligence to assist doctors and nurses and acts as a safety net for patients.

I mentor for the NHS England Clinical Entrepreneurship programme, which allows doctors in training with bright ideas to pursue their startup while maintaining clinical practice.

 

Technology:

I am a clinician who codes. I am a full-stack software developer with experience in:

  • HTML5, CSS, Javascript, jQuery
  • Django
  • Python, PHP
  • MySQL / MariaDB, PostgreSQL, MongoDB
  • Ubuntu Linux, Debian Linux

My weapon of choice is my custom-built desktop with an Intel i7-4790K at the heart, running Linux Mint. I have a bespoke-build laptop from PC Specialist, running Ubuntu. My IDE of choice is Eclipse. I use a rooted Sony Xperia Z3 running Android with some custom mods.

My first ever computer was a BBC Micro, I was six. My second was an Acorn.

 

Speaking:

I have a decade of radio broadcasting experience stemming from a mis-spent youth (that’s a long story in itself!). If you’re doing a topic about healthcare and technology and it’s on a radio or podcast, contact me, I’m happy to help.

I enjoy public speaking. It is something of a transferable skill from the radio studio.

I have spoken at many conferences including:

  • Health2.0
  • Ambulatory Emergency Care
  • Patient First
  • MedTech UK

My speaking style is story-led, brutally honest, and humourous. I use picture-only slides to enhance my points.

I am available to speak at conferences / business networks / after-dinner on the following topics:

  • The Future of Medicine
  • Health entrepreneurship
  • Building a healthcare startup, raising investment
  • Barriers in bringing new technology into the NHS
  • Electronic patient records: the perks and pitfalls
  • How bureaucracy affects Medicine
  • Clinician-led design and development
  • Django in healthcare
  • The NHS National Programme for IT: a national disaster
  • Digital security in healthcare
  • Blasting the Bullshit
  • Patient Safety and Technology

Contact me if you’d like to book me for a talk.

 

Other stuff:

I make stupid infographics from time to time. JK Rowling re-tweeted one, how cool am I?!

I have a pet hamster called Torus (he has a white ring around his belly). He is a free-range hamster in my house.

Craig Charles once extinguished his cigar in my jacket pocket.

I got in trouble for selling floppy disks containing computer games which a group of us had written in QBASIC, at secondary school. I got off the hook by donating that day’s proceedings to the school fund.

 

Social Media etc:

Twitter: @michaeljtbrooks

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/michaeljtbrooks/