My First Ninety Days in a Radiology Startup

Posted on May 31, 2018

Last week I celebrated my three-month anniversary at DocPanel. Three months at a startup can feel like three years! Like all new employees, I had a 90-day plan detailing what I wanted to achieve in my first quarter at the company. Looking back now, I wish I had written a 90-day plan for what I wanted to learn. It's hard to accomplish much in your first few months in a new industry, but there's no shortage of what can be learned. So I decided to summarize what I've learned these past few months about DocPanel, and the radiology industry as a whole.

Subspecialty Radiology

Before I joined DocPanel, I had always assumed if I went to see a specialist like a neurologist and s/he sent me to get a brain MRI, the radiologist reading my scan would also be a specialty radiologist. However, more often than not, this is not the case. Imaging centers typically have only a few radiologists on staff, and they're not always specialized in any particular field. So if a patient goes in for a scan to see if prostate cancer has metastasized, an abdomen subspecialty radiologist is not always the one reading the scan.

DocPanel set out to fix this by giving imaging centers access to some of the very best specialty radiologists to read for them. When a specialty radiologist reads a scan, there's a 30-35% increase in the accuracy of the report. Every radiologist on the DocPanel platform is an academic, fellowship-trained specialty radiologist. Our radiologists have gotten their fellowships or worked at universities like USC, Mass General, Boston Medical, Northwestern, and many more top institutions.

Patients Struggle

We've spoken to patients who've come to us after hearing many different possible diagnoses, just looking for an answer to what's going on so they can get the proper treatment. We've heard from mothers worried about their children's injury, whether it's a possible ACL tear, or something worse. People contact us worried about their parents’ health, seeking to get the right treatment for their mother or father. The Mayo Clinic reports that 88% of patients who seek out a second opinion leave with a new or refined diagnosis.

Speaking to patients and helping them get the care they need is at the forefront of DocPanel's mission. Whether at 2pm or 2am, speaking with patients is some of the most rewarding time in the office. I've seen a call with a patient change the entire atmosphere in the office. It's clear to me that not only is it DocPanel's mission to give patients peace of mind, but that mission is deeply shared by all of the employees.

Imaging Centers don't get enough love

Imaging centers spend millions of dollars buying new equipment, building out and preparing the facility, buying systems to manage the operation, and hiring employees and techs. DocPanel gives them the support they need to take on those risks. We help these imaging centers expand their business with advanced imaging reads, allow them to introduce new modalities, and reduce overhead expenses. And of course we give them the ability to work with a specialty radiologist for every single case when needed, as needed.

There's much more that I've learned in my first three months at DocPanel, but these top three realizations truly resonated with me. Feel free to reach out to me or anyone on the DocPanel team if you want to learn more about any of these topics!

About Ami Cohen

Ami joined DocPanel in March 2018 and serves as the company's Head of Marketing