01 Dem Dx is a platform that can support healthcare professionals as they diagnose patients.
Established in 2015, its essence is to provide a more pragmatic approach to clinical teaching that is targeted and appropriate to any kind of healthcare professional in a clinical setting. The reality is that if you are on the front line, you need to work through a triage process with patients, from presenting complaint through to associated symptoms and signs to possible follow up investigations and or diagnosis – Dem Dx supports healthcare professionals in this diagnostic reasoning process. It currently covers over 10,000 clinical presentations and 1300 clinical conditions.
“It is a constantly evolving product and in terms of the content, it is always being added to and refined. It is not something that is ever going to be static”
02 On a basic level, Dem Dx is a digital platform, so available in app form and desktop.
In 2014 and throughout 2015 we began the collation of the clinical pathways used in Dem Dx. It has been curated by a collection of experts across14 specialties, including neurology, gastroenterology and now ophthalmology. In every expertise, we have clinicians, generally registrar specialists and consultants, who develop the clinical pathways and curate the content. We ask the specialists to distill their clinical experience and diagnostic approach into a set of intuitive pathways that those with less training can learn from.
At every step of the diagnosis path, the healthcare professional using Dem Dx has details of potential diagnoses. This is refined along the pathway. They may start with a long list of 30–40 options, for example, and depending on what they select, the differentials are narrowed down. The pathways have been written in the most practical way, and strives to reflect as much as possible how a doctor will approach clinical case in practice. We have tried to map the layout for anyone who is trying to learn a specialty in a way that an expert would solve the problem. The emphasis is on everything being transparent so that it is an effective and practical learning tool.
It is a constantly evolving product and in terms of the content, it is always being added to and refined. It is not something that is ever going to be static.
03 So far feedback from users has been that they love it.
We are delighted and thrilled, but also slightly surprised, by the breadth of take up in terms of Dem Dx’s global reach, with the software currently used in more than 160 countries. The fact that it is being used in countries such as Russia, Brazil, Somalia, Syria and the US demonstrates its applicability and need – this is because things don’t change too much in terms of the presentation of symptoms.
We have had over 35,000 downloads since launch. We offer the software via two plans. The first is an intuitional plan that allows an organisation to buy it for their clinical team. Alternatively, professionals can download a version directly for self-directed study. We are not a patient-facing platform.
“The fact that it is being used in countries such as Russia, Brazil, Somalia, Syria and the US demonstrates its applicability and need”
04 We have recently partnered with Moorfields Eye Hospital, which means that their clinical expertise gets shared globally through the Dem Dx platform.
Moorfields is currently using the platform to train paediatric nurses as it engages more clinical support professionals in the decision-making process from initial triage to diagnosis. Its aim is to use advanced practitioners and nurses at the first stages of triage, and they want them to feel confident and supported in that extended role. What they like about Dem Dx is that it will give them additional support, training and help reinforce clinical decisions.
05 Looking to the future, our main goal is to develop more partnerships with institutions.
The more partnerships we have, the more Dem Dx is used and the more we can share expertise. We are definitely looking for more partnerships.
For more information on Dem Dx, visit its website.
- As told to Emily McCormick.