Not only is Doximity free, but the network also provides free fax numbers upon request. The free fax line digital service, DocFax is HIPAA-secure. Physicians can access DocFax from either their mobile devices or computers, eliminating the need to go to their offices or hospitals when they need to send or receive faxes. According to Dr. Alexander Blau, VP of physician marketing and medical director at Doximity, DocFax has gained popularity among Doximity users. “It is a convenience,” he told Med Ad News Daily. “It is a bridge to old technology using a modern platform.”
In addition, Dr. Blau explains how Doximity is starting to change healthcare communications. “Before Doximity and this is still largely the case for healthcare, physicians are pretty heavily reliant on fairly antiquated communication technology as the backbone of their communications,” he says. “Fax machines and pagers are the mainstay of communications in healthcare and that is largely because of federal regulations of patient privacy. HIPAA laws really prevent physicians from using email or text messaging or other modern forms of communication in order to communicate about patient care. Fax machines and pagers are not the quickest or most efficient way of communicating patient records. What Doximity has done is provided a secure platform which is encrypted and allows physicians to send patient records or any other communications that touch on patient care over a secure platform that still uses more modern technology so that they can use their mobile phone, their iPads, or their desktops in order to send and receive information including patient records to each other.”
Users have to prove that they are physicians to access Doximity, and the reach of the service continues to grow. “We have penetration to about 30 percent of physicians in the U.S. now,” Dr. Blau told Med Ad News Daily. “I think that the impact is probably greatest for those particular physicians who are using the service and certainly for their patients when physicians are able to get in touch with other members of the healthcare team, other providers for a particular patient that they are caring for more quickly–that certainly impacts care. It helps them coordinate. You get patients to the right provider, get right referral, and provide treatment faster. The work up is faster. When it does that it certainly makes it makes an impact for the physicians involved in saving them time with the patients that they are caring for and getting them the proper care more efficiently. Our hope is obviously the more and more people that you have on it the more useful that it becomes for everyone. My hope is that it continues to still have a broader and broader impact.”
Dr. Blau told Med Ad News Daily that he is pleased with the uptake of Doximity and how it has assisted physicians in emergency medical situations, and that he would encourage doctors who have not joined the service to sign up and take advantage of the features that Doximity has in place that are built around saving time and helping make physicians more successful.
“I know just how inefficient communications systems can be in healthcare at large and even more so in emergency situations,” he says. “I know how important it is to be able to get the right information when you need it, when time is critical. I am not surprised that having a better connected network of physicians, better access to each other as healthcare professionals, and having rapid mobile communication tools would be of significant help there. I am just pleased to see physicians taking advantage of it.”
Doximity executives say that more than 50 developer partners have built applications on the Doximity API, giving medical application and software developers the ability to seamlessly integrate their products on the network. As Obamacare introduces 30 million new patients to healthcare, Doximity claims that physicians will need to interface with an expanded and increasingly complex system. Doximity’s secure, single sign-on platform takes on a fragmented ecosystem of medical applications, reducing the administrative overhead taking up more and more bandwidth from an already overburdened provider population.
“Facebook Connect (or ‘Login with Facebook’) has made it easy to for consumers to log in to new apps, but obviously isn’t authenticated or appropriate for healthcare,” said Jeff Tangney, CEO of Doximity. “We’ve made it easy for both physicians and developers to avoid the hassle of credentialing, authentication, and posting a public-facing CV.”
For app developers, the Doximity OAuth API eliminates the need to develop a physician credentialing system, saving developers substantial time and money, and enabling them to scale up quickly and across multiple platforms simultaneously. Partners range from major players like US News & World Report and four of the top five medical schools to startups like DICOM Grid, DocSpot, Figure1, Image32, itMD, MedConcert, Nephosity, and SmartSignOut, according to Doximity. “The Doximity API allows physicians to quickly sign up for our collaborative medical imaging service,” said Michael Pan, CEO of Nephosity. “Additionally, the Doximity API enables us to securely verify their identity and populate their credentials.”
REFERENCE: PharmaLive; Mia Burns; October 2013