Research tool to ease doctors’ daily workload

Pictured from the left are Stephen Iball, Dr Simon O'Hara and Martyn Rainford, of Osmosis Innovations Ltd
Pictured from the left are Stephen Iball, Dr Simon O'Hara and Martyn Rainford, of Osmosis Innovations Ltd

A web development expert has helped to create a software package that aims to reduce the amount of time doctors spend on paperwork.

Martyn Rainford, of Leeds-based New Knowledge Directorate (NKD), is part of the team that has developed Osmosis, a programme that automatically records daily online research carried out by a GP and safely stores it in one accessible location.

The software aims to help GPs, who are required to present evidence for an annual appraisal of the research, learning and development they have carried out during the year.

It captures data which otherwise might be lost.

“The feedback has been excellent from GPs, who have cited its user-friendliness as a real strength,” Martyn said.

“When it comes to appraisals, GPs are having to print off documents and it’s quite stressful. This makes it much easier.”

Martyn, who lives in Todmorden, created the software with Stephen Iball, also of NKD, and GP Dr Simon O’Hara. Together, they have formed Osmosis Innovations Ltd, which has received investment from other doctors and IT companies.

The Osmosis software is being trialled by GPs in Todmorden and Hebden Bridge, and Martyn believes it could benefit the whole health sector.

“We are talking to some online IT companies that are interested in licensing it,” he said. “They are looking to take this into the NHS.

“There are 40,000 GPs in the country. If they take it into hospitals, it’s 500,000.

“If we take it into other English speaking countries, it’s lots more.”

Although Osmosis has been created for the medical profession, the team behind it believe the software could be used in other sectors.

“There are many professions and areas of life where you need to demonstrate learning,” Martyn said.

“It could be an invaluable tool for schools and universities or anywhere that involves teaching or training.”