Working as a doctor, especially an ambulance paramedic, requires being able to grasp the situation really fast and come up with a way to help your patient quickly. Doctors have to remember almost every disease and know how to treat it. An ambulance paramedic from Sarov, Anton Dementyev, once decided that doctors would benefit from mobile apps with recommendations on treatment of various illnesses, and a training simulator for improving treatment skills. His enthusiasm was soon realized in a company developing mobile apps for doctors and patients. Today the CEO of mPro shares his experience in developing and marketing mobile assistants.
In 2017, Anton Dementyev attended an event by the Internet Initiatives Development Fund (IIDF), Russia’s largest venture fund for IT startups. His goal was to meet IT developers who could work on mobile simulators and medical guides. Dementyev met Yevgeny Tabunin, investment director of a pharmaceutical company, Pavel Shubin, manager of an IT startup, psychologist and game mechanics expert, and programmer Stanislava Zolotova. After discussing Anton’s idea, the four unanimously decided to start a business to develop mobile apps for doctors. The company founders invested their own money.
Once a series of apps came out and the market was tested, the management considered attracting investors to expand the company.
Currently, mPro has five main employees. Anton Dementyev is the CEO and mastermind. Yevgeny Tabunin is responsible for finances and business development. Pavel Shubin is in charge of internal business processes. Stanislava Zolotova is coding the apps. The company recently hired programmer Maxim Dementyev.
The company outsources some of its projects. The coronavirus outbreak did not interrupt the operations. The team continues to work on the apps from home, except for Anton who is still an ambulance doctor. Earlier this year, he was going to quit the job and dedicate all his time to the mobile app project but because of the pandemic he decided to stay and continue treating patients.
mPro First Aid was the company’s first product. The medical guide app came out on Google Play in May 2017. The app contained a list of over 300 common diseases, up-to-date treatment protocols, ambulance medical kit guidelines, the latest edition of the International Classification of Diseases (10th revision), all the current medical care standards, the ECG atlas, dermatology and other medical procedures.
In July 2017, the company created mPro First Aid for iOS (available on App Store). By the end of July, the app reached the top of paid apps on Google Play. By September 2018, the app was downloaded 5,000 times. Now the app costs RUR 249 ($3.4).
In 2018, mPro team developed guidebook apps Obstetrics & Gynecology, Oncology, and Medical Service Codes. The first two are made in the same way as the First Aid app: they include a list of diseases, treatment standards, medicines, ICD-10 codes, list of tests, diagnostics and treatment protocols. The Oncology app includes a list of tumor markers; Obstetrics & Gynecology has a list of contraception methods. Medical Service Codes is a collection of A and B codes. All these applications are available on Android and iOs and are regularly updated.
In 2019, an app was developed for a customized menopause therapy (only Android version) plus an application for remote interaction of doctors and patients at the AIDS Center. The latter allows HIV patients to get a doctor’s appointment, receive an online consultation, ask a question, read articles about the HIV infection, learn about the tests and get access to their results.
mPro experts are currently working on an application for doctors, Virtual Patient. It will be an interactive simulator of a patient with elements of play-based learning. The application is an online constructor where the user can create a model of a patient with any disease, determine the treatment algorithm and use it, while the system will evaluate the result. It is supposed that the basic version of the app with a set of basic scenarios will be free, while the full version with the opportunity to create user’s own scenarios could be purchased separately. The app can be used by both medical students and doctors; it has already received several preorders.
Plans call for developing new apps for the treatment of various diseases, and entering the international market. For instance, the company is holding talks with India’s Lupin on selling the menopause treatment app. They also plan to release the play-and-learn app for COVID-19 diagnostics and treatment.
“We will do it for free,” Anton says. “Because it is crucially important to provide doctors with the current information and stop the spread of the disease.”
By Christina Firsova