Five years in and the ride is as wild as ever!

April 5, 2023

Tom Collins

Tom Collins is a Director at MedApps as well as a healthcare nerd and marathon candidate

Time for my annual note / reflection.

Over the past 12 months our small, dedicated and passionate team at MedApps has: 

  • Added another 6 facilities (taking our reach to 70 facilities globally!) including expansion into the Northern Territory and Western Australia – and we hope to expand to another European country later in the year! 
  • In line with hiring our first Nurse Leader, welcome Daniel Graham – we continued to grow our Nursing & Midwifery use cases. Including running Quality Improvement (QI) projects focused on falls prevention and access to wellbeing information. We also kicked off our affiliation with the Australian College of Nursing
  • Spoiler alert – we’re soon to announce our first Aged Care facility using MedApp!
  • The team released new features that support Workplace Based Assessments and Medical EPAs and Nursing ANSAT tool assessments. With much more coming in this space too, including learning pathways – many mapped to post graduate skills and college requirements coming. Also in article search, better navigation and upgraded design and graphics making for a better user experience. 
  • Selected in cohort 3 of the LuminaX Healthcare accelerator
  • Increased clinical users to above 33,000
  • In app usage increased by 18% each quarter, with consistent read rates for formal docs sent through the app sitting at over 80% read and signed.

On a personal front, I’m still learning and evolving in the small business / tech / start up environment. There is never a dull moment and always more to do. A solid career in Management Consulting prior to joining MedApps has meant I’ve become pretty comfortable with being uncomfortable and working in bulk uncertainty on what the outcomes might be. More recently, I’m working on being ruthlessly honest – perhaps something I’ve picked up from one of my 3 boys that are 5 and under who never fail to tell it how it is – including the pumpkin man below.

As always – I’m not the best writer, but tried to have a bit of fun pulling this together. You can read wrap ups from year three and four if needed. Please comment, share and throw your own two cents in – I love the feedback and advice!

Have (More) Fun:

Over the past 12 months there has been a nice uptick in work related travel both domestically and internationally. One of the major highlights was a trip to the Australian College of Nursing Forum in Darwin – an amazing show. We’ve subsequently signed on as a platinum alliance partner with the college as we look to grow our Nursing footprint. Very much looking forward to this years event in Adelaide. We’ll have some tickets to give away too.

Internationally, Henri Scamps and I were fortunate enough to attend SaaStr in San Francisco. The conference highlights the best up and coming software as a service platforms and the emerging trends in prospecting, marketing and selling to small and medium sized enterprises. While in town we got to a Baseball Game and a couple of NFL games. 

Back in the office at MedApps we got back to our roots with ‘Beers and Ideas’ drawing up some sketches for some new features and workflows while having a couple of beers across a Friday afternoon. Not everyone’s cup of tea I know, but a nice chance for our team to get creative with every option on the table, regardless of funding, capacity and technical constraints we might face. 

I managed to sneak in a trip to the Farm – nothing like the quiet and landscape of the country to help you appreciate what you have in the city. Dinners with friends and business associates over the last 12 months have been more entertaining and filled with ideas and opportunities than previous years as well. Despite the macroeconomic headwinds most people are finding the opportunities to double down and have another go over the next 12 months. 

Be Curious (about everything):

Lifespan, longevity, business models, deal structures, marketing approaches, positive parenting and marathon prep have been consistent topics. There hasn’t been a week that I haven’t been investigating one of these topics in more detail. The more you learn, the more you realise what you don’t know. I continue to learn more about myself and the impact my actions have on others and test preconceived notions of how and why things work. Keeping on top of the nuances of long distance running have been a challenge, particularly with a large portion of my work at the desk. 

Understanding other business models and cooking up new possibilities has also been a lot of fun and a great way to keep thinking creatively. FYI, Jonathan King from Lysn is great to do this with.

Find a win from the set back

There has been plenty of learning from this year’s work at MedApps – you can read in detail our breakdown of a project gone wrong here

What this experience laid bare was that despite the benefits of any piece of work, relationships and communication are key and often more important than the outcome. 

Digital literacy and leadership of healthcare managers and executives are officially on notice as technology is now evolving faster than funding, legislation and staff can implement

Clinical staff are so busy at the moment – there is little time to plan, support and improve their own areas of practice let alone think long term and make significant changes in clinical practice. 

Your goals aren’t big enough:

At MedApps we’ve got some pretty ambitious goals and we’re challenging ourselves to grow despite the current challenges in the market. New markets, geographies and features aimed at improving user experience and growing the user base. We’re looking forward to testing these in Cohort 3 of the LuminaX Healthcare accelerator

Personally, I’ve got the Sydney marathon in the headlights and spend more one on one time with each of my boys. After a couple big years on the road it’s time to shift my horizons to more immediate opportunities, rest up and cook up the next big idea.

So what now?

There is another huge year ahead for healthcare systems and digital health providers. Growing shortfalls in staffing numbers and the increasing casualisation of the workforce as state and federal governments look to claw back from the healthcare spending released during the early stages of the COVID response. 

MedApps has an exciting 12 months ahead. The release of workplace based assessments for International Medical Graduates, EPAs for interns and the ANSAT tool for nursing & midwifery. We’ve got additional projects slated in falls prevention, as well as ICUs and EDs. 

We will launch at our first Aged Care facility this May and further international expansion is on the near term horizon. This provides a much larger scope to support clinicians in their daily practice and support their career development. 

For me personally, I’m hoping I can keep building on the solid network of Med App users and trusted partners who are keen to change the way clinicians are educated and engaged. I’m looking forward to the Rugby World Cup (there are plenty of big omissions from the first squad)  and watching my boys continue to grow and thrive. Flexibility and Endurance are taking precedence over bulk in the gym as I hunt towards my first Marathon. I’m always up for a long lunch or dinner – so hit me up!

If you get the chance to read a good book, jump on The Attributes by Rich Diviney – it’ll give you some good perspective on what it takes to be a warrior. You’ll quickly know if you have it or not.


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