When Matthew Bardsley entered the workforce 20 years ago, he had no intention of going into health care. In fact, he began his career as a computer programmer at Earth Resource Mapping in Perth. The satellite imaging company published software for remote sensing and geophysical data. While Matthew enjoyed his job, finding the work technical and challenging, he explains that he became increasingly uncomfortable using his efforts exclusively for mining and military initiatives.
“I felt the technology could be used to improve the world in a more philanthropic way. I looked into the medical space, where I found an opportunity to use some compression software that I was working on.”
So Matthew developed a picture archiving and communication system (PACS), a medical imaging technology, for use in radiology. In 1999, at just 26, he founded medical software company Digital Diagnostic Imaging (DDI) Health, which would provide digital solutions for accessing high-quality diagnostic images of patients. Over time, the business grew to support many aspects of health care, including pathology and general practice. “It was from this point that I really became passionate about health technology,” says Matthew.
When DDI Health became part of Primary Health Care, one of Australia’s largest health care providers, Matthew became the CIO of the Primary Group. In 2015, he was promoted to group director of Information Innovation. In this role, he was responsible for the ICT department of the Primary Group, as well as MedicalDirector, a leading health care software and population health technology company. Earlier this year, MedicalDirector was sold to Affinity Equity Partners, one of South East Asia’s largest private equity groups, and Matthew went with it. “When MedicalDirector was sold, it was an opportunity for me to go back to my entrepreneurial roots,” he explains.
Together making people healthier
Although he’s only been in the role of CEO of MedicalDirector for a short time, Matthew is a seasoned senior executive with a unique ability to articulate his vision and bring his team, customers and investors along on the journey. “I want to lead with respect. It’s the people that create the value. For me, it’s about having a great team with a shared vision,” he says. At MedicalDirector, collaboration is key and the company’s motto is ‘Together making people healthier’.
“MedicalDirector has more than 20,000 doctors on its platform who have processed over 1.1 billion patient consultations over the past 20 years using our software . The goal for MedicalDirector is, together with our customers – the doctors, the patients, the industry and the government – to help deliver better health care for all.”
Health care is now experiencing a technological revolution which is underpinning the growth of health care technology, as government and insurers look for solutions to help manage the rapidly rising costs. Health care costs in Australia grew from 6.5% of GDP in 1990 to 9.7% of GDP in 2014. As a leading Australian health care technology platform, MedicalDirector is ideally placed to help reduce these costs by working with doctors and the health care community to deliver process efficiencies, reduce errors rates, reduce fraud and help improve clinical outcomes.
Evolving into the digital age with cloud-based solutions
And the company’s latest offering, the cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform, Helix, takes the industry another step forward into the digital age. Helix was built from the ground up using the DNA of more than 20 years of clinical domain knowledge that MedicalDirector has gained from the 1.1 billion patient consultations that have been processed on its platform. It was created using the latest in software design principles, so it’s easy to use. Matthew says that MedicalDirector put all of the tools and systems, which have made it an industry leader in health care technology, into Helix, thereby creating one of the world’s most intuitive and clinically excellent health care SaaS platforms.
“Helix reflects a simple principle – to let doctors be doctors and let them get back to the joy of providing clinical care,” says Matthew, adding, “We consulted with more health care professionals during the development of Helix than any other MedicalDirector system.”
He says customers who are unsure about storing their data in the cloud need not worry as Helix is also incredibly secure. It runs on Microsoft Azure, so all of the data is encrypted from end-to-end, which provides the highest bank-grade security.
Matthew adds that MedicalDirector has plans to launch the MedicalDirector Marketplace – an online marketplace where it’s partners can bring innovation to health care’s doorstep and provide their products and services to MedicalDirector’s network of over 20,000 doctors.
“MedicalDirector Marketplace really sets us apart from our competitors. We are building an open platform for anyone to innovate in health care,” he says. “We want to give our doctors the best experience possible, so we are doing that by investing in MedicalDirector Marketplace and providing them with access to a range of third-party apps and solutions that are designed to work in tandem with MedicalDirector’s products and services. It’s like the App Store of health care.”
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