My parents are originally from Iraq and I was born there but came to live in Scotland just after my first birthday. As the son of doctors, I always knew I wanted to work in medicine. I am a practising GP, and founder of Doc Abode, a multi-award-winning software platform, which matches the availability, expertise and location of clinicians to the needs of NHS patients who require a home visit.
My background is in medicine, but I have always had an entrepreneurial flair, even from a young age. Seeing my parents working in the UK as junior doctors in the 1980s/90s and overcoming challenges, such as the language barrier, inspired me.
Apart from my parents, another person who inspired me and I considered a mentor was a very successful businessman called Dr Falah Abod. Dr Abod sadly passed away but made such an impression on me that I named Doc Abode after him. He inspired me to take the risk, have confidence and turn my idea into reality.
As a GP I see first-hand how diversity in culture and religion affect people’s health-seeking behaviour and interactions with healthcare professionals. I am passionate about reducing health inequalities and believe technology can play an important role in achieving this. But behind all the technological advancements, there still needs to be a person-centred approach to the delivery of care and a diverse population requires a diverse health and care workforce to fully understand and meet the needs of patients.
In 2015, I succeeded in getting Innovate UK funding for Doc Abode and joined the AHSN’s Proof of Concept Programme. This led to being awarded funding from the Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) Healthcare ‘General Practice of the Future’ competition in 2016, which has allowed us to develop a robust platform that can scale nationally.
Doc Abode seeks to change the status quo by opening up access to a wider, more flexible workforce, providing clinicians with an alternative to shift-based work, which leads to the delivery of better care and improved patient experience.
One of the important features of Doc Abode is its ability to highlight the patient’s first language and identify a clinician that speaks the same language as the patient, removing the potential language barrier.
We have an exciting innovation roadmap which will see the expansion of the Doc Abode to provide secure telephony and video triage, opening up further channels of engagement to even more patients through one platform.
Taz’s ‘innovator story’ was first featured in the AHSN Network’s Diversity in Innovation report, highlighting the business case for increased diversity in innovation in the NHS and celebrating BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) innovators working with the AHSNs. Read it here.