Meet our Senior Medical Officer:
8 questions to Prof. Dr. Lothar Schweigerer
In June, Prof. Dr. Lothar Schweigerer joined medudoc as Senior Medical Officer. With his professional expertise and medical network, he will advance the business growth of medudoc and also accompany the quality assurance and validation processes of our video content production. We asked Lothar a couple of questions about his motivation and reasons for career change.
About medudoc: Prior to any medical intervention, patients must be individually informed and educated by a doctor. They must understand the necessity, risks, alternatives as well as consequences and give their consent. Medudoc wants to improve this interaction for all parties involved.
medudoc develops the first customized video animation platform to offer physicians an easy-to-use, digital way to inform their patients about the upcoming medical procedure.
The information, including the legally valid signature, continues to be provided by the responsible doctor on an individual and on-site basis.
1. Dear Lothar, you bring a forty-year professional career to the table. Could you briefly summarize your defining career stages for us?
"I started out in basic pharmacological and molecular biology research. At the University of California Medical Center in San Francisco (USA) and the German Cancer Research in Heidelberg, I focussed on cancer research mostly with regard to cancers in children.
In parallel, I started my clinical education at the Children's Hospital of the University of Heidelberg, moved further as a senior physician to the Children's Hospitals of the Universities of Marburg and Essen, respectively and was then elected as chair of the Children's Hospital of the University of Göttingen with a focus on pediatric cancers. After a few years, I was offered the position of chief of the Children's Hospital at the Helios Hospital in Berlin-Buch which at that time was built completely new. I was able to transform my hospital to the economically most successful Children's Hospital of Helios, the largest private clinic chain in Europe. I guess this was a result of knowledge I was able to gather in fields as diverse as basic research, clinical and administrative experiences and lastly our early use of the new digital technologies for internal and external communication and as a means to save manpower."
2. How did you perceive patient education in the context of your work?
"Patient education is important, even more so in the sensitive pediatric environment where essentially all of this is done with the parents. Parents must come to the hospital for all education work which makes the process quite cumbersome and time consuming. In order to make this less time consuming, we started with video education, for example in the context of the U2 medical check-ups for newborns."
3. What challenges do you currently see in the status quo of patient education?
"There are quite remarkable differences in the quality of patient education, i.e., it sometimes depends on the physician who is doing it. Also, in times of fewer personnel resources, the available time is precious and routine tasks like patient education can be done with more quality and less time."
4. What exactly appealed to you about medudoc when you took up your position as Senior Medical Officer?
"Firstly, during my time in research, I enjoyed being in an environment with creative, young people. This is exactly what I have found at medudoc. Secondly, I wanted to continue the work in patient education I had started during my clinical career in a professional environment. And thirdly, I love to build and organize. All of that is possible at medudoc."
5. In your opinion, what distinguishes medudoc from traditional providers in the field of patient education?
"I do not know of any other company focussing on digital patient education using video snippets with a very easy setup. All other providers use basically analog modes and if digital approaches are done, they are not standardized. So, this is definitively a unique positioning feature."
6. Tell us a little bit about your role as Senior Medical Officer. What are your responsibilities at medudoc?
"I see my preferential role in contributing practical clinical knowledge as well as quality control. Also, it will be important to educate clinical partners about the value of standardized patient education by using our software."
7. With medudoc, physicians can easily create personalized patient education videos in less than a minute. What is your favourite favourite product feature on the medudoc platform?
"Probably the ease with which the videos can be created with regard to the specifics and characteristics of each individual patient."
8. What is your personal vision for medudoc in the future?
"To speak with the words of Tom Petty, my favorite musician: “the sky is wide open”."
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