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Christopher McCann

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Christopher McCann

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Christopher McCann

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Christopher McCann

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I am a second year medical student interested in technology and how it can be used to improve healthcare. I am the co-founder and Seedir, an application that allows healthcare workers to share and receive mentoring, tutoring and advice.

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Why I am voting yes in the Scottish independence referendum

Most of my friends know me as a staunch no voter. For a long time I have been convinced that the risks of Scottish independence outweigh the potential benefits, particularly the risks to business. I have railed against the “Braveheart” mentality that seems prevalent among a proportion of the electorate, a group of people who I perceive to be voting not based on what might be best for Scotland, but based on an idealised image of what our future might be like.

Despite that, I have taken the decision to vote yes in the upcoming referendum. Here is why: we shouldn’t always be driven by fear of risks, but by the potential for rewards. Right now around the world there are great businesses, great scientists, great leader and great thinkers changing the world every day and they are driven by the possibility of positive change, of making things better. They are not stopped by fear.

Fear slows progress, fear steals us away from making things better. We see it now in the field of genetics, with fear of the development of eugenics. We see it in assisted suicide, where fear of abuse leads many to die slow painful undignified deaths. Fear is the great barrier to positive progress and development

Scottish independence has the possibility of great rewards both for Scottish business and for the Scottish people. We might be able to nurture an environment where Scottish businesses and entrepreneurs can thrive. Maybe we can create a welfare system that really takes care of those who need it most, and maybe we can ensure our healthcare system is not privatised and continues to provide high quality healthcare regardless of financial status. Maybe we can take Scotland back to a time when it was at the leading edge of technological and industrial advancement.

It could all go horribly wrong, it could hurt Scottish businesses and the Scottish people could be left worse off. But it could also lead to massive rewards, and sometimes we have to take a leap of faith. 

The real problems facing the NHS

Immigration is, as always, a hot topic issue in politics but with UKIP becoming an increasing threat to the right of the Conservative party, there has been a significant increase in what can almost be described as xenophobic rhetoric.

The NHS hasn’t been spared with Jeremy Hunt trying to appear strong on healthcare tourism, the practice of foreign visitors travelling to the UK for the sole purpose of gaining access to high quality healthcare. The Daily Mail, along with many other tabloids, has published sensational articles highlighting the supposed scale of the problem. 

I put together my own visualisation that highlights the scale of the real problems facing the NHS. Please have a look and share it.

Work on something you are passionate about

It has taken a year for us to get iPi from an idea to a product, not exactly the lean methodology and here’s why - along the way I lost passion for the original idea and, without even immediately realising it, it wrecked my enthusiasm and my productivity.

When we re-focussed and re-imagined iPi into something I truly believe could be a success, I re-built the product in around 12 days and we are ready to launch at the start of 2014.

The lesson in this is that it is absolutely vital to work on things that you are passionate about, no matter what that is. If you are building a startup and you just can’t get the enthusiasm to work on your product, re-examine your product and find out why. 

iPi: A dating site for doctors and medical students

It’s been about a year since Rod and myself started working on iPi, and then a couple of months after that Paddy joined us.

Since then a lot of hard work has went into various ideas and products, but until now we have not felt ready to launch. That changes in the next couple of weeks.

Our service has changed a lot from what we originally dreamed up, but it is something I am really excited about. We want to solve how medical students and doctors connect with those above them, those in a position to give them great mentoring and teaching.

iPi does just that.

We have built a service that allows people to provide and receive mentoring both online (through video and audio on iPi itself) or in person. What I really like about it is that just about anyone can be a mentor. Junior doctors might give mentoring to medical students, but they themselves can get mentoring from registrars or consultants. We match people up based on skills, specialty interests and location.

On top of that we give medical students and doctors a safe and secure environment to store all of their educational and professional files.

We are in the final stages of testing iPi so expect to see it in the next couple of weeks. In the meantime, please go to http://ipimed.com and enter your e-mail address so we can drop you an e-mail as soon as it is released.

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Seedir

Seedir allows healthcare workers to provide and gain access to high quality mentoring, teaching and advice. It also gives them a place to store their professional and educational files in a safe and secure environment. Visit Seedir.

Tayside Acute Care Guide Mobile Application

This application takes the original Tayside Acute Care Guide, an online resource for medical students and doctors, and places into an easy to use mobile format for iOS and Android.