As part of our series of Industry and Medical Imaging Innovator Spotlights, radRounds has the honor to introduce and interview Dr. Phil Templeton, Founder of DocPanel. DocPanel is the world’s first contract-free service offering reads, second opinions, consults, and diagnoses from top-notch radiologists with prestigious academic hospitals in the United States. With 35 years of imaging experience, Dr. Templeton is a valued member of the DocPanel family.
radRounds: You have had a very successful career as a physician-entrepreneur-executive in radiology, in academia, and beyond. Can you share with us a brief bio, Dr. Templeton?
Dr. Templeton: Thanks. My academic highlights include being Thoracic Radiology Section Chief at Johns Hopkins and the University of Maryland, Consultant Radiologist at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, and working as a Radiology Professor and Chairman at the University of Maryland for ten years.
My major academic interest was in the uses of CT and other technologies for examining thoracic pathology, and I published over 150 articles, book chapters, presentations and exhibits on CT in the Thorax. I really enjoyed pioneering the use of CT Fluoroscopy, lecturing, and demonstrating CT Fluoro biopsy techniques nationally and internationally.
As an early adopter of digital X-ray and the use of PACS and teleradiology, I presented the University of Maryland experience at multiple categorical courses at RSNA. We created the largest electronic imaging enterprise in the US, and hosted SCAR (now SIIM) in 1998.
While Chair at the University of Maryland, we more than doubled the clinical practice and I got a lot of experience in capital and technology acquisition, planning, and management. This is where I found my inner entrepreneur.
In 2001, I left my chair to found and develop a successful national teleradiology business, servicing 34 U.S. states and ranking No. 2 in the U.S. I eventually sold the company in 2008.
radRounds: What led you to founding DocPanel after your career as Chairman of Radiology of a large academic practice?
Dr. Templeton: After leaving academia, I combined my new entrepreneurial spirit and love of digital technology with the internet access that finally allowed teleradiology to develop. The result was the creation of my original teleradiology company. At that time, I wanted to bring the subspecialty expertise of academic radiologists to the larger community, and find a way to bring a new revenue stream to the University and to help them retain their great faculty. However, teleradiology was too new back in 2001, and universities were not as entrepreneurial as they are today.
Now, in 2017, teleradiology is widely known and accepted. There is a greater need and demand than ever before for subspecialty radiology expertise in all areas, and universities have become interested in developing outside revenue. This is the perfect time for a revolutionary new company like DocPanel, which is the perfect solution to all of these needs.
radRounds: What are the challenges and opportunities of being a radiologist - entrepreneur like yourself?
Dr. Templeton: Many people thought I was crazy to leave my chair and take a leap of faith to start a company. You do have to deal with all kinds of surprising feedback and sometimes a lack of encouragement as an entrepreneur. Certainly the loss of a secure income and position is nerve wracking, and so is putting your own money at risk. You work harder than you ever thought possible. Then there’s the clinical trade-off - at some point in the growth of the business, you have to stop reading yourself and dedicate your full-time effort to running and growing the business.
However, my background definitely helped me gain acceptance from radiologists and clients. I also found I had 95% fewer meetings and had the opportunity to make decisions, on a moments notice, myself.
radRounds: What is DocPanel?
Dr. Templeton: At its core, DocPanel is a transformed teleradiology service that will saves lives by helping imaging providers and patients access radiological reads and second opinions from some of the most distinguished and high caliber academic-level subspecialty radiologists in the world. We say that DocPanel is a revolutionary healthcare solution because it’s the world’s first pay-per-case, online subspecialty-only radiology marketplace. Through DocPanel’s affordable, no-commitment service, imaging providers and patients can hand select academic-level and fellowship trained subspecialty radiologists that best match the expertise and background needed for specific cases. For the first time, access to subspecialty expertise for radiological reads and second opinions is not only possible for anybody who needs it, but it’s also easy and carries no case minimums or financial commitments. With DocPanel, independent imaging providers, radiology groups and hospitals of all sizes gain access to the same distinguished and highly qualified subspecialty radiologists as larger facilities without obligations. Beyond introducing a better, modern healthcare option that improves patient outcomes and quality of life, DocPanel empowers imaging providers’ potential for success and expansion. DocPanel offers independent imaging providers, small and large radiology groups and hospitals a new, compelling operating model to drive growth and profitability while strengthening their ability to deliver the highest standards of quality care to their patients.
radRounds: What makes DocPanel unique and poised for success in today’s radiology landscape?
Dr. Templeton: The true value and benefits of DocPanel are delivered by subspecialty and academic level radiology professionals whose capabilities and expertise can be trusted. We offer access to some of the top board-certified subspecialty radiologists in the United States at an affordable cost that makes this service a viable and attractive option for ongoing use. As I mentioned before, teleradiology isn’t a new concept, but until DocPanel, limitations like financial barrier to entry, case-minimums and no guarantee of subspecialty expertise, minimized any of the inherent benefits offered by the concept. Our vision is to provide a fresh, new way of delivering care by bringing together communities of the most qualified physicians to serve the needs of radiology providers and those who matter most — patients. Our revolutionary marketplace business model gives healthcare providers and patients a choice — and a voice — in sending, discovering, reading, and diagnosing complex clinical cases online.