Teamscope: origins and future
Four years ago, Diego Menchaca came to Nijmegen, ready to accelerate his business. Teamscope, a data collection platform for clinical and field research, was one of the participants of the first Rockstart Health accelerator programs. After four years of making NTC and Nijmegen his home, Diego looks back at this adventure and shares with us his plans for the future.
“Entrepreneurship is a lifestyle, a way of living,” Diego kicks off. “When looking back, my personality in childhood already embodied so many aspects of my current lifestyle. For example, I have always been expressing myself creatively, occupied with art in its various forms, and building crazy inventions.
“When saying ‘entrepreneurship is a lifestyle’, I mean that it’s more than ‘just a job’. To me, it’s part of a collection of aspects that together shape my unique path to happiness. It consists of everything I do: my hobbies, the challenges I work on, and the possibility to work from any part of the world. Being an entrepreneur is the foundation of my contentment.”
“Every year I work remotely from a different place in the world for a few months, in 2017, I left my beloved Nijmegen and went to Bhutan for four months. That would be hard to achieve with a regular job.”
Finally, Diego emphasizes the importance and value of having good people around you. “People are everything. Mentors who already walked the same path you are going through, friends who listen in the tough times. It’s these people that compensate for the difficulties and struggles every entrepreneur experiences. If I had the chance, I would do it all again.”
How it all started
“I took my first corporate job at 21 in a large construction company in Chile, and while it was a great place to work, I really missed getting my hands dirty. It was time for a change.” So soon after Diego left this corporate job, he had the opportunity to do a masters in entrepreneurship. This degree requires students to develop a new scalable product or service. “My original idea was to develop a mobile app that helped businesses gather feedback from their clients by allowing them to scan a QR code at the point of service and complete a short feedback form. I pitched my idea at several meetups and after one of them, I was approached by a very interested doctor. He told me how he was really struggling with paper forms when collecting research data from patients, and was curious about the possible alternative uses for my idea. This doctor was visionary enough to see a possible utility of our mobile forms feature for research data collection. Suddenly the reality of using our technology for a greater cause motivated me even further.”
Making research more accessible and effective
This doctor in Chile was not alone; collecting research data with paper forms is a global issue. Despite the development of online tools that allow researchers to create questionnaires and capture study data, researchers are often forced to go back to use paper records when working in settings with no internet or when they don’t have a computer around. Teamscope took this existing burden and built a robust mobile data collection platform. It gives researchers a user-friendly tool to create powerful mobile forms, collect data even without an internet connection, and analyze it with a few clicks.
When Diego began Teamscope, he saw the possibility of not only allowing researchers to collect quality data but also to share it. With a successful launch of their Android and iOS app and hundreds of live studies, the time to help researchers make their efforts visible to the rest of the world has arrived. “One of the challenges we see in the world of clinical research is a great number of unseen studies due to financing issues or lack of collaboration. That’s why we’re launching a new feature, called ‘Open Research’: a public database of planned, ongoing and completed studies using Teamscope. With this, we wish to facilitate collaboration across our users and to make their research efforts have a more global impact.”
A future of reliable, collaborative, and limitless research
Through Teamscope, Diego envisions a paradigm shift in how research is conducted. Through this data collection app, he hopes to facilitate safe, dependable, communicative, and unrestricted research. The importance of which is becoming ever more indisputable. Research should no longer be confined by paper or internet connection; instead, it should benefit from the fantastic recording and analysing possibilities of these smart devices we all carry in our pockets.
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