In 1999 Imperial Cancer Research Technology and Dr Alan Montgomery provided seed funding to InferMed Ltd to commercialize PROforma. InferMed (Inference in Medicine) generated revenue in its first year of operations. Over the next 16 years InferMed and its customers implemented many apps using Arezzo, InferMed’s implementation of PROforma technology. These apps were used in public health, clinical research, primary and secondary care. Deployed, or proof of concept, apps included:
- ORAMA (Optimal Renal Anaemia Management Assessment)
- Retrogram (HIV treatment) developed for Roche
- ARNO (for cancer pain control) implemented by Dr Robert Dunlop
- Support for nurses working in remote areas (for Queensland Health, Australia)
- Triage support for nurses handling 111 telephone calls
Several Arezzo apps were deployed widely and consulted millions of times by care professionals and the public.
MACRO is a web-based clinical trial management system using PROforma to ensure protocol-compliant collection of clinical trial data. Roche chose InferMed to implement MACRO at scale. For 10 years Roche used MACRO in major clinical trials worldwide. MACRO is also used by dozens of academic and charity clinical research groups in the UK and Europe.
NHS Direct’s symptom checkers / self-assessment tests (SATS), available on PC and mobile, ran for more than 5 years with zero unplanned outages. The service handled 10.7 million consultations in the first full year of operation, including sharp spikes of calls when flu scares were reported on radio. In that full year NHSD reported an annual saving of £57M to the NHS with the elimination of 1.5 million unnecessary GP appointments, 0.7 million A&E attendances/999 calls, and 0.6 million other face-to-face GP and A&E appointments.
Best Practice Advocacy Centre New Zealand. In use since 2005, and now with over 6M uses by hundreds of GPs, BPAC provides a wide range of decision support modules for GPs in New Zealand. These were developed by InferMed’s client Murray Tilyard and co-workers at Best Practice Advocacy Centre.
InferMed grew to employ more than 30 people and operated independently for 16 years. John Fox remained at CRUK, researching the next generation of PROforma implementation, known as Tallis.
In 2015 Elsevier acquired InferMed Ltd.