MARCH 30, 2006 | eDocAmerica, a business created in 1997 by the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences’ (UAMS) Charles Smith, M.D., through UAMS’ BioVentures program, has won the Arkansas Business of the Year award for businesses with 1-25 employees.
The award was presented at a March 9 ceremony sponsored by Arkansas Business Publishing Group, which honors businesses, nonprofits and their executives during an annual program.
Smith, a family practice physician and executive associate dean for clinical affairs at UAMS, had the idea of providing medical information through e-mail in the early 1990s and began doing so in his own practice. In 1997 he formed MD Online LLC of Little Rock, which does business as eDocAmerica. At the time, the idea of providing medical information by e-mail was still new.
eDocAmerica was developed with the assistance of BioVentures, the business accelerator at UAMS designed to help technology-based startup companies based on products created by UAMS researchers.
In 2005, the company had revenues of more than $2 million a year. The company had more than 140,000 users in 2003 and has now grown to more than 1 million.
“I think that eDocAmerica has been successful because we were fortunate to assemble the right team at the right time, when patients were quite interested in being able to use technology to get more health information and improve their health care,” Smith said.
He said he expects eDoc will continue to grow as companies look for ways to save on health care costs. Smith said he envisions the “eDoc method” as being a standard procedure in the health care industry within the next few years.
“I’m humbled that we have been able to accomplish this and hope to continue as a successful program,” Smith said. “If we hadn’t done it, I was sure that somebody else would have.”