It’s An ‘Appi’ Ending For WIT Student Entrepreneur

WIT student, Jonathan O’Donnell, was named Entrepreneur of the Year at the USI’s annual Student Achievement Awards in Dublin Castle.

Jonathan, from Clonmel, won the award for developing a mobile app for the healthcare sector, AppiDoc, while on clinical placement during his studies on the institute’s BSc in Applied Healthcare.

It’s An ‘Appi’ Ending For WIT Student Entrepreneur

USI Awards. Entrepreneur of the Year Jonathan O’Donnell in centre.

During his research Jonathan unearthed staggering statistics on how prevalent the problem of appointment “no shows” is in Ireland which gave him the idea to develop AppiDoc which empowers patients to manage appointments using mobile technology.

“From my own experiences, I had identified a problem with missed healthcare appointments and generally find the whole process of making, rescheduling and cancelling appointments to be outdated and difficult. I came up with the idea of developing a mobile device application which would allow patients to make, cancel and reschedule appointments, which would also remind them of their appointments allowing them to easily cancel if required.”

“The HSE estimates its loss through missed appointments each year is approximately €33 million, which excludes the cost for general practitioners. Other research found 1,300 appointments are being missed daily costing in the region of €8 million.”

Jonathon is no stranger to success. Having won WIT’s 2015 Solve-It Challenge, Jonathan was one of 20 students selected for the Student Start-Up Week in Dublin, where he pitched to potential investors.

From there, he became a finalist in the Waterford division for the Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur Competition and then on to Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur where he was again shortlisted as a finalist. Finalists are chosen on the basis that their initiative is an outstanding idea/commercial venture for a start-up or established business.

Jonathan also made it into phase one of the Enterprise Ireland New Frontiers, which is Ireland’s national entrepreneur development programme for innovative, early-stage start-ups, with Appidoc.

Since his success with Appidoc, Jonathan has begun a new initiative, Home Carers Ireland.

“Home Carers Ireland is an online platform which allows families of those requiring home-care assistance to search a directory of available private home carers in their locality.”

Jonathan says the inspiration for Home Carers Ireland came about while working for an agency.

The Home Carers Ireland online platform is the first of its kind in Ireland, according to Jonathan. The WIT student says that families can make up to a 50% saving when avoiding agencies and choosing to employ a home care giver privately.

Jonathan’s primary focus is to finish college and obtain his degree in Applied Healthcare saying “I have found it a bit of a challenge, developing my enterprise ideas and juggling my final year in college. It is my priority to finish my course with a solid grade, so once I am finished, I hope to apply to phase two of New Frontiers and continue on my entrepreneurial path.”

The Student Achievement Awards is an annual celebration which allows the student movement to recognise the contribution of students to the life of Ireland and the student community

Along with Jonathan’s nomination, WIT was nominated in four other categories in the annual Student Achievement Awards. Chloe Thomas was nominated for Class Rep of the year; Edmund Rice as Mature Student of the Year, Seen Mun as International Student of the Year and Upskill Week for Education Campaign of the Year.

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