In 2015, as a means of adding voluntary experience to his repertoire, Shannon Clarke took up a position with the Barbados Diabetes Association. During his time there, he noted that the Association had difficulty following up with members who were tested during their Public Health Checks. The problem sounds simple enough, but the reality is that being able to follow up with patients who have communicable diseases such as diabetes is often times the differentiator between life and death, as a follow up can shed light on whether a patient is following dietary instructions or whether they have symptoms indicative of coma-inducing glucose levels.
To assist in solving the above-mentioned problem Shannon founded CarePoint Solutions, a technology startup focused on building digital health solutions that help doctors to save lives within the Caribbean.
Shannon and his team have been working directly with the Caribbean Public Health Alliance and Barbados Diabetes Association to improve the use of evidence-based medical practice in the Caribbean as well as improve self-management among patients living with diabetes.
Take a peek at his interview!
What is your company name and what products/services does it provided?
CarePoint Solutions provides practice management software for doctors to follow up with their patients in between visits, using automated reminders for appointment scheduling, bill payments and health surveys.
Where is your company located?
If you were headlining a UN event or Ted Talk, how would you love to hear/see your company introduced?
I’d like CarePoint to be introduced as a health tech company which aims to help doctors save lives. We started this mission to provide doctors with the tools they need to deliver better care to their patients and improve patient satisfaction.
Do you have any co-founders and/or notable team members?
Presently CarePoint is managed by myself and a small team. We’re fortunate to have received repeat support and recognition from regional bodies such as the Caribbean Public Health Agency.
What inspired the birth of this company?
CarePoint was envisioned while volunteering with the Diabetes Association of Barbados. I recognized that the Association had difficulty following up with the several members of society who were tested during their Public Health Checks (blood glucose and pressure screening). So I gathered resources and began working on a solution and soon realized that it was equally applicable to the private practices many doctors operate within the Caribbean. Ultimately while there is the management benefit for clinics and doctors, there is the overarching goal to improve the experience for patients visiting our clients.
How would you say your company answers any one of the Caribbean’s problems?
Over 60% of all deaths within the Caribbean are due to cardiac arrest and stroke which are typically complications from non-communicable diseases and chronic illnesses such as diabetes and hypertension. Despite the efforts of the NCD Commission after the 2007 Heads of Government Declaration with regards to the approach needed against NCDs, the region has not made much progress in this fight. One method for approaching this challenge is ensuring that patients are guided along the needed adjustments towards a healthier lifestyle. This requires doctors to remotely engage their patients on a far more consistent basis than is usually profitable for small private practices. At CarePoint, we provide automation communication software that is seamless and simple for private practices to use by targeting specific communication to patients with identified conditions and monitoring them over time via health surveys.
What would you say has been your greatest challenge as a company thus far and how have/did you overcome it or how are you working to overcome it?
My greatest challenge has been building and managing a team while resisting the temptation to tackle every challenge myself. It is an ongoing challenge and I lean on the experience of mentors to guide me towards resolution.
What would you say has been your greatest triumph/achievement as a company thus far?
It has definitely been observing the satisfaction of doctors and their patients alike when the automated response system provides a new level of communication and convenience.
What would be your advice to other Caribbean entrepreneurs?
Always ask for advice and be willing to learn from the most unlikely of sources. A different perspective can reveal new opportunities.
Do you have a vision for entrepreneurship in the Caribbean?
I’d like to see a Caribbean that embraces the research and development of technology in order to solve global issues in areas such as tourism, agriculture and renewable energy which we are uniquely positioned to tackle. I see a new wave of collaboration coming that will unite the Caribbean islands towards common goals. However I will discourage the continued political divide between the islands which prohibits trade and commerce.
The Man Behind The Company
Country of Birth
Country of Residence
What is the book/books that you’ve given most as a gift and why?
The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz is one that I recommend to everyone because it will reshape some of the truths and assumptions you live by.
What are the three books that have greatly influenced your life?
- The Bible – specifically the book of Job was often re-read during adolescence. It shaped how I think of God, the balance between good/evil and being a Christian.
- The One Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan – I enjoyed reading this book because it provides a very useful “seven circles of life” which has helped me to be more purposeful with regards to who and what I want to be. Therefore, it helped me to reduce anxiety and increase focus.
- The Four Agreements – for reasons above.
What recent purchase of yours has most positively impacted your life?
I’m a rather frugal person so I rather invest in experiences. I’m tempted to recall a trip to Japan but that was more than two years ago now.
What lessons has failure taught you?
Failure has taught me how to forgive myself for mistakes so that I do not let them define me. It has also taught me to be willing to listen to uncomfortable truths from unlikely sources.
What is a quote that you think of often or live your life by?
“A little bit of effort every day will go a long way”
What is one of the most worthwhile investments that you have made?
Writing has helped me to express and examine my thoughts and feelings daily.
In the past three years what belief, behavior or habit has most improved your life?
I have adopted two practices of “Kaizen” and “Ikigai” which are both concepts from Japanese culture.
“Kaizen” refers to continuous improvement so requires me to reflect on my progress objectively and re-assess my future plans accordingly. “Ikigai” refers to finding meaning in one’s life however to me, it provides a framework for finding balance between my daily actions and my personal and professional goals
What advice would you give to a Caribbean school leaver about the braving the uniqueness of the Caribbean environment?
I usually give school-leavers two pieces of advice:
- Don’t focus so much on building a rolodex of “who you know”. Focus more on making sure they know of you. Build a good reputation now before you need it. The Caribbean is a great place for building relationships with people of different classes if you are brave enough to engage them.
- Avoid the trap of thinking that working hard will always reap rewards.
When you feel overwhelmed/unfocused what do you do?
When I feel overwhelmed I listen to music – preferably classical instrumental. It improves focus.
Who is your most inspirational figure? What about their life, habits or model have inspired you?
I find Job from the Bible to be the most inspirational. Even during his countless suffering and losses, Job did not waver from his faith or values.