In December 2019, Ryan Gallagher started wondering why his sister, veterinarian Dr. Katie Gallagher, was coming home late from work by about 2 hours every day. When he asked her about it, Ryan learned that medical records that had accumulated throughout the day were the culprit.
Curiosity and a drive to help his sister and other vets drove Ryan to shadow Katie for a day at the clinic, as he wondered if his engineering background could prove useful in lightening the administrative burden. What he discovered firsthand was that the work of a veterinarian is nothing short of heroic. Katie started her day at 7 a.m. and went from euthanasias to routine vaccinations and checkups to lifesaving surgeries, back to back and usually without a single break. Then, if she was lucky enough to be finished with appointments by 5 p.m., she would have 2 hours worth of medical records to catch up on before being able to end her workday.
“I’ll never forget that day I shadowed Katie. I knew my sister was a superhero, and to see her time wasted filling out paperwork on an ancient system that crashed all the time was so frustrating to me. I thought, What if we could capture the patient information at the source during the appointment and turn the audio into a concise record with just the click of a button?”
Using AI and ML to create Scribenote
Working closely with his sister and a vet student, Emily Merry, Ryan got to work on what would later be named Scribenote—the world’s first AI scribe for vets. He was still completing his undergrad degree in nanotechnology engineering, so days were spent at co-op and late nights were spent working hard to get the scribe off the ground.
A few months later and into the COVID pandemic, Ryan joined forces with Alina Pavel, a fellow engineering student and designer, and they made Scribenote their full-time focus as their capstone project in their fourth year.
With the help of Palihapitiya Venture Creation Fund and Concept Velocity’s prize, the team launched their first iteration of the product on October 22, 2021. It wasn’t yet their vision of a “click a button to replace 2 hours of typing” model, but it was a manual software that brought in the pair’s first few customers.
After a second launch that took the product mobile, Ryan and Alina spent 2022 building new functionality into their app, including large language model (LLM) capabilities.
Then, in March 2023, Ryan received a text from Katie that brought major cause for celebration.
“Katie let me know that our app achieved its first fully automated medical record, meaning we’d reached our goal. We quickly finished up a beta trial and then launched publicly in May 2023.”
Accelerant growth, remarkable impact
Since their official launch just 8 months ago, Scribenote’s team has grown substantially from 2 to 8 full-time employees simply to keep up with the demand. Now, they’re hearing every day from veterinarians across North America and beyond about how their clinics have been forever changed for the better, that they’re getting home earlier, and that they’re “excited every day to use the app.”
“We view our work for the vet industry as profoundly important. Pet owners worldwide experience an unparalleled bond with their animals. This is what I had with my dog, Cali. She only got to live the best life possible because my sister gave her the best care possible. We don’t directly impact Cali or Bennie, Otto or Scribbles, but we get to serve the people who do. It’s our mission to cherish and protect the human animal bond by improving the lives of the vet professionals who make it possible.”
Achieving new heights with the AC
Ryan and Alina were accepted into our AC:Studio program in the fall of 2022 at what felt like the perfect time. While they knew they were going to stick out their work on Scribenote for the long haul, they were starting to think that they might have to get into part-time contract work to make ends meet financially. The AC program was the lifeline they needed to keep afloat—and accelerate growth.
“The AC:Studio mentors have been incredible. We were weak in so many aspects of business that you need to understand: accounting, content marketing strategies, how to get enterprise deals, to name a few. The AC gives you the option to book a meeting with experts in these areas to learn them quickly and well, so you get to augment your own competence with other people’s. We have learned so much from the mentors that we’re putting into practice on a daily basis.”
Making clinical veterinary documentation effortless
Ryan and his team see a world in which vets don't have to worry about the boring, tedious, and draining admin work on top of an already challenging profession. Thanks to Scribenote, that’s already happening for hundreds of veterinarians—and they’re scaling to help thousands more. Learn more about what one user calls “the best thing since sliced cheese” at https://www.scribenote.com/.