New Software Company Spins Out of NUI Galway

Monday, 11 May 2009

(Leagan Gaeilge) NUI Galway has announced details of a new spin-off company, Qpercom Ltd. The software and services company, based in the University's business incubation facilities, provides an online assessment tool to replace any kind of paper-based form or check list. The company's initial target market is medical schools across Europe, of which there are almost 140, with well over one million students. Qpercom Ltd. has already secured as customers the Medical School at Erasmus University in Rotterdam, and NUI Galway's School of Medicine and its School of Nursing and Midwifery. NUI Galway's Dr Thomas Kropmans is one of the founders of the company and developed the technology with his colleagues at the University's Medical Informatics and Education group in the School of Medicine. He comments: "Quality assurance in medical education and assessment is an absolute necessity. This innovative web platform allows electronic data capturing and real-time data analysis. Therefore, improved quality assurance and appropriate educational decision making can be achieved. The financial benefits are also very compelling, as our customers are realising savings of up to 70% in administrative costs, not to mention savings on paper and printing". Until now, the performance of medical students during their clinical examinations has been recorded on paper forms by the assessor. A cohort of 600 medical students produces at least 8,600 forms. Those forms would then have to be compiled, manually calculated and keyed into a database, resulting in a delay before results could be viewed. Such paper marking sheets can now be replaced by Qpercom's online Assessment Management System* with results compiled instantly. Last month, medical students at NUI Galway were successfully examined using Qpercom's technology. NUI Galway's Dr Barry O'Donovan, a lecturer in General Practice, said: "This is a really exciting development. The innovative software was a complete success and the laborious tick boxing is now all gone. Even more importantly, we can now analyse station and examiner performance. We can now ensure that the only variable in the exam is the student. This software is going to be of great interest to medical schools in Ireland and internationally". Qpercom's products and services also have huge potential in other markets where instantaneous results from forms or check-lists would be of benefit. Such markets include industrial education, sports education, agriculture and health and safety. Reflecting Qpercom's broad appeal, the new company has secured In Tense Safety Training & Assessment in the Netherlands as a customer. Radmer de Jong of In Tense comments: "Qpercom has delivered a great custom-made product to meet our requirements, because they took the time to investigate the demands needed in our field and specified by our company. An online interface was designed to score our outdoor training sessions to ensure validation of our assessment tool". NUI Galway has a long standing involvement with the promotion of indigenous enterprise and a strong record of start-up companies. Other innovative spin-out companies are in the pipeline and are currently at late stage negotiation.
Seach-Chuideachta Bogearraí Nua Bunaithe in OÉ Gaillimh
(View in English) Tá sonraí fógartha ag OÉ Gaillimh maidir le seach-chuideachta nua, Qpercom Ltd. Soláthraíonn an chuideachta bogearraí agus seirbhísí seo, atá lonnaithe i ngorlann ghnó na hOllscoile, uirlis measúnachta ar líne a bheidh in úsáid in ionad foirmeacha agus seicliostaí páipéir. Is iad scoileanna leighis ar fud na hEorpa an spriocmhargadh a bheidh ag an gcuideachta ag an tús. Tá beagnach 140 scoil leighis ar fad ann, agus breis is milliún mac léinn. I measc na gcustaiméirí atá aimsithe ag Qpercom Ltd. cheana féin tá Scoil Leighis Ollscoil Erasmus in Rotterdam, Scoil an Leighis, agus Scoil an Altranais agus an Chnáimhseachais in OÉ Gaillimh. Tá an Dr Thomas Kropmans ó OÉ Gaillimh ar dhuine de bhunaitheoirí na cuideachta agus d'fhorbair sé an teicneolaíocht seo i dteannta a chomhghleacaithe i nGrúpa Ionformaitice agus Oideachais Leighis na hOllscoile, Grúpa atá lonnaithe i Scoil an Leighis. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá aige: "Tá géarghá le dearbhú cáilíochta in oideachas agus i measúnacht leighis. Ciallaíonn an t-ardán gréasáin nuálach seo gur féidir sonraí a ghabháil go leictreonach agus gur féidir anailís fíor-ama a dhéanamh ar shonraí. Is é an buntáiste a bhaineann leis seo gur féidir dearbhú cáilíochta a fheabhsú agus cinntí oideachais cuí a dhéanamh. Baineann buntáistí suntasacha airgeadais leis seo freisin, tuigeann ár gcustaiméirí gur féidir suas le 70% a shábháil ar chostais riaracháin, le cois airgead a shábháil ar pháipéar agus ar phriontáil". Go dtí le blianta beaga anuas, ba é an measúnóir a choimeád taifead ar pháipéar d'obair na mac léinn leighis le linn dóibh a bheith i mbun scrúduithe cliniciúla. Bíonn thart ar 8,600 foirm i gceist le cohórt 600 mac léinn leighis. Ansin bheadh na foirmeacha ar fad le tiomsú, na marcanna le suimiú agus le hiontráil ar bhunachar sonraí. Thógfadh sé seo ar fad roinnt ama sula mbeadh na torthaí ar fáil. Is féidir Córas Bainistíochta Measúnachta ar líne Qpercom* a úsáid anois in ionad na mbileog marcála páipéir rud a chiallaíonn go mbíonn torthaí ar fáil láithreach bonn. An mhí seo caite, baineadh leas as teicneolaíocht Qpercom le mic léinn in OÉ Gaillimh a chur faoi scrúdú. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag an Dr Barry O'Donovan, léachtóir ó Roinn na Dochúireachta Teaghlaigh: "Is cinnte gur forbairt thar a bheith spéisiúil é seo. D'éirigh thar cionn ar fad leis an mbogearra nuálach seo agus tá deireadh anois le ré na mboscaí beaga agus na dticeanna. Níos tábhachtaí ná sin, táimid anois in ann anailís a dhéanamh ar obair stáisiúin agus ar fheidhmiú na scrúdaitheoirí. Féadaimid a chinntiú anois nach mbeidh ach athróg amháin sa scrúdú feasta – an mac léinn. Níl aon amhras orm ach go mbeidh an-spéis ag scoileanna leighis in Éirinn agus scoileanna leighis ar fud na cruinne sa teicneolaíocht seo". Tá neart deiseanna eile ann freisin táirgí agus seirbhísí Qpercom a fhorbairt i margaí eile ina mbainfeadh tairbhe le torthaí a fháil láithreach bonn ó fhoirmeacha agus ó sheicliostaí. I measc na margaí sin tá oideachas tionsclaíoch, oideachas spóirt, talmhaíocht, agus sláinte agus sábháilteacht. Cruthúnas eile fós ar an tóir a bheidh ar an gcuideachta nua seo is ea gur éirigh le Qpercom cuideachta atá lonnaithe san Ísiltír ar a dtugtar In Tense Safety & Assessment a fháil mar chustaiméir. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Radmer de Jong ó In Tense Safety & Assessment: "Tá táirge shaincheaptha den chéad scoth deartha ag Qpercom a chomhlíonann na riachtanais atá againn mar go raibh siad sásta an t-am a chaitheamh i mbun scrúdaithe ar ár riachtanais agus ar na riachtanais a shonraíomar. Dearadh comhéadan ar líne a chur ar ár gcumas scóir a choinneáil dár seisiúin oiliúna allamuigh d'fhonn a chinntiú go raibh ár n-uirlis measúnachta oiriúnach". Tá baint ag OÉ Gaillimh le fada an lá le fiontar dúchasach a chur chun cinn agus cuidiú le cuideachtaí nua. Tá seach-chuideachtaí nuálacha eile á bhforbairt i láthair na huaire agus críoch curtha beagnach leis na hidirbheartaíochtaí ina lán cásanna.
-Críoch-

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