William T. (B.J.) Lawson, Chief Software Architect, MercuryMD/Thomson Corporation
"Engineering and Entrepreneurship: From Idea to Product to Company"
Dr. B.J. Lawson, Chief Software Architect of MercuryMD/Thomson Corporation, discusses challenges and lessons of starting a national healthcare information technology company in the context of his training as a Duke Engineer. While engineering isn't always appreciated as natural traning for entrepreneurial activities, Dr. Lawson suggests that the best aspects of engineering training are ideal preparation for tackling the complex problems of bringing a new idea to market.
Dr. Lawson received his engineering and medical degrees from Duke University (BSE '96, MD '00) and started surgery residency at Duke in 2000. He left residency in 2001, however, to pursue a passion for clinical information technology nurtured during his research while a Duke medical student. This interest led to the founding of MercuryMD, Inc., which was dedicated to making patient information accessible to clinicians on mobile devices at the point of care. Between 2001 and 2006, MercuryMD's clinical workflow solutions grew to serve over 200 hospitals nationwide supported by a team of over 70 employees. Dr. Lawson served in various roles during the founding and growth of MercuryMD, and continues his work in healthcare information technology after MercuryMD was acquired by Thomson Corporation in spring 2006.