Like most physicians, David Shepro, M.D., wants to be a good doctor. Like many fathers, he worries about paying for college for his children. Like every entrepreneur, when Shepro saw an unfulfilled need, he came up with a product to meet it.
Shepro, 44, says he started his company, Hudson Physician Communications of Holden, Mass., to improve care, salt away some tuition money and develop the Anticoagulation-Advisor.
His product comes in two forms, a laminated slide rule and a software program for handheld computers with Palm operating systems. Both tools help doctors calculate proper doses for their patients on the blood-thinner warfarin (Coumadin).
The products will receive a boost from results of a Harvard Medical School trial published late last month online by the New England Journal of Medicine (and in the magazine April 10). It concludes that low doses of warfarin given long-term are an effective preventative for deep vein thrombosis.
Shepro said he will quickly modify his offerings to make calculations for these lower-dose treatments as well.
"I'm mostly a doctor, 99% of the time," says the company president, a hematologist practicing with Commonwealth Hematology-Oncology, PC, a 20-physician group, based in Quincy, Mass.
Shepro, also an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Massachusetts in Worcester, teamed with Jack Ansell, M.D., professor of medicine at Boston University, to develop the tools and what Shepro describes as "pithy" clinical guidelines for warfarin use.
Shepro said he's invested about $20,000 in the profitable, home-based business. The slide rule costs $9.95. The PDA version is $24.95. Both are available on the Web at anticoagulation-advisor.com.