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Jason Maude

Brief description of achievement:

Jason Maude set up the ISABEL Medical Charity in April 2000, following the near death of his daughter Isabel, due to a misdiagnosis of necrotising fasciitis as chickenpox. The charity operates an online paediatric clinical decision-making support system for doctors, nurses and health care workers.

Detailed description:

Following her misdiagnosis, three-year-old Isabel Maude spent four weeks in intensive care recovering from major surgery. On her return home in July 1999, her parents Jason and Charlotte Maude took the decision not to sue the National Health Service but to channel their experience into something more positive and try to ensure that medical error due to misdiagnosis could be reduced.

Initially the couple donated 35,000 of their own money to kick-start a charitable initiative operating a unique diagnostic tool to diagnose any childhood condition. Jason secured the assistance of Dr Joseph Britto, a high profile paediatric consultant to develop the tool, and a software company to provide the software. For the first year of ISABEL, Jason continued to work full time and devoted every minute of his spare time to the charity. He then took over a year's unpaid sabbatical to implement the project.

The diagnostic website was launched in June 2002 and over 11,000 doctors worldwide are now registered users. ISABEL helps doctors make correct and quick diagnoses and Doctors report that it speeds up the treatment of sick children and in some cases, has saved lives. The success of ISABEL has led doctors to demand an adult version, which the charity is now developing.

"Since discovering this website, I have listed the main clinical characteristics of every medical admission to our PICU for the past month, and ISABEL has included the correct diagnosis in every case. The owners of this website have set a new standard for implementing a real-time clinical tool that is available and useable for paediatric clinicians. I highly recommend this tool to anyone who is involved in the care of critically ill children. The 'diagnostic tool' section is unmatched in scope and simplicity of use. It is foreseeable that ISABEL may save a critically ill child from a potentially catastrophic delay in diagnosis."

Neal J Thomas, Assistant Professor of Paediatrics, Pennsylvania State, University College of Medicine, USA