From medical student to Medincle Founder: The story behind the medical spellchecker software

Medincle Ltd has no official affiliation with any third party software vendors including the developers of Read&Write, ClaroRead, Dragon Dictation Software, MindView, Inspiration, iWork, and Office. The use of any copyrighted or trademarked material is only for the use of product identification.

Medincle is quickly becoming recognised as an essential software for many health and life science students within the DSA and Access to Work. Medincle also augments a range of other popular assistive technology to enhance and support the use of healthcare terminology for processes such as spell-checking, word prediction and dictation.

We spoke to Medincle Founder and Director Dr Richard Purcell to find out his story, from medical student to founder of an assistive software designed to support DSA health science students.

Dr Richard Purcell tells his story:

Starting at university I anticipated many challenges, but language proficiency wasn’t one. Yes, I’m dyslexic, and had always struggled with academic writing, but I’d been provided a whole host of assistive technology through the DSA, which should support me… right?

On the first day of my course I remember opening my lecture notes to realise I only understood about one in every four words; it was a scary moment, I just thought how on earth am I going to cope? Things went from bad to worse when I discovered that my word-processor, browser, and most of the assistive technology I’d been provided, didn’t understand any of the new terminology either.

Every word I typed was underlined in red, whether it was an error or not. The word-prediction tool couldn’t predict any of the terms I wanted to use, and my dictation software thought I was speaking gibberish.

I looked for solutions and even tried a few, but they were either very expensive, inaccurate, or intrusive. So, I struggled on, I lost marks and my frustration grew, whilst the assistive technology I’d been provided gathered dust.

This was the case for a number of years until a natural break in my course enabled me to do something about it. Medincle was born on a shoestring. My friend, Niels and I were in the middle of our medical degrees at the University of Bristol, so we put an advert in the Computer Science department, and managed to recruit two willing students to help with the development. It took us a little over two years to develop the programme. Over the years since then, the software has been completely redeveloped a few times in order to get to where we are today.

Medincle is now a suite of tools designed to support health science students like me, with the challenges of healthcare jargon. Our software augments many of the most popular assistive technology supplied through the DSA to help support the use of British healthcare terminology, when proofing, word-predicting or dictating.

The first product we launched in 2015 was the Medincle Spellchecker, we then added further functionality to this product to ensure it worked with iWork and browsers as well as Office. Finally, we developed Medincle AT Complete and launched this product in March 2017. In recent months we’ve launch Medincle AT Complete (Legal Edition), which contains all our medical and legal terminology and is proving really popular.

Medincle AT Complete was designed with the DSA in mind, with an aim to augment the most popular pieces of assistive technology in order to help them utilise health science terminology. We wanted to ensure health science students are able to get the most out of whatever AT they are provided through the DSA. Medincle AT Complete augments a large number of AT products to help facilitate dictation, word-prediction, and spell-checking of healthcare jargon.

“I found this software really, REALLY, useful – it has pretty much halved the time for me to make revision notes!”

Bristol Veterinary Science Student

Medincle AT Complete is by no means just for medics, but supports all health and life science students. About 25% of university courses are within health and life science, think about vets, dentists, midwifery, massage therapy, sport science, psychology, to mention just a few. As well as being broadly compatible, we use British medical terminology, and have no tools bars, which provides students an un-intrusive and seamless user experience.

Medincle is now supporting healthcare professionals and students across the UK with fantastic feedback across the board. Niels and I are co-directors of Medincle, whist also working as doctors, we find this help us stay ahead of trend and gain great user insight.

Dr Richard Purcell 

Previously a medical student at the University of Bristol 

Co-Director of Medincle Ltd

Arrange a webinar

The Medincle team is currently running regular webinars where you’ll not only learn about the Medincle suite of software but you’ll also receive a CPD certificate for attending and be provide a demonstration licence of the software.

Contact the team at Medincle to arrange a webinar –


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