Remembering Dr. William O’Toole

On December 30th, mTuitive lost a vital member of its family with the passing of Dr. William O'Toole. Dr. O'Toole was the co-founder of mTuitive, but he was also a whole lot more. He will be deeply missed, but Bill's legacy is one that stretches back for many years and will be felt for many more. His was a storied career and life that touched the lives of thousands if not millions of people all around the world who benefitted from his wisdom, his professionalism, and his great vision.

For over 40 years, Dr. O'Toole was a practicing physician and during that long span of a life of service and dedication, he taught at Georgetown and Harvard Medical Schools, conducted pioneering research into what would eventually become known as 'stem cells,' and was the Chief of Pathology for Cape Cod Hospital for 30 years. In that time he touched the lives of many students, informing them and leading them into their own brilliant careers in medicine. His research would prove to be an invaluable bedrock upon which many others would build their own understanding of treating disease. His role as Chief had him leading many staff members and guiding them to better themselves and their own careers as they tended to many cases and patients. As a pathologist, he provided important diagnoses to patients that would determine their treatments and save lives. Thousands upon thousands of patients are the direct beneficiaries of Dr. O'Toole's 40 years of service, even if they never knew him, based solely on his wisdom and his expertise. And yet that is not his legacy.

Dr. O'Toole was an early adopter to technology, both in his personal life and professional environment. He was one of the first physicians to try out MEDITECH's LIS system when such a thing was a burgeoning enterprise. He also saw the need for technology to improve the way diagnoses were recorded and reported to other departments. His vision led to the creation of mTuitive, Inc., a company whose products are now used across the globe for pathology, surgery, and vascular reporting. Literally millions of reports are generated using mTuitive products, and they are all traced back to Bill's grand vision for better reporting of vital medical information that could be transmitted easily to other physicians and understood faster without need for more clarification or discussion. He was a pioneer in understanding and implementing synoptic reporting and structured data when those terms were met with nothing more than a shrug and a look of confusion. He persevered for decades with mTuitive, and because he was a visionary, the world eventually caught up to his way of thinking and now there are mandates and requirements to use such synoptic reporting in order to capture these cases for millions of patients from Canada to Asia. With one deceptively simple idea, Dr. O'Toole was able to touch the lives of patients, physicians, mTuitive users, IT personnel and other hospital employees that may not have known about the humble origins of the software they were using, but who nonetheless were executing Bill's great vision for better data for better care and improved research. Dr. O'Toole was always a warm presence in the mTuitive offices, devoting his time and astounding knowledge without ever making it seem like a burden to breakdown complicated medical elements into easy-to-understand concepts. He guided the company with his philosophy about simplifying processes and bolstering reporting to empower physicians and assist patients; a philosophy that still leads the company to this day. And yet that is not his legacy.

He leaves behind a large gathering of friends, family, and colleagues who all respected and loved the gentle, caring, and insightful doctor. Those who knew him knew a brilliant man who was never pompous or pretentious, but instead freely gave of himself and his wisdom. Many a discussion was elevated and improved simply by his involvement, as he imparted his views and insight that were novel and always welcomed. Dr. O'Toole is survived by a large family, with five children, 17 grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren. All of them are wonderful people who embody the spirit of the good doctor: funny, and sweet; supportive and inviting with a natural ease with others and a capacity for giving that is truly remarkable and a testament to Bill's inherent class and demeanor. And yet that is not his legacy.

Dr. William O'Toole's legacy is not just one side of him, but instead an amalgam of all of these things. A dedicated physician, a pioneering visionary, a beloved family man. He was multi-faceted and incredibly gifted; he had an ease about himself that always brought calm to others that never came off as domineering, even when he was the smartest guy in the room (which was often). Dr. O'Toole's legacy is so much more than the sum of its parts, that it's hard to explore it all and do it justice. He was a man of vision, he was a man of integrity, and he was a man who inspired those around him. When someone leaves us, it's easy to feel like there's a hole in the world where he once was; that something has broken and is gone forever. The greatest testament to Dr. William O'Toole is that, while he will be greatly missed, he has an enduring legacy due to all of the lives he has touched and improved through his service, his vision, and simply by being himself. There is a hole in the world with his passing, but he will not be forgotten and continues to live due to his tireless efforts and his immense capacity to lead and love.

Rest in peace, Bill; you're with Dorothy now and we will continue to strive to live up to your legacy.