From Isopharm to Agilio Dental, building iLearn for the future

Dr David Fraser, Product Manager (Dental iLearn), blogs on why it was time to update iLearn and how members can benefit now and in the future.


A new and improved iLearn platform is coming!

David Fraser
Dr David Fraser, Product Manager – Dental iLearn

As many of you will now be aware, having read one of the communications sent out to you, or seen the banner on iLearn highlighting that ‘a new and improved iLearn is coming soon,’ I am happy to say, you shall indeed be moving over to our new and improved iLearn 2.0.

Over the last few months our team of dedicated engineers and developers has been busily working away on the new iLearn platform and I am delighted to inform you that we have started the onboarding process for the first batch of our members, with the aim being to have everyone on board by the end of November.

I am sure some of you are already asking the question about what happens to all the certificates that you have on iLearn, your Personal Development Plan (PDP) and all the associated information. Well, I would like to state now, and give you peace of mind, that everything will be migrated over for you to the new platform automatically.

On a daily basis I speak to, or receive correspondence from our members, many of whom still refer to iLearn as Isopharm. So, for any new members who have just come aboard and are reading this blog, or for any of our long-term members, here is a brief history lesson!

The forerunner to iLearn was founded in 1999 as Isopharm, to assist Acute Hospitals and Healthcare, focusing on compliance with HTM standards, specifically for decontamination and infection control. Fast-forward to 2008 and the launch of the first dental HTM, when due to the company’s existing knowledge, guidance, and product base, it began assisting dental practices in their CQC compliance in the aforementioned area.

The first Isopharm CPD platform was launched in 2012 providing courses free of charge as the courses focused on the products being sold. However, as the need and popularity of online learning increased (and thankfully internet connection speeds improved!) within the dental market, a wider range of courses was developed.

The next version of the platform was launched in 2014, along with the subscription model, many more course categories and new user functionality such as the CPD tracker. Further features such as our popular PDP and practice manager tools were added during the 2017 update.

This brings us to 2020 when Isopharm was bought over and became part of the Agilio Software family.

As of 2022, we are now positioned as the largest CPD provider within the UK dental market, with over 65,000 members. We provide 230+ courses which are taken over 60,000 times each month on average, with an even larger uptake come July and December when GDC submission deadlines for CPD statements approach!

Now you may be asking the question as to why we deemed it necessary to move over from the old iLearn to the new one when I have just mentioned the number of members we actively have using the platform and how successful and strongly positioned it is within the dental CPD marketplace.

Why change a winning formula?

In simple terms, technologies change and (in most cases) improve for the better so we felt that it was time we move to a new platform that allows us to incorporate a more modern user interface, richer functionality, and create an enhanced user experience whilst at the same time, retaining the look-and-feel elements, along with the platform’s usability that you have been so positive about over the years.

We have been listening to your feedback regarding the current iLearn and have taken on board, many of your suggestions, relating to both the features & functionality of the platform and the actual course library itself.

For the launch of the new iLearn, all the courses have been rewritten and content improved upon. Agilio’s Primary Care Medical Director & Editor, Dr Gerry Morrow, and his team, who have been writing Clinical Knowledge Summaries for NICE for over 20 years, reviewed all 230+ courses as part of our quality assurance process.

To improve your learning experience, more video-based content has been added, with some courses being converted from a static text format to a completely video-based one. More courses will in the future be converted to a video format and over the next few months, a new video-based HR series of courses will be added to our library.

Being able to find the course you wish to take, has to be an easy and quick process, especially with our catalogue growing to over 230 courses, so we now have enhanced filtering functionality, allowing you to filter courses by status, category and grouping. Additionally, all the links to the relevant and helpful further learning resources can now be found on a course’s landing page.

For those of you using our practice management features, I am delighted to say that the new iLearn provides an enhanced administrative practice reporting dashboard. Historically, by far the most frequently asked-for feature, has been the ability to be able to export from iLearn, team member list, assigned courses and invite-related data.

Again, we have listened to your request and so you will now be able to export data to Excel.

For example, you can export, the status of courses assigned to your members. Have courses been completed by the due date you set or have they not been started and are overdue? Additionally, these courses can be filtered by completion status, or search if you prefer by member name, email address, or importantly by course name.

Being able to track and export outstanding and resent invite information is incredibly important and this can now be done too. A new, simpler invite flow has been developed, so the process of adding new members to your team, will be more straightforward.

Future of iLearn

Looking ahead to the future, the new platform will give us the stable base from which to develop iLearn further. It is on our roadmap to add more content, including more clinical-related courses, which you have been asking for, and we shall strive to continually improve the content that we already have.

As you will discover with the new iLearn, it can be used easily not only on your computer be that a traditional desktop or laptop, but also on a tablet or mobile phone too. However, in the future it is on our roadmap to have a standalone mobile app as well.

With regards to the practice management features, over the next few months, we aim to provide more ‘at-a-glance’ metrics, allowing you to visualise simply, through the use of graphs & charts, how both your members are doing with regards to their CPD progress and also how your practice or your practices are doing too, collectively.

Finally, around future developments, we are working on being able to host the learning content of the groups & corporates who use iLearn, so their members can access, on our platform, their own content along with all the iLearn content too.

Prior to joining Agilio in 2021, I worked for over 20 years as a general dental practitioner in clinical practice. I was also an iLearn user, having signed up after being extremely impressed by the course library being provided and the tremendously helpful features & functionality, such as the PDP & CPD tracker, following on from the platform being recommended by one of my colleagues in practice.

It can be, as I am sure you are aware, a somewhat time-consuming exercise trying to gather all of one’s CPD certificates and related information together and that is why for me, the iLearn platform is such a wonderful tool for all dental health care professionals. In my opinion, iLearn helps with making the process of being GDC compliant more straightforward and hopefully less stressful too!

Finally, I shall sign off by saying that at Agilio, the team and I are always striving to improve iLearn, and we are most certainly not going to stop now that the new platform has been released. We cannot do that without you, the end user though, so please keep your suggestions and ideas coming in, as all feedback positive or negative is vitally important, as it allows us to keep developing a platform that will make your online learning experience, a most pleasant and enjoyable one!

Find out more about new iLearn here or contact us.

New iLearn homepage

About Dr David Fraser
David oversees the Agilio iLearn platform which offers enhanced CPD e-learning for over 65K GDC registrants across the UK.

His key aim is to create the right learning materials and environment which can help assist in the retention and development of the entire dental team. As a dental graduate from The University of Glasgow in 1994, he has over 20 years of experience working as a dentist, providing both NHS and private treatment.

Additionally, David has a Master’s degree in IT and he worked for several years in management consultancy at Accenture, specifically on IT infrastructure projects for a global pharmaceutical/healthcare company.