When patient Lenard* was a medical student, he noticed a lesion on his shin that at first glance appeared to be dry skin. Unlike dry skin, though, this condition proved to be anything, but temporary and persisted for months.
When searching for a cure for an uncommon disease, doctors and medical detectives are confronted with a difficult knowledge problem. The correct answer is out there, but it’s likely known only to a handful of people, dispersed among a lot of people who haven’t a clue, or worse, have the incorrect diagnosis. How can we separate the knowledgeable from the clueless? The solution might have a lot to do with balloons.
Practically since the internet was invented, people have been using it to try and figure out what ails them. And today, the practice is so widespread that it is practically ubiquitous. According to a recent Pew study, “80% of Internet users look for health information online, making medical inquiries the third most popular web-based pursuit, following only email and search engine use.”
In other words, whatever any experts say or do, the act of attempting to diagnose ourselves on the internet isn’t going anywhere.
But it would be a fair question to ask, though, if the internet is the right place to go. Are we helping ourselves or hurting ourselves with our attempt to put the medical system back in our hands?
Let’s take a look at the facts.
“My son feels like an old man. He suffers from constant, debilitating fatigue, painful body aches… he feels like he’s dying.”
Those are the words of a desperate mother. Her son Joseph had always been an active and athletic child, but starting at the age of 12, his health began to deteriorate inexplicably. Over the next 5 years, Joseph and his mother consulted with 14 different doctors, endured dozens of tests, and racked up more than $75,000 in medical expenses – but still couldn’t find answers. Continue reading When Crowds Are Smarter Than Doctors
Crowdsourcing as a Medical Tool: Interview with CrowdMed CEO Jared Heyman.
CrowdMed is an online medical crowdsourcing platform where people submit medical cases with information about symptoms, medical history, family history, and other pertinent data. Subsequently, the community of “medical detectives” suggests diagnoses and places point bets on the outcomes they think are most likely. CrowdMed’s patented prediction market algorithms aggregate the medical differential set by the crowd and distills it down to a probable list of diagnostic suggestions for each patient. Continue reading Solving Your Medical Mysteries Online, with Crowdsourcing
1. Crowdsourcing can help solve even the most difficult medical cases.
Not even the famous (and fictional) Dr. House M.D. can know everything about every one of the more than 13,000 known medical conditions, diseases and disorders. At the same time, public web forums can turn even the most rational person into a total hypochondriac. So, where can you turn for help, if the internet is driving you crazy and your doctor has no answer? Crowdsourcing. Continue reading Top 5 Ways Crowdsourcing Can Improve Health and Medical Diagnosis
Doctor-to-be Neil Dubey ponders healthcare innovation, internet-empowered patients, and what it all means for the future of medicine.
As long as the Internet exists, patients will utilize it. Doctors have a unique opportunity to embrace and help shape the future of health, while engaging with patients who now have access to a world of open information and diverse input. Continue reading Diagnosing Medical Cases Online: Threat to Traditional Medicine?
Healthcare is costly, but it’s no easy task trying to reduce costs without compromising care. One answer might be found in the wisdom of the crowd, or in crowdsourced medical diagnosis which is already helping doctors, patients and healthcare providers more quickly identify many conditions that would otherwise take months or years to figure out. Continue reading Using Crowd Wisdom to Significantly Cut Healthcare Costs
CrowdMed helps people get answers to medical symptoms that have eluded diagnosis for months or even years. We recently gathered a list of the medical conditions, diseases and genetic disorders most frequently suggested by our global network of crowdsourced “Medical Detectives” – experts in medicine, science, healthcare, education and research who review patient cases submitted to the company – and whose collaboration helps patients figure out what’s wrong with them. The results are very interesting. Continue reading The Top 20 Most Common Uncommon Medical Diagnoses