CrowdMed is a website that uses the “wisdom of crowds” to solve medical cases quickly and accurately online. We provide a place for patients to post their symptoms and broadcast their cases to our medical detective community, which includes doctors, med students and patients themselves. Our medical detectives collaborate to solve each case and suggest possible diagnoses. Our system assigns a probability to each diagnosis based on our research and the behavior of the medical detectives who worked on the case. Once enough medical detectives have participated in a case, we deliver an extensive report to the patient. Just like that, we’ve gotten a patent a second, third, 50th opinion without any invasive tests and unnecessary doctor visits.
We tested our system on cases with known diagnoses that cost patients hundreds of thousands of dollars, lasted many years, and taken dozens doctors to solve—my case included. We were able to solve these cases in a matter of weeks, at a fraction of the cost.
Now we’ve helped diagnose 200 of the world’s most difficult medical cases, and that’s only the beginning. By designing a site that simplifies complex medical data, connects patients with the people who understand this data, and uses statistics and technology to uncover answers, we’re making medical diagnoses more accessible to everyone.
We’re crowdsourcing medical diagnoses.
During my junior year of college I got sick. My appetite disappeared. I had difficulty remembering things. I always felt cold, and I started losing my hair.
I visited the university health center. They sent me to a doctor, who sent me to a specialist, who sent me to more specialists for testing. I was biopsied, scanned and blood tested—often multiple times a month. The uncertainty, stress and financial burden this placed on me was crippling—especially as a college student.
After months of poking and prodding, I finally got my diagnosis: a thyroid disorder with a very simple treatment. I take one pill in the morning, every day. Compared to all the terrible possible diagnoses and treatments my doctors were considering, this was a huge relief. The process of finding the name for my condition, so that I could get the proper treatment, turned out to be far more painful than the treatment itself.
MobileSmith is an online app development platform, enabling hospitals and health organizations to create custom, native apps, across iPhone, Android and iPad devices, without any coding required.
We have a platform that allows a marketing department with no development experience to create custom, native mobile apps. With us, any hospital can enhance their patient engagement strategy, without coding, and without the cost of hiring developers.
The earliest foundations of the company that would become MobileSmith, were laid in 1993. Back then, the company, known as SmartOnline, sold software to assist small businesses. SmartOnline became one of the early pioneers of the SaaS (Software as a Service) model that we use today. The company worked to adapt to the constantly changing technology. In 2010, the company hired Bob Dieterle as senior VP and general manager. He advocated and orchestrated a complete overhaul of the company services, and focused the company, instead, on the budding industry of mobile applications. The company wanted to deliver organizations a means to quickly create and manage apps to connect to their consumers, without having to rely heavily on an IT department. Working to that end, the MobileSmith online platform was developed, and in July 2013, the overhaul was complete, as the company rebranded itself as MobileSmith Inc. and has since focused entirely on delivering quality and cost-effective mobile apps to organizations.
Market Opportunity and Strategy
There are several app development platforms out there, such as Appcelerator or Kony. These platforms still require a programmer or developer to write code for the apps. Our platform requires no coding whatsoever. A designer or marketer can easily come to us and use our platform to design, prototype, build and deploy an app. While we have clients from a variety of fields, healthcare providers have found our platform particularly useful. With healthcare IT departments swamped with EHR implementation and marketing desperately trying to enhance patient engagement options, our platform has been able to fill their needs without placing any further burden on their IT, and avoiding the higher labor cost of developers. As only 35 percent of healthcare providers offer mobile apps, according to the HIMSS Analytics Survey, there is a clear need in the healthcare industry for our platform, and several organizations have found us to be an excellent means of enhancing their patient engagement via mobile apps.