I had the pleasure to give a talk at the recent amazing TEDxNijmegen event organized by the team of Lucien Engelen. I described how I used crowdsourcing in social media to find a diagnosis and what my role is in this area as a medical futurist. I hope you will like it!
The Danish researchers behind FindZebra would not be happy about my title as they published a warning on the top of their search engine with the message: “This is a research project to be used only by medical professionals.” This search engine only uses medical databases similarly to SciencerollSearch and named the rare disease correctly after entering the symptoms 67% of the time, compared to 32% using Google.
I think educating both patients and medical professionals about the proper use of search engines and operators would provide even better results.
Here is their description.
There are close to 7,000 rare diseases recognized by rare disease organizations. We index over 31,000 documents covering rare and genetic diseases from 10 reputable sources. Given the number of rare diseases and rate of publication, we think FindZebra is a good companion for medical professionals.
I was very glad when Lucien Engelen announced my participation in the upcoming TEDxNijmegen as a speaker during the recent FutureMed. I will talk about the role of social media in the future of medicine and healthcare through my own story.
The next day, I’ll give a talk alongside Jack Andraka and Amy Robinson at UMC St Radboud.
I’ve been teaching medical students about the meaningful use of health IT, social media and other disruptive technologies for 5 years. I created a digital format of the course therefore any medical student or medical professional in the world can access the materials and finish the course.
There are 3 additional projects going on right now:
- My students fight for bonus points on the Facebook page of the course. I post challenges every single day during the semester and I will also measure the effectiveness of this approach with the surveys students will fill in soon, but I can tell you now it’s going just great with over a hundred students participating and competing with their knowledge. This out-of-the-curriculum experience helps them a lot in learning to use the Internet more efficiently. I knew I had to find them with such an approach where they are online and based on the first week survey, 100% of them are on Facebook.
- As e-patients lead the movement of including social media in the practice of medicine, we need to listen to them. I already said that every medical student in the world must read the book “Let Patients Help” from E-patient Dave and I’m taking the first step when I include this book in this semester’s recommended reading list, plus also including questions about the book in the final written exam. I’m working on persuading Semmelweis University (where I teach my course) to endorse it first and make it a must-read book for every medical student.
- We need to demonstrate disruptive technologies to students, not just talking about them. When I asked Dr. David Albert that I would love to show AliveCor to the students live, he kindly made it happen and I have my own AliveCor now. This April, I will show students how to do an ECG with an iPhone. This is the first step and I’m looking for other innovators and vendors to let me present their technologies to students. The only way to have tech-savvy physicians in the healthcare system is to train them like that.
Eric Topol, MD, the author of the Creative Destruction of Medicine appeared in a recent episode of The Colbert Show. This is a great chance for spreading the word about the importance of using disruptive technologies in the practice of medicine and Topol did a good job.
Topol had Colbert try AliveECG, an electrocardiogram attachment for the iPhone from Oklahoma City-based startup AliveCor, showing the host’s heart rhythm in real time. Then he demonstrated the ViSi monitor from Sotera Wireless, a company Topol is an investor in, to show heart rhythm, blood pressure, oxygen saturation and other vital signs on a device not much bigger than a watch. “We can do an intensive care unit on the wrist,” Topol explained. That’s when the banter picked up.
Rock Health published a slideshow about a guide to the FDA for digital entrepreneurs.