Following in the footsteps of Hollywood actors imitating their art, Dempsey is making an investment in and assisting Silicon Valley startup CrowdMed, a pioneer in the use of ‘medical detectives’ to help diagnose patients with mysterious medical conditions.
Dempsey became interested in “health tech” after creating The Patrick Dempsey Cancer Center for Hope & Healing in honor of his mother, who passed away due to ovarian cancer this past March.
Just as Wikipedia “crowdsources” knowledge, CrowdMed gathers suggested medical diagnoses from hundreds of community members — including physicians, medical students, recovering patients, and online researchers.
The results are astounding:
* Medical detectives have solved 200+ cases in months instead of years.
* Medical detectives cost a few hundred dollars (instead of $100,000+).
* Medical detectives work 50 times faster than the U.S. medical system.
CrowdMed is harnessing “the wisdom of crowds” to help solve the world’s most difficult medical cases quickly and accurately. On CrowdMed, a patient with an undiagnosed medical condition can post his or her case and CrowdMed’s community of ‘Medical Detectives’ collaborate on solving it.
Almost one in 10 Americans – and 350 million people globally – are affected by the approximately 7,000 different types of rare or difficult-to-diagnose medical conditions. With this investment, Dempsey is working with CrowdMed to help expand the platform and give an additional resource to those facing undiagnosed illnesses.
“CrowdMed was designed to help people in need who have nowhere to turn, no options and no answers, which is the same reason I founded The Patrick Dempsey Cancer Center for Hope & Healing,” said Dempsey. “After meeting with several Silicon Valley healthcare startups, I was immediately drawn to CrowdMed’s mission of helping those who have run out of alternatives. I remember being overwhelmed when my mother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer almost a decade ago, and I know how challenging it can be trying to make the best medical decisions for oneself or a loved one. The patients who are turning to CrowdMed can’t even begin to think about treatment options because they haven’t been able to find an accurate medical diagnosis yet – but hopefully we can change that.”
CrowdMed allows patients to anonymously post their real-world, difficult-to-solve medical cases online, including information about their symptoms, health history, diagnostic test results and more. The company then shares the case with its community of thousands of medical experts and fellow patients, dozens of whom collaborate on solving the case online using the company’s patented prediction market technology. The patient is then encouraged to discuss the community’s diagnostic suggestions with their physician.
Dempsey’s investment will support CrowdMed’s mission of harnessing the wisdom of crowds to help solve even the world’s most difficult medical cases online, enabling further development and marketing of the company’s technology. Key product features include a Cash Reward system to incentivize the company’s Medical Detective community, and a “solutions” feature that supports the collection of actionable next steps for patients to discuss with their physician, including treatment ideas, diagnostic tests and dietary or lifestyle changes.
Please watch the story of Rip, a patient example: