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We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

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Medical Advice For Free Or Cheap, Via An App

April 12, 2013, 11:25 AM

What's the Latest Development?

In the almost-two years since HealthTap launched, the service has grown to offer its users affordable medical advice from thousands of physicians via its mobile app or its Web site. Questions that are 150 characters or less are answered for free, while longer questions cost only 99 cents, which goes to charity. Answers to many questions already reside in a database, which is also free to use. The service also helps doctors who want to grow their practice and take better advantage of online technology. A built-in ratings system, Docscore, can boost a doctor's online reputation with users as well as with peers.

What's the Big Idea?

CEO Ron Gutman says that HealthTap helps bring doctors into the digital age while they continue to fulfill their mission of serving patients. As for the users themselves, he believes HealthTap's real moment will come "when the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act comes online and up to 40 million previously uninsured Americans -- now able to get insurance from health insurance exchanges -- start searching for doctors." Despite its success, the service has yet to turn a profit, and part of that has to do with avoiding ads. "We decided not to [include ads] to preserve an excellent user experience and doctor experience," Gutman says.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

Read it at FastCompany/Co.Exist


Medical Advice For Free Or ...

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