Two medical student entrepreneurs at Johns Hopkins University have created a website that crunches a host of powerful data to offer individuals medical advice and even online diagnoses. Called Symcat, the site aggregates patient health records, user symptoms and demographic data to provide people with the equivalent of medical wisdom. After noticing how many people went to the emergency room with symptoms such as a headache or sore through, the students realized that better information could cut down excessive medical expenses.
What’s the Big Idea?
With a few exceptions, the medical industry has largely shied away from the information revolution, ceding the territory to media companies who have created online health communities. But as computers become more powerful, such as IBM’s Watson which analyses natural language, so-called Big Data is becoming increasingly impossible to ignore. By collecting and analyzing patient data, a pool of knowledge that doubles every five years, we can change our understanding of the human body and how medical treatment is delivered.