General Question

hearkat's avatar

I've just learned that there is a website that uses crowdsourcing to help people solve medical mysteries. What do you think of that idea, and would you use it?

Asked by hearkat (22837points) September 26th, 2014

I just saw a reference to where patients can submit their cases and “medical detectives” can offer insight and suggestions.

Considering how controversial some of our health threads get on Fluther, what do you think about a service like this? Would you try it if you were searching for answers and felt poorly cared for by the medical staff you’d consulted?

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15 Answers

janbb's avatar

I would use it as a resource but not accept its findings blindly or without further verifcation.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Sz server not found.
I think it’s great, but agree with @janbb about proceeding with caution.

hearkat's avatar

Maybe it’s the secure server link; I’ll try to fix it. It’s working for me now, how about you, @Dutchess_III?

Dutchess_III's avatar

Whoop there it is. Thx.

Dutchess_III's avatar


snowberry's avatar

I helped my hubby with this problem and have had several friends who have done this, only this was before social media. It’s been on our/their own, surfing the web and hangin’ at the library. If they were fortunate they had the support of family and friends to help. In each case, at least they got a diagnosis, if not help. And in each case, if we/they had not been advocating for our/themselves, there would have been NO diagnosis.

hearkat's avatar

@snowberry – You are one of the people I thought of when I saw this. Would you use a service like this if it had been available back then? What about now – would you use your resourcefulness and knowledge gained to help people on a site like that?

Being a health care provider and having an auto-immune disease, I can see both sides of this situation.

snowberry's avatar

@hearkat I’m pretty leery of social media after past experiences. I deleted my FB account, and Fluther is as far as I go with social media. But I might consider it. I’ll think on this and add more if I think of anything else.

Aethelwine's avatar

I think I would be a good candidate for this and might give it a try. It’s frustrating having doctors not agreeing with each other and not having a definitive answer to my problems right now.

snowberry's avatar

@hearkat At first glance it looks pretty medically oriented. Much of the success I’ve found has been through alternative means. I don’t meant to be negative, but I doubt my suggestions would be appreciated.

hearkat's avatar

@jonsblond – Yes – I thought of you and another friend who is going through difficulty getting a diagnosis. I hope it helps!

@snowberry – I honestly didn’t look at it closely enough to see if there were alternative practitioners involved. I had hoped there would be, because sometimes it helps to have a different perspective when folks are brainstorming on an issue.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Not a chance. Sounds like ignorance squared.

If there are real MDs there to keep things sane, then maybe. But their website seems to have one doctor a whole slew of business entrepreneurs. And they charge you $50 to ask for a diagnosis. And there are disclaimers up the kazoo.

By analysis – stay away from this with a 10-foot IV pole.

snowberry's avatar

@hearkat I didn’t look terribly thoroughly, just poked around. I found one reference for a chiropractor, which in my mind is practically mainstream, but I got this sense it’s very medically oriented. When I get time, I’ll look more closely.

I have become convinced that negative emotions can actually destroy your health. I’ve seen people healed of health issues that seemed insurmountable simply because they got some things taken care of in the emotional realm. Stuff like unforgiveness, trauma and depression can all be dealt with without drugs if you are willing to look outside the box. I didn’t notice anything along these lines in the profiles I looked at.

I’m also big on prayer, and I’ve seen God do amazing things in that way as well.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Had this site been available when a nephew’s health was in jeopardy, my sister would have used it. His symptoms were remotely similar to Guillain-Barre syndrome, but too different to rule it as such. After six months of suffering, including one month in ICU, it was never diagnosed.

Even if using a website like this didn’t result in an agreed upon conclusion, she would have felt less frustrated by doing something.

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