Launched in 2013, CrowdMed has helped over 2,000 patients get closer to finding the right diagnosis. CrowdMed harnesses the knowledge and experience from over 20,000 doctors, nurses, medical students, scientists, naturopaths and other healthcare aficionados to consult and advise on medical cases. Each case is overseen by a Case Moderator, who is a licensed physician carefully-vetted and interviewed by CrowdMed. Armed with the information collected and aggregated from CrowdMed, the patients can bring multiple opinions gathered to their physician to confirm diagnosis and plan of action. This service is typically valuable to people with complex or rare cases, often helping to lead them closer to a correct diagnosis and treatment.
CrowdMed allows patients with any medical condition to submit their case to be looked at by multiple medical perspectives at the same time. Patients typically have chronic, complex or rare conditions that they live with every day and have not been solve by their physician. Seeking multiple opinions in parallel helps save on time, medical costs, and unnecessary tests and treatments. Another advantage the CrowdMed platform offers is the ability for experts in their respective fields to consult and collaborate with each other, thereby providing more holistic information to patients. Based on the answers and activity from the community, CrowdMed’s algorithm assigns probability to each diagnosis and solution.
CrowdMed uses a combination of points and cash rewards to incentivize their community of medical detectives. After a patient closes a case, he/she will assign points and cash rewards among their best-performing medical detectives. Reputation and ranking for medical detectives are based on their point earnings, and as they accumulate more points, they can work on more complex cases with higher cash rewards. The detectives assign their accumulated points to diagnoses and solution suggestions on patient cases, and CrowdMed uses their proprietary prediction market algorithm to determine confidence levels and probabilities for the suggestions.
Each medical detective also has a “DetectiveRating” on a 1-10 scale, which is a public indicator of reputation on the site. This rating is partially determined by medical credentials / specialty, performance and community participation on the CrowdMed site (for example, verified physicians start at DR6).
CrowdMed offers three tiers of service for patients: Standard ($149/month), Premium ($299/month) and Elite ($749/month). These packages include $200, $400, and $1000 compensation packages to be allocated by patients to their most effective medical detectives. Patients may also chose to offer additional compensation to attract more and higher quality case-solvers. The amount of compensation offered is proportional to the attention it will likely receive from the medical detective community. CrowdMed collects 10% of cash compensation offers as commission.
The acquisition of these medical detectives is key as there is likely a limitation to the amount of time and energy these individuals are willing to contribute to CrowdMed. Monetary incentives are probably not a key motivator for most of these already busy professionals, and the primary factor that CrowdMed is betting on is their willingness to help others solve their medical cases.
CrowdMed encourages patients to take three actions to increase participation: inform (provide more case details, play an active role), share (supplement with own physician and share on social media), and compensate (see Capturing Value above). The minimum case duration is 60 days, which should give the community enough time to investigate and provide sufficient responses. The longer the case is active on the site, the more the medical detective community can participate.
Referrals are also an important part of expanding the crowd on both the patient and medical detective side of the platform. The person who refers either a patient or a medical detective will receive both 5,000 bonus points and a $20 referral bonus. Referred medical detectives will receive 5,000 bonus points and referred patients will receive $10 discount.
CrowdMed is partnering with insurance companies and employers to be included in coverage for patients. This is beneficial to the growth of the business as it shifts the payment to insurers and thus reduces barriers to entry for patients to submit their case. By encouraging more users and supply of cases, they can hopefully attract more medical detectives to join their platform and share their knowledge, thereby strengthening the platform and community. The growth of this platform will allow for more patients with complex conditions to be diagnosed and to get better.