Crowdsource your ailments away with new social network

crowdmedFor almost as long as there has been an Internet, there have been jokes (and, to be fair, legitimate concerns) about the perils of diagnosing your health via the Web. Without the expert hand of a medical professional to guide you, you would find yourself at the mercy of too much information and likely to jump to wrong conclusions as a result (Let’s face it, that headache might be the first sign of a deadly brain tumor – we just don’t know). But what if there was a way for the Internet to dispense good advice that’s pertinent to the topic at hand? And, even more unexpectedly, what if that way was the result of crowdsourcing?

CrowdMed, a solution that launched April 16 at the TedMed conference in Washington, D.C., aims to fill that particular need. The service will offer potential diagnoses of diseases online by allowing members of the CrowdMed community – open to anyone, regardless of their background or medical training – to examine the details of a particular case, including symptoms and patient history before making a diagnosis.

That diagnosis is then weighed against the diagnoses of other members of the community, with the three most popular diagnoses eventually being passed to the patient as a guide to a final result. Patients are suggested to use the top three as a matter for discussion with their physician, presuming that the patient wouldn’t just use the top three in place of a visit to their physician. Still, that seems like an odd tactic; after all, if they were planning on going to the doctor in the first place, why ask the Internet for a guide to what could be wrong?

This idea of crowdsourcing medical information is a simple one that gains a new dimension with the addition of a points system that will reward those who make the correct diagnosis; such points will then act as a sign of credibility when future diagnoses are made by those users.

The idea definitely has legs; in 20 early test cases, the correct diagnosis was amongst the top three selections of around 700 participants. One of those test cases managed to correctly identify within a week a real life illness that “traditional” medical methods of trial and error had taken three years – and more than $100,000’s worth of insurance claims – to name. “To get an answer in just a week is exciting, astounding and incredibly frustrating,” said Sarah Sheridan, the patient in question. “I keep thinking, ‘Where were you three years ago?’ It really would have changed the course of my life.” Let’s hope this is way better than WebMD forums and Yahoo! Answers.

Product Review

Miele's TWI180 dryer has one job, but struggles to get it done

Miele’s Heat-Pump Dryer is a compact machine that steams your clothes by recycling the water collected during the drying process. But how well does this technique work for getting clothes dry?
Mobile

Samsung Galaxy S10e vs. OnePlus 6T: Can the Flagship Killer survive?

The Samsung Galaxy S10e is the new affordable flagship on the block, but at $750, it's $200 more than the OnePlus 6T. Does the Flagship Killer stand a chance against the new generation of flagship devices? Let's take a closer look.
Product Review

Fascinating Finney phone is crypto in a nutshell: Exciting, but also terrifying

The Sirin Labs Finney phone is to cryptocurrency what the iPhone is to Apple Pay. It facilitates the payment, processing, and exchanging of cryptocurrencies on a smartphone, and surprisingly does it in a user-friendly way.
Emerging Tech

No faking! Doctors can now objectively measure how much pain you’re in

Researchers at Indiana University School of Medicine have discovered the blood biomarkers that can objectively reveal just how much pain a patient is in. Here's why that's so important.
Emerging Tech

SeaBubbles’ new electric hydrofoil boat is the aquatic equivalent of a Tesla

What do you get if you combine a Tesla, a flying car, and a sleek boat? Probably something a bit like SeaBubbles, the French "flying" boat startup which offers a fresh spin on the hydrofoil.
Emerging Tech

We tried a $500 electronic dab rig, and now we can’t go back to normal vaporizers

Induction heating is the future of cannabis vaporizers. Loto Labs wowed us with what likely is the best concentrate vaporizer on the market today. With a $500 price tag, it's expensive, but it should definitely be your next dab rig.
Emerging Tech

Israel will launch world’s first privately funded moon mission tomorrow

This week will see the world's first privately funded lunar mission launch. Israel's first mission to the moon will be launched aboard SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket on Thursday, February 21.
Emerging Tech

FDA warns about the dangers of anti-aging blood transfusions

It turns out injecting old people with blood from healthy youngsters may not be the answer to health rejuvenation. That’s according to the FDA, which says such claims are dangerous junk science.
Emerging Tech

Bees can do arithmetic, setting the scientific community abuzz

A new study has found something remarkable: Bees can do basic arithmetic. Researchers showed that bees could use colors as representations for numbers and then use those colors for addition and subtraction.
Emerging Tech

DeepSqueak is a machine learning A.I. that reveals what rats are chatting about

Want to know what rats are squeaking about? You'd better check out DeepSqueak, the new deep learning artificial intelligence developed by researchers at the University of Washington.
Health & Fitness

Immune cell discovery takes us one step closer to a universal flu vaccine

A group of international researchers have made a discovery which could take us one step closer to the universal, one-shot flu vaccine that people around the world have been dreaming of.
Photography

NASA celebrates Earth’s incredible natural beauty with free photo book

NASA has published a fabulous new book featuring stunning imagery captured by its satellites over the years. A hardback version is available for $53, though it can also be downloaded to ebook readers for free, and enjoyed online.
Deals

This new all-in-one flashlight is a power bank, lighter, and screwdriver

The Pyyros modular flashlight can perform numerous field tasks, from hammering to starting fires. If you back it on Kickstarter now, you can score some savings on this innovative flashlight and multi-tool, but act fast: This early-bird…
Movies & TV

Hilarious new Kickstarter aims to fix Scorcese’s last scene in The Departed

A fan of The Departed and apparent hater of rat-as-symbolism imagery has launched a Kickstarter campaign to digitally erase the rodent from the end of Martin Scorsese’s 2006 movie.