One of the many things I learned from Dr. Marty Makary, author of Unaccountable, is how difficult it often is to obtain a correct diagnosis. It is sufficiently challenging that at least one startup is trying to make a business out of the “diagnosis/therapy gap” – the Peter Thiel-backed Metamed. It is way too early to assess how effective Metamed will be, but you should bookmark the reference. Here’s an excerpt from Venture Beat:
Futurist and entrepreneur Michael Vassar has an issue with the U.S. medical system. He hopes to “humiliate” it into providing better quality care by creating a “product that works better than the system.”
With $500,000 in startup investment from PayPal cofounder Peter Thiel, he has handpicked a crack team of physicians and software engineers (including Skype founder Jaan Tallinn) for a new health care company called MetaMed. The goal is to leverage data and statistics to take the guesswork out of medicine.
“It seems very possible to add 10 or 20 years of healthy life expectancy to a person who gathers all the relevant data today,” said Vassar in an interview with VentureBeat.
The idea for MetaMed was formed when Vassar was the president of the Singularity Institute, a research organization focused on the field of Artificial Intelligence.
At that time, Steve Jobs was suffering from pancreatic cancer, prompting Vassar to consider a scenario in which the late Apple CEO brought together Nobel Prize-winning scientists and physicians from around the world to consider his case. “That is the solution we are trying to create with MetaMed,” he said.