Friday, May 10, 2013

Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats

Concept of Crowd-Sourced Dermatologic Picture Database

Project: An online and mobile platform through which participants voluntarily submit user-obtained images of a skin rash or lesion that has been evaluated and diagnosed by a health professional. 

The purpose is to create the largest database database of dermatologic images
The unique value added will be that the raw data will be curated as an open source project. 
The intention is not to make medical diagnosis. Nor is the goal to have individuals contribute without professional interaction. There is a level of accuracy that is needed between image and diagnosis. That exact level remains point is an open question. Non-professionals up to this point are typically not involved in this way with the collection of biologic data. This project is unique because opens up the potential volume of contributors to the civic space, while actively engaging in answering the question on accuracy. 
The hypothesis behind the project is that a larger volume of images even at a lower accuracy rate is of equal or greater value compared to the proprietary curated databases.
Participation will open to contribution to by all; and the resultant community product (the database) will be made openly accessible to all, layman and professional alike.

  • Monetary cost of starting (website) is relatively cheap in early stages.

  • Small team in initial phase. Low manpower costs up-front.

  • Participation with website/database  could enable users immediate gratification. Access to image database is free/open to world for research etc. i.e. - other skin conditions with similar “tags” could show up on screen after submission.

  • The concept readily taps into the ethos for a more genuine/communal approach to solving the worlds problems
    • Limited accountability over submitted images. As a truly open site limited ways to prevent upfront the inappropriate image submissions (ie genitals or cartoon images)

    • Similar to prior: at beta stage (unless there is some type of research funding) has limited ability to “double check” validity of user-submitted diagnosis. Relying on trust-worthiness of the crowd of participants (this could also be a strength). Cost of double checking images via phone, or person-person review would be large.

    • Limited initial monetary and human capital (person-hours) to devote to early development of project.

    • Initial small team has limited execution experience in the entrepreneurial space.

    • Not-for-profit driven at conception; not extensive thought has been given to potential for monetization which may limit broader interest/investment.

    • Has never been truly tested in this specific way, first-mover advantage, which brings with it all of the potential pitfalls such as potential for legal disadvantages.

      • Potential for database of vast size, larger than current private databases (see previous post)

      • Medicine is specialized, and the culture is often slow to adapt and adopt change. This intransigence allows space for innovation with a relatively  lower risk of early competition compared to other industries.

      • Ability to tap into the power of the crowd - similar to paradigm shifts already further along in  encyclopedias (think Wikipedia) and news (think Twitter). Enabling the community to more fully participate in the health conversation has potential for better outcomes/lower costs.

      • Riding with the wave of the “crowd sourcing” concept, not in a hollow way that  some companies are trying to do for marketing purposes.

      • This project would solve 1 problem-crowd source 1 specific health niche. If  there is proof of concept --> idea becomes  a building block of a larger project to crowd-source health data then → build on the data to aid in diagnosis, treatment, research.

        • Smart phone technology and the rapid pace of product development and iteration means the next generation of IT minded doctors (US/India or any other global player) can be expected to move quickly into the crowd-sourcing concept 

        • Medical Culture at large makes a baseline assumption that the doctor, the professional, contains sacred knowledge.This project tries to break in and take some of the power away from the dominant culture, which can be threatening. If dermatologists feel threatened there is easy risk of blowback such as being accused of being unsafe for patients.

        • Michigan Iphone app: screen self for skin cancer w/ free iphone app.

        • VisualDx - made and marketed exclusively for physicians. However, a conceptual step could lead to a patient version for submitting images and the organization already has infrastructure, connections, and momentum.

        • - already exists, brand recognition, is crowd sourcing patient support groups. Contains 1,000+ conditions, and 156,241 patients when last accessed. 

        No comments:

        Post a Comment