It’s Time to Build the World’s Online Medical System

Jay Komarneni, Founder & Chair of the Human Diagnosis Project

A daughter born with a kidney problem.
A mother suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.
A congenital defect that required open heart surgery.

These are our stories. They united us to start the Human Diagnosis Project.

There are many stories to tell. Nearly every person on Earth has had their life or that of a child, parent, spouse, relative, or friend upended by a serious diagnosis. Thanks to the tireless efforts of doctors and nurses, many of those stories have positive endings.

There are also the stories of those who do not have access to care. There is the neighbor who doesn’t have health insurance to cover his cancer treatment, the recent immigrant who suffers quietly in pain yet hasn’t seen a doctor in more than 10 years, and the out-of-work mother who can’t get the medicine her child needs.

More than 50 million underserved people in the U.S. can’t get reliable access to specialists. A billion worldwide lack access to basic health care services.

What if as a society we could record, study, and learn from each of our stories?

Today, the Human Diagnosis Project is the world’s largest open medical project, with thousands of doctors in more than 60 countries who are collaboratively building an online system to help patients everywhere.

Created with and led by the global medical community, a worldwide effort is underway to discover the best steps to help any patient — from screening to triage, from diagnosis to treatment, from ongoing care to prevention. As doctors collaborate online to help each other provide the best possible care for their patients, their collective insights are stored, organized, and ultimately made available to everyone.

It starts here in the U.S., by enabling doctors to provide the nation’s underserved with access to specialist medical expertise in partnership with the country’s leading medical societies, institutions and licensing boards.

It ends with global health care that is more accurate, accessible, and affordable for all.

This post was first published on the MacArthur Foundation website.

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