SAN FRANCISCO, May 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- CrowdMed, an online crowdsourced medical diagnosis platform that helps solve even the world's most difficult medical cases, today announced that actor Patrick Dempsey has made an investment in the company. Almost one in 10 Americans – and 350 million people globally – are affected by the approximately 7,000 different types of rare or difficult-to-diagnose medical conditions. With this investment, Dempsey is working with CrowdMed to help expand the platform and give an additional resource to those facing undiagnosed illnesses.
"CrowdMed was designed to help people in need who have nowhere to turn, no options and no answers, which is the same reason I founded The Patrick Dempsey Cancer Center for Hope & Healing," said Dempsey. "After meeting with several Silicon Valley healthcare startups, I was immediately drawn to CrowdMed's mission of helping those who have run out of alternatives. I remember being overwhelmed when my mother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer almost a decade ago, and I know how challenging it can be trying to make the best medical decisions for oneself or a loved one. The patients who are turning to CrowdMed can't even begin to think about treatment options because they haven't been able to find an accurate medical diagnosis yet – but hopefully we can change that."
CrowdMed allows patients to anonymously post their real-world, difficult-to-solve medical cases online, including information about their symptoms, health history, diagnostic test results and more. The company then shares the case with its community of thousands of medical experts and fellow patients, dozens of whom collaborate on solving the case online using the company's patented prediction market technology. The patient is then encouraged to discuss the community's diagnostic suggestions with their physician.
Dempsey's investment will support CrowdMed's mission of harnessing the wisdom of crowds to help solve even the world's most difficult medical cases online, enabling further development and marketing of the company's technology. Key product features include a Cash Reward system to incentivize the company's Medical Detective community, and a "solutions" feature that supports the collection of actionable next steps for patients to discuss with their physician, including treatment ideas, diagnostic tests, and dietary or lifestyle changes.
"We are very excited about Patrick's investment, and his extensive experience with the Cancer Center will be a key asset as we look to expand the company," said Jared Heyman, founder and CEO of CrowdMed. "For our average patient, who has been sick for more than six years, seen eight physicians, and incurred over $55,000 in medical expenses to date, CrowdMed produces accurate diagnostic insights about 200 times cheaper and 50 times faster than the traditional medical system. We all have the right to get answers – the right answers – when dealing with our health, especially when it can mean the difference between life and death."
CrowdMed is an innovative healthcare startup harnessing the wisdom of crowds to help solve complicated medical cases more quickly and efficiently. The company offers individuals, insurance providers and self-insured corporate customers the ability to reduce their healthcare costs without compromising care. Founded by veteran technology entrepreneur Jared Heyman and based in San Francisco, California, CrowdMed has received more than $2.4 million in funding from some of Silicon Valley's top venture capital firms including NEA, Andreessen Horowitz, Greylock Partners, SV Angel, Khosla Ventures and Y Combinator. The company's advisors have founded and run some the world's most successful online healthcare companies including WebMD. CrowdMed graduated from Y Combinator's Winter 2013 class, and was officially launched during the TEDMED 2013 conference in Washington, D.C. Visit www.crowdmed.com for more information.