Toronto, ON — This is by far the most submitted HxP story ever. I think the first senders were Alex Bragg, Joy Hart and Joel Gerber, but it’s kept coming in ever since. We credit the competing cool and ew-gross dynamics for the mass amount of interest.
Earlier this month, Movable Science launched Figure1, an instagram-like app for doctors to share and identify images of diseases and injuries for medical purposes. Its creators hope that it will support peer-involved diagnosing as well as ongoing learning and research.
The app is designed to protect patient privacy while crowdsourcing help when doctors need it most. Before an image can be uploaded, the poster has to sign a detailed consent form. Once it’s live, other users can find it by search or timeline. They can also favorite, comment and connect with the poster.
Figure1 supports hashtags for crowd-indexing. It also has some very thought-through features to protect doctors. For example, edited images are not stored on the user’s device – only on Figure1’s servers. So if the doctor’s phone is lost, the images don’t become a potential HIPAA violation. Doctors are also able to share in small private groups – creating a community-within-a-community.
Hundreds of pictures were uploaded in the app’s first weeks. They range from the dramatic — an amputated, gangrenous foot of a diabetes patient sitting upright on a table — to the more mundane, including a picture of a reddish patch on a patient’s arm. “I’m thinking eczema. Any other thoughts?” asks the poster.
Sure, the submissions are decidedly bumpy, lumpy and red, but each could also be the next clue in the puzzle facing one doctor and patient.
Figure1 is free in iTunes if you really want to see more.
Posted by: Leigh Householder