A potentially watershed moment in the evolution of digital health occurred last week.
Atlanta-based health and wellness social network Sharecare launched AskMD, a mobile, consumer-facing app that includes a symptom checker unlike any other symptom checker out there. As MobiHealthNews reported:
Sharecare’s app, AskMD, offers users a symptom checker that allows them to choose which symptoms they are feeling and then see which potential health issues they might have. The app then walks the user through a “consultation” in which the app will ask the user a series of questions to identify more specifically what the symptom feels like, when it started, and if there are any other symptoms accompanying it. After the “consultation,” the user can enter in any information about medications that they are taking. When users have finished entering information, AskMD generates a list of potential problems the user might have ordered by the commonality of the potential problems.
What’s so special about that, you wonder? The technology to generate the problem list comes from PKC Corp., a Burlington, Vt., company that Sharecare purchased in June 2012 for an undisclosed sum. PKC, which stands for “problem-knowledge couplers,” was the brainchild of medical informatics pioneer Dr. Larry Weed, who has been pushing for the computerization of medicine for six decades.