We don’t think much about our body in our day to day; we have a well-oiled and amazing biological machine that balances our lives and informs us of any issues. However, this changes dramatically when we have a medical issue. Now we’re completely focused on understanding the issue we’re facing and how to treat it.
K Health was created to provide a new way for all of us to learn about our health—based on each other’s experiences. We’re creating a way for you to get health information shared by fellow people just like you, and in the process hopefully becoming your trusted health companion. In other words, we’re creating a way for people to share relevant health data with each other, powered by K Health.
You are most likely not ‘patient zero’
The likelihood that you’re experiencing a health condition that has never been experienced by humanity is very slim. However, searching online for health-related questions is often confusing and leaves us at the end of the process with deep anxiety and a long list of potential symptoms. So much so that Microsoft coined the term ‘cyberchondria’—meaning medical anxiety that is stimulated by symptom searches on the web.
Your doctor is only human
We’ve all experienced this at one point in our lives: We have a certain pain or discomfort, so we wait for it to go away and if not we go see a doctor. The doctor asks you a series of questions and quickly needs to determine what to do next.
This could mean things like getting blood work or another test done, prescribing antibiotics or other medication, sending you to the ER—or doing nothing and monitoring the situation. We all hope that our doctor is the mythical Dr. House from the TV show House—the invincible doctor who can crack every medical problem and move mountains.
But the reality is that when you go and see your Primary Care Provider, or to an ER, you are seeing a human, a doctor who has their strengths and weaknesses, share of experiences, pattern recognition, and biases and blind spots.
So, chances are we’re facing a human doctor that is like us—with all their strengths and weaknesses. Jerry Seinfeld summed this up aptly in Seinfeld:
Every time somebody recommends a doctor, he’s always the best. “Oh, is he good?” “Oh, he’s the best. This guy’s the best.”
They can’t all be the best. There can’t be this many bests. Someone’s graduating at the bottom of these classes, where are these doctors? Is somewhere, someone saying to their friend, “You should see my doctor, he’s the worst”?
Since doctors are human too, they make mistakes like all of us. The estimates of the level of medical mistakes vary, and because of the risk medical litigation not everyone is forthcoming about wrong diagnosis and treatments.
But multiple credible research searches show high levels of medical mistakes: 10% of patients at hospitals are treated in the wrong way, at least 25% of US patients get superfluous and unnecessary treatments, and unnecessary deaths is the third leading cause of death in the US (that’s not a typo: 3rd!).
This is unacceptable, and that’s when people even have access to doctors; billions do not have easy access to doctors.
K Health’s information revolution
Our project is an ambitious one: It involves marrying medical information and content with cutting edge technologies such as big data analysis, machine learning as well an easy-to-use user interface, and oodles of common sense. Many consider this an impossible endeavor.
K Health will liberate users from the shackles of the lowest common denominator of low-quality health-related online data and enable them to make informed decisions about their health. We are surrounded by health data that we either can’t access or is limited because of legal constraints.
Unleashing this data will allow the 7.4 billion people on the planet to take control of their health and make informed decisions. We are all the “bosses of our own bodies,” and we need data that will allow us to be part of the decision-making process leveraging doctors and experts for advice.
We don’t pertain to dispense medical advice; we are simply providing people with the ability to be directly involved in making decisions about their own body. We will all benefit tremendously from having real-time, segmented, and personalized data.
So, when we were thinking of how to tackle this global problem, we decided to take a new approach to enable people to be empowered utilizing real people’s knowledge. We believe that by dynamically knowing what to ask you when you report symptoms, based on what K Health learned from other people around the world, can help us provide a “health map” of other people in your situation, and show you what course of action they took. We call this an information revolution, and we want to help you leverage this information to empower you when making health decisions.