By Stephanie Stahl
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A new way to help solve medical mysteries without seeing a bunch of specialists or even leaving your house. 3 On Your Side Health Reporter Stephanie Stahl has more on these new medical detectives, that some doctors don’t like.
Only a few years ago dancing, art and music came easy to Diana Cleaveland. Now the 51-year-old mom struggles just to sit up.
“Lot of pain in the neck. Lot of pain in the back, lower back legs. Sometimes it’s really, really horrific, awful, awful headaches,” said Diana.
Diana has been diagnosed with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, or EDS. It’s a complicated genetic condition that weakens connective tissue and leaves the patient in constant pain. But Diana is worried something else is wrong.
“I’ve been diagnosed with contradictory things depending on which doctor you talk to,” said Diana.
Desperate for answers Diana posted her case on the new website CrowdMed.
“In some cases we’ve solved a case in just a few weeks that had stumped doctors for years,” said Jared Heyman, Founder and CEO of CrowdMed.
On the CrowdMed site anyone can submit a medical mystery. Then medical detectives offer their suggestions. Anyone can be a detective, but most are in the medical community.
“It’s much more efficient and much more cost effective than having a patient bounce from specialist to specialist which is typically how it’s done in the traditional medical system,” said Jared.
Once 50 detectives submit suggestions, they vote on the best possible diagnosis. Then the patient gets it confirmed, or not, with their personal doctor. The detectives who get it right can earn points and cash rewards.
“You could get some scary information. You could get some useful information,” said Dr. Bradley Crotty, an Internist. He understands why some frustrated patients might want a variety of opinions, but he’s not a big fan of CrowdMed.
“I would be skeptical you could get a correct answer that quickly,” said Dr. Crotty.
The detectives on Diana’s case mostly confirmed the EDS diagnosis, but they did give her at least one more condition to investigate with her doctor.
Diana’s dancing days may be behind her, but she’s determined to find answers in case her daughter goes down the same road.
“I told her I said you know something might happen to me if it does I want to have a path for you, and as many answers as I can possibly provide for you,” said Diana. And she believes the crowd will lead the way.
CrowdMed requires a $50 deposit to submit a case. It’s fully refunded once the case is closed and the best diagnostic suggestion is found.
CrowdMed Information- https://www.crowdmed.com/#!/how-it-works?category=patient