At HealthUnlocked, whilst we do not focus on people’s genes in the same way Genetics Sciences do, we are building information systems that effectively describe people’s relationships with their health, both as individual and collectives.
Our work aims to understand what each of our millions of users health needs and interests are when coming to our platform, so we can map and describe healthcare from their point of view. The most exciting part of this exercise is that we have the opportunity to create a completely new way of describing health, which in turn fundamentally opens up new routes for research.
We do this by using a sophisticated machine learning platform and AI, which has been built over the last three years. This enables us to create a unique dataset of hundreds of millions of interactions coming from real people experiencing health issues.
The greatest opportunity that social technologies have opened up, is the ability to change the way we generate, store and distribute knowledge, by making patients a central part of the way we describe and research health. This brings scientists to patients – rather than the other way around – and is a critical step in firmly putting patients at the centre of health care in much the same way as is happening with genetic testing.
This is the very beginning for HealthUnlocked and what will happen next is fascinating. We can think of it in the same way you would feel about discovering a new continent; we have a new source of knowledge that can complement what we already know and fill a myriad of its gaps. Our focus is now on evolving our AI capabilities, whilst continuing to give our users real value within the platform and at every single interaction they do.
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There are many parallels between Your.MD’s efforts and Sally Davies’ ambitions to centralise data and make access to healthcare options more transparent for patients. When we started Your.MD, we had a clear goal to put patients at the centre of our endeavours; demystifying healthcare and simplifying the process of finding out what the best options for each individual in any situation are relating to one’s health.
Too often we find ourselves, or our loved ones, waiting for appointments or referrals, which ultimately take too long to effectively establish the solution to a health problem. From there it’s a headspin of research, advice and recommendations as to where to go to get treated or what to do.
While we recognise this is an issue in the UK, it’s equally as prevalent beyond our borders – both in the developed world and the emerging markets – where access to healthcare professionals is limited and general health awareness is far lower.
Arguably, the most important thing people need is the ‘best information’ to enable them to decide how to tackle their health issue. According to a study conducted by the NHS, up to 90% of visits to GPs are for minor ailments that could be treated with self-care.
Your.MD has developed the first free service based on Artificial Intelligence (AI) designed to give anyone in the world with a mobile phone the most accurate, trustworthy and actionable health information.
For those situations where self-care is not enough, Your.MD can also help find the trusted service providers for the specific need of a user in their location. This is why we created OneStop Health™ – the first health marketplace for mobile users.
Our vision for the future is for people to use digital pre-primary care services like Your.MD to better understand and plan their healthcare, both preventive and curative. The prize is dramatically improved outcomes for everyone and much lower costs for private and public health services.