doctor clipartAt, doctors, patients and researchers offer opinions on the correct diagnosis for medical conditions that have hitherto defied analysis and treatment. This is, in its way, the ultimate value of the Internet: the idea that if you can query the whole world, someone, somewhere, may know the answers to very difficult questions.

So far, the site’s founders claim there have been significant results in the first few months. Medical detectives have so far solved over 460 cases of difficult to diagnose illnesses. Some of these had previously eaten up more than $100,000 in tests and consultations over many years.

The site charges users for its premium service, but claims that this kind of crowd-searching is roughly 300 times cheaper and 50 times faster than the traditional medical system. What it boils down to is this a new approach to one of the most difficult jobs in medicine, reaching the correct initial diagnosis, and sometimes even the ultimately correct diagnosis.

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