“Big data” is the phrase that has the high-tech and healthcare industries buzzing. The ability to collect and intelligently analyze patient data, from their DNA sequence to their vital signs, promises to revolutionize both the delivery of healthcare and understanding of the human body. Aggregating information from millions of patients may greatly accelerate population health discoveries as well as guide individual treatment decisions. This was one of the more exciting applications of IBM’s Watson, but there is still a long way to go before the powerful machine is unleashed on the healthcare system, let alone the general public.
Symcat is a versatile and also very powerful tech solution that combines aggregated data from patient health records with user symptoms and demographics to inform diagnoses. The platform, which is already accessible online, is being developed by two medical student entrepreneurs from Johns Hopkins, Craig Monsen and David Do, and is part of the first class of Blueprint Health. This editor met up with Symcat’s founders to discuss the platform and its future: