Y Combinator Company CrowdMed Raises $1.1 Million

CrowdMed is a startup that passed through the Y Combinator accelerator program in the Winter 2013 class.  CrowdMed uses crowdsourcing to speed up the level of diagnosing rare medical conditions.  CrowdMed believes that by crowdsourcing medical data and applying patented predictive technology, they can help users identify the medical conditions that patients have.  CrowdMed estimates that people have saved over $2.9 million in healthcare costs by using crowdsourcing. CrowdMed has raised $1.1 million in seed funding from New Enterprise Associates, Andreessen Horowitz, Greylock Partners, Y Combinator, and SV Angel.

Since there are thousands of rare diseases that exist in the world today, doctors can’t always get it right.  As a result, patients may end up going to a bunch of different doctors and physicians.  Instead of spending thousands of dollars on tests, CrowdMed offers the power of crowdsourcing.

CrowdMed users can submit information about undiagnosed conditions.  They will need to provide details like symptoms, family background, health history, and a list of tests that they have already done.  After the details are submitted, CrowdMed will work with “medical detectives” to work on the case by using their own knowledge and personal history.  The detectives will also conduct online research to find out what the illness can be.

While in a private beta, CrowdMed was able to solve 20 difficult real-life cases.  Some of these patients have already spent hundreds of thousands of dollars without any luck using the health system.

CrowdMed should not be considered as a replacement for medical professionals. The platform should only be used to help in the case of rare conditions as a “second opinion.”

CrowdMed was founded by Jared Heyman, whom previously launched an Internet survey company called Infosurv. Heyman launched CrowdMed after his sister spent 3 years with a rare and undiagnosed condition.  He realize that the same kind of predictive survey technology can be used to help patients find out what they are suffering from. Heyman worked with lead developer Axel Setyanto and lead designer Jessica Greenwalt on building CrowdMed.  Setyanto used to work at Loku and Greenwalt previously launched a graphic design firm called Pixelkeet.  Former WebMD executive Clare Martorana is an advisor for CrowdMed.

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