Patrick Dempsey is not a doctor, but he plays one on TV, and he's invested in an online medical diagnosis startup.
Dempsey is an investor in the San Francisco-based CrowdMed, an "online crowdsourced medical diagnosis platform" which brings together "medical detectives" to help diagnosis difficult cases, according to CrowdMed.
"After meeting with several Silicon Valley healthcare startups, I was immediately drawn to CrowdMed's mission of helping those who have run out of alternatives," Dempsey said in a statement. "I know how challenging it can be trying to make the best medical decisions for oneself or a loved one. The patients who are turning to CrowdMed can't even begin to think about treatment options because they haven’t been able to find an accurate medical diagnosis yet – but hopefully we can change that."
In 2008, Dempsey founded the Patrick Dempsey Cancer Center of Hope & Healing in Lewiston, Maine, after his mother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
Users of CrowdMed post their symptoms and other information online and its "community of thousands of medical experts and fellow patients" give diagnostic suggestions, according to the company. The patient is then encouraged to meet with his or her physician to discuss the information. Other features include a cash incentive for the "Medical Detective" community and suggested steps
"For our average patient, who has been sick for more than six years, seen eight physicians, and incurred over $55,000 in medical expenses to date, CrowdMed produces accurate diagnostic insights about 200 times cheaper and 50 times faster than the traditional medical system," said Jared Heyman, founder and chief executive of CrowdMed.
CrowdMed seems to be one of the latest health-centered startups that seems to be growing in Silicon Valley. With Apple working on health-related apps for its iOS, and Google working on longevity, healthcare seems like a segment of the market still with a lot of growth possibilities. It can only help if there's also some added celebrity stardust.