San Antonio residents turn to crowdsourcing for medical needs

Info about illness submitted at CrowdMed for medical detectives

SAN ANTONIO – You may have heard of crowdsourcing for charity projects and crowdsourcing for movie making, but what about crowdsourcing your medical needs?

Instead of a private doctor-patient relationship, some are going worldwide with their medical concerns.

Some residents in the San Antonio area are turning to the new type of help, solving their medical mystery with a web full of medical detectives on their case.

The actor who plays "Dr. McDreamy" on "Grey's Anatomy" has thrown his name and his money behind CrowdMed.com -- a site where your medical mystery can be solved just by asking and usually for pennies on the doctor dollar.

Jared Heyman said medical detectives just earned a $200 incentive reward in a lady's case in Laredo.

"In exchange for her $200 offer she heard from 35 different medical experts around the world and weighed in with suggestions on how to help solve her case," said Heyman. "She did get some that were helpful but I don't know if this cured this patient since the suggestions involved drugs that she may not want to take, but it was a successful case for us."

The average person who uses CrowdMed has been sick for eight years, seen at least eight doctors and spent probably $60,000 and doesn't have a diagnosis yet. What they do is log onto CrowdMed and enter all their information about their illness.

Once your case is live it will remain on the site anywhere from 30 to 90 days. In that time you may hear from a dozen or more medical detectives from around the world. What you are left with is a short list, a consensus that the detectives have reached about the most likely diagnosis and solutions for your particular case.

Sort of a "Greys Anatomy" meets "House" meets medical "Go Fund Me." There are three levels to choose from: Free, $299 and $499. Plus you can add incentives which all the detectives who chime in can share.

Heyman, a UT Austin grad, developed the software for CrowdMed after his own sister came up with an illness that baffled doctors.

He's so sure of this worldwide medical approach that if the detectives come up empty-handed and can't solve your case, there's a money-back guarantee.

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