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URMC / Labs / Halterman Stroke Lab / Projects / Medical Crowdsourcing / Mobile Health Technology Development

Medical Crowdsourcing / Mobile Health Technology Development

crowd sourceOpportunities for face-to-face collaboration between health care providers (HCPs) are sporadic, and neither text paging nor email lends themselves towards effective collaboration at the point of care. The information overload problem is not specific to the field of medicine, and other disciplines have started to adopt an evolving form of digital collaboration called crowdsourcing. Fueled by expanded access to the Internet and availability of web-enabled smart devices, crowdsourcing has been used to engage online communities to accomplish tasks of varying complexity. To a lesser degree, the medical community has begun to use both social media and crowdsourcing in practice with doctors using Facebook and Twitter to engage their patients and promote their reputation. It remains unclear whether HCPs would use crowdsourcing for peer-to-peer collaboration.

To study this question, we conducted a field trial of the mobile crowdsourcing application DocCHIRP and assessed user opinion regarding its utility in the clinical setting. Related objectives were to understand current provider information seeking behaviors, define user opinion regarding the value of collaborative interactions, and define the potential barriers to implementing peer-to-peer crowdsourcing into the workflow of medical practice. Providers indicated that crowdsourcing could help solve unusual cases, promote medical education, and facilitate communication and the exchange of clinical information between existing collaborative groups. There was also significant interest in using crowdsourcing to communicate with colleagues outside their own specialty as well as with allied health professionals.

Future project goals include implementing a more robust crowd management systems, improve the human computer interface to overcome potential barriers to adoption, and bring the expertise of medical librarians to the discussion threads to provide data regarding best evidence where available.

References

Patents

Crowdsourcing medical expertise (US 20120245952 A1)

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