November 29, 2012
As someone once said, looking up medical information online usually consists of putting your symptoms into Google and waiting for the word “cancer” to pop up.
But many of those results are regular people speculating about their condition, and we can scare ourselves unnecessarily. Clear.md wants to offer reliable health information from real doctors in digestible bites: videos that are a few minutes long. You can browse thousands of videos, about topics from anxiety to diabetes to exercise, or ask a question to a particular doctor.
Approximately 80 percent of Internet users search online for health information, and it’s almost never from their own doctor. “The fact is that most doctors’ patients are going to find it from somebody else…Dr. Google,” says cofounder John Brownlee, who launched a telemedicine company in 2008.
Clear.md provides doctors with an online presence, which can mean attracting more patients. Tons of websites are filled with ratings and reviews of doctors, some biased or written by competitors. By putting out video clips with their expertise, Clear.md doctors invite patients to judge for themselves.
The Minneapolis startup works by sending a video kit to doctors, including a green screen, microphone, and tripod. Shooting videos certainly takes time, but it also has the potential to make appointments shorter.
After all, patients already forget much of what doctors tell them during appointments, says Brownlee. “There’s incredible expertise that is communicated and exchanged at that moment, and then the studies show that when that patient leaves, 70 or 80 percent of that expertise is gone.” Instead, doctors could outline the basics during an appointment and send the patient home with a “vid-scription”: a prescription to watch some of their videos.
If anything, it sure beats the rabbit’s hole that is health information online.
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