Author: Thuc Huynh, MD
Last July 2010, MedGadget introduced their newest bootstrapped product, HealCam. It's a video chat service aimed towards letting patients talk to other patients with the same medical problem.
The interface is easy to use and anonymity is respected. When you go to the site, you state your gender, which gender you want to talk to and which topic you want to talk about. The site will connect you with another user who is also looking for the same.
There are currently 17 medical topics to choose from. I like to say I have a sleeping problem, which is nothing new to physicians in residency, so I've been in the Sleep Problems chat room waiting for someone to talk to.
The chat room consists of a free text area to type and two video boxes allowing you to see yourself and the user at the same time. If you don't want to use video, you're not required to.
HealCam is an innovative new medium for patients to connect with each other. Patient's don't have to feel alone and can find solace in others trying to do the same. Imagine Chat Roulette but for Patients.
The site is a promising start to increasing patient participation and empowerment. Because HealCam is a bootstrapped 2 man operation with zero major funding, their biggest hurdle is getting the attention of the masses. But once they do, patients will have a great, new way of communicating and coping with their medical conditions.
About the author:
Dr. Thuc Huynh is CEO of ScrubdIN, a startup company that aims to help health professionals choose their next medical app. Her main interest lies around how medicine can play a role with web 2.0 and social media. Dr. Huynh is currently Chief Resident at her Family Medicine Residency in Rapid City, SD and received her B.S. and M.D. at the Medical University of the Americas.