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Challenge and Resolution

Challenge and Resolution

Challenge

In the last decade studies in developed countries showed that the time period required for diagnosing rare diseases (from the first symptoms until identifying the illness) is significantly long compared to the standard diagnose period for other diseases. The average time for diagnosing a rare diseases is 4.8 years! In that period of time a patient meets approximately 7 doctors, and gets 2-3 misdiagnosis.

That means that at any given time millions of patients are undiagnosed worldwide for several years- A major problem both for patients as well as their physicians.

The delay is caused by several problems in the healthcare system:

  1. Hierarchy in modern healthcare systems delays the patients diagnose and treatment. The process becomes exhausting and excruciating for the patients. Some never make it until the end of the process.
  2. Primary Doctors are guided by the maximum probability concept, which insures diagnosing common illnesses, but causes indifference towards Rare/Neglected Diseases.

Due to the length of time required in diagnosing the rare diseases in the healthcare system the efficiency of the treatment decreases.

Estimates demonstrates that primary physicians in developed countries have, at any given time, a significant number of patients with rare diseases: there are 350 million people with RD worldwide: 30 million in the USA, 30 million in Europe, 3.5 million in the UK, 3 million in Canada, 2 million in Australia, and more.

Diseases that are well known in some parts of the world may be rare in other countries. They may be unrecognized for a long time, like rare diseases. Therefore we include rare diseases with underdiagnosed diseases under one category, Neglected Diseases.

Children are prominently affected by neglected diseases. About 50% of rare diseases patients are children. 5000 out of 7000 rare disease types are amongst children. Many rare diseases appear early in life, and about 30 percent of children with rare diseases will die before reaching their fifth birthday.

NDC Resolution

A new approach to diagnosing Neglected Diseases that provides a shortcut between community healthcare and the expert facilities specializing in exclusive medical fields. In its first stage, NDC will focus on Diagnosing children.

Approach Principles

  1. Full Online presentation of difficult patients with unusual symptoms by a physician, AKA- Presenting Doctor (Captain)
  2. Case crowd sourcing will be performed on an Internet platform in front of an international, multidisciplinary professional community, AKA- Contributing Doctors (NDC Crewmembers).
  3. Elimination of the use of probability concept to choose between diagnostic assumptions, and relying on direct identification of an illness by a doctor with previous experience with a similar case. 
  4. Direct connection between presenting doctor and expert facilities in order to check the relevant diagnostic assumption.

Forecast: Gaining experience and skills in presenting patients will lead doctors to progress in accurating their diagnostic assumptions. The quality of the answer relies in the accuracy of the question.