Better Living Through Well Being Presented by TMIS
Human Health Project Launches Social Network for Physicians, Medical Practitioners to Exchange Case Information on the Internet for Diagnosis of Difficult Medical Cases Los Angeles, California
The Human Health Project (HHP), a non-profit organization based in Los Angeles, London and Dublin, today announced the launch of its web-based social network platform for medical professionals anywhere in the world to exchange information and remotely discuss rare and unusual health problems, free of charge.
The new website is www.humanhealthproject.org. It is designed exclusively for medical professionals of all types -- in both conventional and alternative medicine -- to help each other diagnose and resolve difficult cases, according to Phil Harrington, M.D., Founder and Chief Executive Officer.
"This new site combines the latest technology in social networking via the Internet with the old-fashioned idea of practitioners sharing and discussing unusual medical cases in order to arrive at a real solution -- even when patients and doctors are located in the most remote of locations," Harrington said.
"The platform is organized so that medical professionals of different types and medical traditions can simply come to the website and enroll as members," he added. "Once their membership information is validated, they then can submit online cases for review and discussion among all the network participants. This provides members with access to the collective expertise of health professionals throughout the Human Health Project network whose comments may help lead to a resolution for the patient.
"We expect that this project will be of great benefit to the medical communities in the United States and around the globe, since there are about four million medical professionals just in the U.S. and more than 40 million elsewhere in the world," he noted.
There are four basic steps to the HHP process for handling cases:
* Case introduction and reasoning * Sharing of case information for discussion among all HHP member professionals, as appropriate * Review and implementation of suggested diagnoses and treatments * Feedback and sharing of outcome results
Any member of the HHP network -- including medical professionals, patient advocates and other allied health specialists -- may introduce cases for comment and discussion. All cases submitted are reviewed by website moderators, who are themselves medical practitioners, before being posted for discussion. Each case is assigned a tracking number and all information relating to both doctors and patients is completely anonymous -- both for confidentiality of patient records and for practitioner liability reasons. Cases are categorized and searchable by HHP users so that all medical specialties are included.
"Case discussion is conducted as a team approach and centers on members with specialties most pertinent to the patient's needs," Harrington explained. "Discussions are open to all members who may have information relevant to the case. A case may begin, for instance, with a discussion among primary care physicians and other specialists of possible diagnoses for the medical condition of a patient. As the discussion progresses, other HHP members may advise the case submitter on the dietary issues present with the condition, while others may submit information on alternative holistic treatments or psychological issues involved with the condition. The progression of the discussion is unique for each case."
Once the discussions are concluded, the submitting HHP member can review the comments, information and discussions presented and decide on what actions are most appropriate to take.
"The members may decide to embrace some suggestions initially and others only later, as they see fit," Harrington said. "They may also request additional information from submitting members or a direct consultation with them in the implementation phase of care. It's incumbent upon the submitting member to judge the information provided and to effect the most positive patient outcome."
Once a treatment is implemented and the outcome has been finalized, the HHP member then completes an online patient treatment analysis and outcome summary. This informs members of the outcome and can assist others with similar cases.
"Another important aspect of the Human Health Project is that all of this diagnostic, analysis and treatment information will be grouped and the outcomes summarized -- and all information will be collected in a Knowledge Database available to members," Harrington added. "HHP members will be able to browse the discussions that took place for a more detailed review of any submitted case. As members access cases to review detailed discussions, patient data and actions chosen, they can see trend information on relevant cases.
"This trend information will continue to grow and change as more data populates the HHP Knowledge Database over time," he said. "For example, it may be determined that for certain types of trauma, a specific medication may be successfully combined with acupuncture, psychological counseling and physical therapy for the best possible outcome. The structure of the HHP community will allow the website to include a large and diverse database that grows and changes as new technologies, innovations and combinations of treatment present themselves."
About Human Health Project
The Human Health Project was launched in California in 2006 as a non-profit organization when its founder, Phil Harrington, M.D., sought to create a platform for medical professionals to discuss rare and unusual health problems. The idea came from his personal experience with the struggle to find a diagnosis for an illness he suffered. For three years he went from doctor to doctor but the answers were still elusive and the process was frustrating, even with access to modern healthcare and his own background in medicine. This experience was telling of the lack of integration among the medical sciences and sparked the idea for the Human Health Project.
Since its founding, Dr. Harrington, team volunteers and donors have worked to make the Human Health Project a reality, growing it from a simple idea into a fully developed social networking platform. The entire project is supported only by donations so that all services are offered free to members. The site went live in December of 2010 and is now available for use by medical professionals anywhere in the world, including developing nations everywhere.