Among the startups competing for attention (and funding) at Monday's opening round of the TechCrunch Disrupt Startup Battlefield, one unusual social app for iPhone stood out. SharePractice, from physician Andrew Brandeis and his team, aims to connect physicians to each other and give them access to the best professional advice regarding conditions, treatments and symptoms.
Although he's a full-time practitioner at San Francisco's Care Practice community clinic, this isn't Dr. Brandeis's first go-round with mobile technology; he worked with iHealth on the rollout of the company's iOS-powered blood pressure cuff in 2011. In his career, he's formed the opinion that the difference between a good doctor and a great one isn't access to medical information; it's access to experience, the implicit knowledge of thousands of patients and hours of work that helps inform better treatment decisions.
Given that most doctors don't have quick, "send a text" or "catch up in the hallway" access to the top experts in every therapeutic area, the question is how to get the power of that experience out to a larger community of physicians? The SharePractice app is one approach to solving that problem. It allows Yelp-style commenting and voting, but instead of restaurants and retail establishments, the topic of conversation is drug dosage, standards of care and best practices when dealing with a specific symptom or disease.
There's certainly no shortage of medical research and information out there, but SharePractice's premise is that much of that textbook-style data is out of date or poorly aligned with the actual standard of care in the field. With SharePractice, doctors who participate will be able to pose questions, vote up answers, comment and converse around the suggested approaches and more.
The SharePractice app is in invite-only beta right now, and interested parties can sign up at the company's website. You can see Brandeis's presentation at TechCrunch Disrupt below.