This is the next generation symptom checker. We call it "SymCAT" for Symptom-based, Computer Assisted Triage. We search through hundreds of thousands of patient data records to calculate likely diagnoses for a list of symptoms. That's data-driven diagnosis!
SymCAT is a more sophisticated symptom checker. Other symptom checkers are based on decision trees that are not validated with patient data. That’s why they often suggest rare causes for your symptoms that you probably don’t have. There is an adage in medicine: “when you hear hoofbeats, think horses not zebras.” Our approach allows you to do just that.
Watson is a powerful computer that will help physicians diagnose by building associations from the medical literature. In fact, their powerful, natural language processing engine will be able to provide an answer to any question doctors might ask. It's an exciting vision, but is a long way away. We intend to harness patient data to provide the most accessible way to research your symptoms.
Data makes this possible. We use machine learning algorithms to calculate disease frequency and likelihood based on patient data. If you're sick with a fever, you might ask a friend what to do about it. SymCAT allows you to, in effect, ask hundreds of thousands of people at once.
In a word: You. Every time you use the website, we update the frequencies of symptoms that the algorithm uses to estimate your probability of having different diseases. The entire process is completely anonymous. We need your help, though--when you get a diagnosis, you can help the next generation of patients by entering it into the site (coming soon).
We want to collaborate with you. Your thoughtful feedback is critical towards helping us make the best tool possible. You can use the web form or email us. Really, any thoughts or suggestions will be carefully read and considered.