MedHound

Votes: 20
Views: 3551
Medical

Medhound is a crowdsourcing community to diminish drug dialing.

Patients who rely on certain hard-to-find medications can spend many hours over the course of several days calling around to various pharmacies to try to find one with the medication they need in stock. Existing communities use large social media group chats to share information about where drug availability can be found, but this workaround does not organize the information in a way that’s easy to find and use. Pharmacy staff, themselves already in short supply, might have to answer the same questions dozens of times a day, taking away hours they could use to help patients in other ways that might better leverage their unique skills. Adding up the hours, the status quo regularly wastes many lifetimes’ worth of human potential. Frankly, facilitating fixing this is feasible with fairly frugal development costs.

In Medhound, community members can easily share what they find from calling around. By seeing the reports from other community members (as well as reports from pharmacy staff and automated inventory systems, where available), folks who need these prescriptions can concentrate their efforts on pharmacies more likely to have them, and everybody can get back to living the best parts of their lives more quickly. You search by entering a location and one or more medications that would fill the same need (for example, in some medications a higher-dose pill can be substituted by doubling up smaller pills each with half the dose). MedHound uses Google Maps to find nearby pharmacies and then checks our database (and/or the pharmacy’s, if we have access) for availability of each sought medication at each location. These reports are shown on a mobile-friendly Web application along with the pharmacies’ locations, hours, and phone numbers. It’s easy to add a new report about availability in the same place.

If the simple goodwill of the community does not adequately incentivize accurate reporting, we can activate an incentive system such that seeing other community members’ reports requires continuing to contribute reliable reports. The contributions of folks you invite to the community also impact your reputation score, for better or worse, multiple steps down the invitation chain.

We leverage findings from academic work in crowdsourcing and incentivizing collective intelligence. Our technical lead cofounder has a PhD in Societal Computing from a #1-ranked School of Computer Science, with a research portfolio emphasizing technologies that can help very large, distributed groups of people work together effectively to solve complex problems.

We have incorporated, as an organization that formed out of winning a Civic Hackathon with a different solution to a similar problem focused on the Covid-19 vaccine during the supply-constrained portion of that rollout.

A completed interactive demo of our front-end user experience is available at the time of submission at demo.medhound.org; screenshots are attached. If we are able to secure additional funding, we may have made additional progress toward a completed live site by the time judging is underway or completed.

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  • ABOUT THE ENTRANT

  • Name:
    Ben Towne
  • Type of entry:
    team
    Team members:
    • Patent status:
      none