Crowdsourcing · Medical

Crowdsourcing for in-depth reviews of medical literature? Data analysis?

Charlene MPH CEO & Founder, ReciproCare, Halcyon Fellow

August 4th, 2013

Hi everyone,

I read an earlier discussion on Founder Dating about crowdsourcing and love the idea of having a few different people working on specific research and data analysis projects at the same time as I work towards our MVP.  I’m looking for assistance with (1) answering multiple discrete questions, based on review of epidemiologic, public health, and medical literature, and (2) organization, cleaning and analysis of research datasets (which may include clinical information, diagnosis codes, epidemiologic information, etc.).

 

Are there any recommendations for crowdsourcing platforms with this type of skillset?  Or recommendations for individuals who can help?  I plan to approach local universities for grad students, but am open to other ideas.

 

Thanks in advance,

Charlene

 

 

Charlene MPH CEO & Founder, ReciproCare, Halcyon Fellow

August 5th, 2013

Thanks to all of you for your outstanding suggestions.  I have just posted a job on odesk.com and will keep my fingers crossed. I will also follow up on the other advice and plan to reach out to a few of you directly.

Agree that crowdsourcing for free is not sustainable.  Definitely not part of the plan.

Great advice!!!  

Candice Hughes, PhD, MBA

August 5th, 2013

Charlene,

Your best bet would be to try to entice students to help you. I suspect that you will need to pay them something even if a minimal amount since students are short on time and money. They would want something out of the deal such as a career boost from the work or minimum wage.

There are plenty of people who do this sort of thing professionally, however, pay is fairly steep considering that to interpret medical literature on even a basic level requires a science degree, which is costly in time and money to obtain.

I have found many people to be generous with their time for higher level advising, but to find someone willing to do the hard lifting needed to make a labor-intensive product for free, not so much.

To me the concept of crowdsourcing intellectual work for free has always been puzzling. The fundamental idea often seems to be that highly trained and skilled people have a lot of free time that they don't know what to do with and that it would be fun to spend their time performing their daily job in off-hours for free to help another firm (that is not non-profit and/or doesn't have a social benefit) to make more money.

Personally, I feel that an entrepreneur (or even big company executive) will be more successful and will feel better about what they achieve if the exchange is a two-way street where they provide the less experienced with training, or the opportunity to do something far above their current pay grade, or with some level of pay.

Julie Walker Experienced Entrepreneurial Digital Business Executive

August 4th, 2013

Hi Charlene,

There are a couple of options for you to think about with respect to crowdsourcing from a community, depending on the type of questions you are looking to answer and the MVP you are looking to build.

Mobile Research - last year, I used a mobile research app, to gain insights from a group of people with lupus and also for a media company - it worked well groups - if you have specific tasks fro them to do - this is less crowd sourcing but a good way to harness knowledge of a discreet group remotely. 

For example, we used social channels to identify individuals discussing the main topic and reached out to them and invited them to participate.  We set a number of tasks over a period of time and the participants were asked to respondents through, video diaries, photos, screen shots, links to web pages and mini blog. posts.   The company we worked with was http://kiosk-hq.com/

Crowd-sourcing you have 2 options here you can have a private or public process.

Private: If the project is under NDA then a private community will work and depending on what your budget is and what you are looking to get out of this and also the type of MVP you are building - is it digital is it mobile?   then the minimum you an use is a forum based platform and add in some research tools, these can be
based on market research type methods
you can use online customer journey tools
app prototyping tools

each of these can be used by providing links in the community

if you need more sophisticated features within the community platform, then there are a few companies out there, depending on budget and number of potential members of the community.

Public groups, there are a number of ways to create these, online forums, facebook pages or using specific tools, there are a few out there.

One of the challenges with crowdsoroucing is finding members and there are a number of ways to go about this depending on the type of people you want to have in your community and again the budget you have available.

Are you looking for people with a particular illness - you mention medical literature or are you looking for people who use or a need the function that your product will support?  Depending on what you are looking to build and the type of people whose feedback/input you are looking for will effect how easy these people are to find.

The good news is you don't need thousands of people to get valuable feedback - and you can use a LEAN methodology within the community which can be aligned to your MVP development cycle to help you build your MVP.

 

Rob G

August 5th, 2013

you could try Mechanical Turk (amazon service).  I have no personal experience with them and my understanding is that it is most useful for perhaps more mundane tasks, but may be worth a look. 

Vijay MD Founder Chefalytics, Co-owner Bite Catering Couture, Independent consultant (ex-McKinsey)

August 4th, 2013

You can try odesk, I’ve had some luck getting med and PhD students in different countries, who can do the work. It’s pretty hit or miss…some of this stuff really needs to be done locally by someone who can come in and whiteboard stuff with you/ have you review work over their shoulder.

Matthew Cordasco Co-founder and Head of Product

August 4th, 2013

Hello Charlene,

I am the CEO of a pre-launch startup called MyCrowd which provides just such a platform.  We are in beta phase right now and I would welcome a conversation with you to see if we could provide a good and free service to you.

In short, our platform is cutting edge and made to facilitate communication between users and workers, and on the backend we have the capability to interface with many different crowd platforms or individual freelancers.

Projects like your would leverage a technology we call a "private crowd" where a hand-selected group of research specialists would work on your project.

Email me if you would like to discuss more, info@mycrowd.com.  I will reply with my personal email.

Regards,

Matthew
MyCrowd.com

Charlene MPH CEO & Founder, ReciproCare, Halcyon Fellow

August 5th, 2013

Thanks to all of you for your outstanding suggestions.  I have just posted a job on odesk.com and will keep my fingers crossed. I will also follow up on the other advice and plan to reach out to a few of you directly.

Agree that crowdsourcing for free is not sustainable.  Definitely not part of the plan.

Great advice!!!