CompetitiveAnalysis-MichaelCao

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Contents

Restatement of idea

Our group proposed an application that creates a social network where general practitioners can receive instant feedback on their patients' symptoms so they can then make the most accurate diagnosis.

SituationInnovations

List of Competitors

  1. iRash
  2. ECG Guide
  3. iMurmur
  4. SymptomMD
  5. DocGuide
  6. iDoc
  7. iTriage Health Network
  8. Sermo
  9. Medscape
  10. Mobile MerckMedicus

Analysis

iRash

Target User Group: The target user groups for this application are both doctors and patients, while ours is just target doctors, specifically general practitioners.

Functionality: This application gives a reference to over 40 common skin conditions, with basics of causation, diagnosis, and treatment, as well as a representative image. Users can search for the rash based on name and characteristics of the rash. Our idea will deal with much more conditions than just rashes, and will provide actual input from other doctors instead of just a list of rashes you can compare yours to.

Usability: This application makes it hard to pinpoint exactly what kind of rash the patient might have. Under each category of rash there can still be many different types of rashes that the user will have to search for one by one. Our app will provide instant feedback from professional doctors based on a picture of a condition, such as a rash, that the user provides.

ECG Guide

Target User Group: The target user groups of this application are practicing physicians, medical trainees, nurses and paramedics, while ours is just meant for licensed professional doctors.

Functionality: This application is designed as a learning tool for those still training as well as a reliable reference for more experienced interpreters of ECGs. It contains the largest ECG library available on the iPhone with over 200 high resolution sample ECGs with common and complex findings for easy reference to help doctors interpret ECG readings. It also helps provide diagnosis of common and complex arrhythmias and ECG findings. This app is used more as a learning tool while ours is used to help doctors diagnose their patients. Our app also gives actual doctor feedback on ECG readings while this app is just a library of ECGs.

Usability: This app does a fantastic job of teaching ECG to practicing physicians and to help actual doctors refresh their knowledge on ECGs. This library is pretty large so a real doctor would have difficulty using this under time critical situations trying to search for the correct ECG. Our app would provide doctors instant feedback from other professionals so they don't need to waste time searching.

iMurmur

Target User Group: The target user groups of this application are students, professional physicians, and medical students, while ours is just meant for licensed professional doctors.

Functionality: This is an application that teaches the user how to recognize and diagnose heart murmurs. The heart sounds are presented in a rapid quiz format and are organized by clinical relevance emphasizing sounds that doctors will encounter most frequently. Based on the murmur, the app will provide basic concepts on how to proceed with therapy. Our app on the other hand also accepts sound input from users for other doctors to listen to as well. Doctors will be able to input any kind of sound they want making our app vastly more applicable than this one.

Usability: Again this app like the previous one provides such a huge library that a real doctor would have difficulty using this under time critical situations trying to search for the correct heart murmur. Our app would again provide doctors instant feedback from other professionals so they don't need to waste time searching.

SymptonMD

Target User Group: The target user group of this application is patients of the doctor, while ours is just meant for licensed professional doctors.

Functionality: This application provides the user with care guides that help them make appropriate decisions on what level of care, if any, is needed and how to provide symptom relief for minor illnesses and injuries they can manage on their own. The app also includes decision charts which helps determine what action is suggested based on the severity and description of the user's symptom, and also immediate connections to 911 in case the condition is an emergency. While our app is also used to diagnose conditions based on their symptoms, our app provides results based on input from real doctors, and the need to search for the condition is eliminated.

Usability: Users who have used this app have stated that it was hard to search for certain symptoms. Also sometimes the diagnosis given was for a child, even though the user clearly stated that she was an adult. These are just some minor bugs, but just show how this app isn't as comprehensive of all conditions as our app would be.

DocGuide

Target User Group: The target user group of this application is licensed professional doctors, just like our app.

Functionality: This application provides users with medical articles and abstracts, dispatches from top national and international conferences, and a forum where they can gain and share insight with colleagues they personally know and trust. This is somewhat similar to our app because it connects actual professional doctors together into a network where they can communicate with each other. But instead of keeping the user updated in the medical world, our app lets other doctors provide each other with input and suggestions about possible symptoms and diagnoses for certain medical conditions.

Usability: Users have complained that this app has provided false advertising about having doctors who use it that they personally know. Articles and abstracts in the app don't necessarily have to be written by an actual doctor. Our app on the other hand, only lets doctors use it, so then only they can be the ones that provide the feedback to the user's questions.

iDoc

Target User Group: The target user group of this application is patients, while our app is for actual doctors.

Functionality: This application lets patients ask actual doctors about their conditions for a fee and then receive a personalized response back. It also lets the user choose the specialist they need for their specific symptom. This is very similar to our app. We also allow the user to ask questions about certain symptoms. However, our app lets the user also provide pictures or some sound to give other doctors a better understanding of the condition. Also our app is only meant for doctors who want to diagnose their own patients.

Usability: According to users' inputs, the app disclaimer states that some questions may not be answered by an actual physician. This seems very foolish on their part to let non-professional give out medical advise. Our app will prevent this by only allowing actual doctors to be users, so that anyone giving you advice has to be a real general practitioner.

iTriage Health Network

Target User Group: The target user groups of this application are patients and doctors, while our app is just for actual doctors.

Functionality: This application provides information to help the user meet their health care needs. It contains thousands of symptoms, diseases, and procedures, and links this information to hundreds of thousands of healthcare facilities including emergency departments, urgent care facilities, retail health clinics, physicians, and pharmacies. Our app also links thousands of healthcare facilities together in order to determine the correct diagnosis based on some given symptoms. Our app doesn't include a facilities finder though, so we might want to look into that in the future just in case the general practitioner isn't capable of performing the determined procedure.

Usability: Some users have stated that when searching for a facility, it usually isn't the most relevant one that comes up first but the one that paid the app's company the most money. This would be unfortunate for someone who's health was at risk. Also a user mentioned that in a previous version of the app, the user could only search for just one symptom. This hardly differentiates many different diseases. Our app would let doctors vote on the most plausible diagnosis so that the responses would not be biased. Also our app would allow the user to input multiple diseases so then other doctors will be able to pinpoint the diagnosis to at most only a couple of possible conditions.

Sermo

Target User Group: The target user group of this application is licensed professional doctors, just like our app.

Functionality: This website provides community for professional doctors to communicate and network with each other. Doctors can post questions to solicit colleague opinions anytime day or night. They will then receive instant feedback from physicians across 68 specialties. This is extremely similar to what we want to do with our app. The only differences are that Sermo is a website, so it would be difficult for doctors to use it on the move when they're treating patients one after another. Also generalizes to all types of doctors. Ours mainly focuses on general practitioners, but we might think of expanding it so then our users can ask the most relevant specialist based on the patient's condition.

Usability: The Sermo website is very easy to use and has many different useful features for actual physicians. However, being that it is a website, responses to questions are usually slow since doctors don't have time to constantly check their computers. A mobile app like ours on the other hand would be perfect for doctors on the go, and would give them the mobility of looking up diagnoses and answering other doctors' questions while being able to treat their patients at the same time.

Medscape

Target User Group: The target user group of this application are patients and physicians, while ours is just for licensed doctors.

Functionality: This application provides extensive clinical reference with thousands of images and videos, extensive drug reference with over 7,000 generic, brand, and OTC drugs, drug interaction checker, medical news, CME/CE activities, and a physician directory. As a result this app contains a huge library of information that could be useful to a patient or doctor. Again our app would be different since ours allow the users to interact with real doctors so they can then get instant feedback instead of tediously looking something up.

Usability: Users have complained that the app updates its database and random times. So it could happen that while you need the app the most to look up some symptoms and find a diagnosis, the update starts and wastes valuable time. This could be fatal in time critical situations. Our app on the other hand would only have updates when the user isn't using the app to provide for a much smoothing experience.

Mobile MerckMedicus

Target User Group: The target user group for this application is for U.S. healthcare professionals who are registered users of MerckMedicus. , while ours is for any licensed doctors.

Functionality: This application provides breaking medical news, a wide variety of scientific learning resources, and cutting-edge diagnostic tools. One resource it provides is the Merck Manual which covers all the subjects expected in a textbook of internal medicine as well as detailed information on a wide variety of medical areas. Another resource it provides is the Harrison's Practice which gives concise answers to the user's clinical questions are presented in an easy-to-read format. Again like the previous app, this app contains a huge library of information that could be useful to a doctor. It's also nice that it provides a section for questions and answers that doctors might have. However, it is unlikely that that list would be as comprehensive as our app since ours allow the user to ask any question and be provided instant feedback.

Usability: Users have been very happy with this app stating that it's very easy to use and extremely helpful. The only problem might be the need to have to manually search for the specific disease or question and answer the user is looking for. Our app prevents this because the question the user has is the question that gets answered and no searching is required.

Summary

After looking through the list of possible competitors, there doesn't seem to be any application out there that addresses the same problem as our app does. Most of these apps just provides a vast database of information, symptoms, and diagnoses that the user would have to manually search for. Our app has a huge advantage there because it eliminates the need to search for a specific symptom or disease, and just allows the user to ask the question they are interested in, and only waiting for a short amount of time to get some feedback. Some of the competitors are very specific in what types of conditions the user can search for such as iRash and iMurmur. Our app provides a much wider range of conditions that the user can look for because our app is run by actual doctors as the users. Others, such as Sermo, are extremely similar to our app but have some features that make them a disadvantage to us. For example, Sermo provides the same community and network of professional doctors that our app would provide, but it is also a website, making it difficult for doctors to use while on the move. Overall it seems that our app is pretty unique and that most of these apps lack some important feature that our app would provide, but a few of them do provide some new ideas and features that we might look into adding to our own app.



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