What is AskDr
As the family's googling assistant, I found it challenging and equally frustrating to scrape the web for health information. It's the wild west out there. You'd expect to find a myriad of contradicting content, unverified sources, mis- and dis-information, along with the occasional cancer diagnosis. Eventually, I had to resort to trouble physician friends for help to decipher these. This had me wondering - what if there was a way to bring these offline discussions online for others who might have the same issue?
💡 AskDr is a health information platform aiming to democratise access to reliable medical information
Wrapping up from our beta launch at a family event organised by the Smart Nation & Digital Government Office (SNDGO) at the invitation of our Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), we turned our focus back to development, iterating and improving our product based on the user feedback we received with plans to launch in May.
Unexpectedly, we witnessed the COVID-19 outbreak; worsening each day. We watched it develop and saw firsthand how misinformation exacerbated the situation, causing wave after wave of paranoia and panic buying each time the outbreak reached the shores of a new country. The internet has been a revolutionary invention that allows us to access the world's knowledge and deliver information across continents instantly, but there is a flip side to this blessing and it can be dangerous.
The user feedback we got from the beta launch pushed us in a direction where our product was suitable to help play a part in battling medical misinformation, particularly that surrounding COVID-19. We decided not to stay on the sidelines and instead, reprioritised our features and accelerated the launch of our prototype to open a dedicated module for the COVID-19.
Calling all doctors
The phenomenon of fake news adds another layer of complexity for governmental bodies and healthcare providers to deal with. However, they do not have effective means of penetrating social media “echo chambers” to combat fake news. Instead, these vacuums may require a bottom up approach, enabling professionals to combat the fake news directly with digital tools that integrate seamlessly with social media, what we like to call the “last mile of health promotion".
The urgency and importance of arming global citizens with the right health education and information grows each day. If AskDr can do one small thing right now, we hope it's to be able to provide a level playing field where the doctors fighting on the front lines of this outbreak have effective digital tools to combat medical mis- and dis-information in a scalable way.
If you would like access to these tools as a doctor, please register here.
🙏 To all doctors out there, we thank you for your service and bravery.
A lot of our product development relies on the feedback we receive from the community. If you have any feedback for us, let us know through the channels listed below. We love talking to our users!
Ways to feed us feedback:
👉 Email: email@example.com
👉 Twitter: @askdrHQ
👉 Chat widget on the bottom right of our page: www.askdr.co
We're also looking to explore partnerships with WHO, NGOs, and government hospital to get this solution in the hands of those that need it most.
If you'd like to help us test out new features or want to hear more from us, please connect with us here