By Jeff Arnold, CEO and Chairman
We lost a health tech visionary last week whose contributions to the medical informatics field made a significant impact worldwide and, most recently, to Sharecare. Dr. Lawrence L. Weed who died last week at the age of 93, introduced a system for organizing patient data in the 1950s that is still used today by hospitals on a global basis and developed a computerized method for assisting in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases. Seeing the issues that could arise from interpreting unorganized and sometimes messy doctor’s notes, Dr. Weed created the problem-oriented medical record (POMR), a way of recording and monitoring patient information. After Dr. Weed’s system became widespread, he went on to develop a computerized version of POMR as well as “knowledge coupling” software which could link to a database derived from thousands of medical journals.
Later in his life, Dr. Weed started the Problem-Knowledge Coupler (PKC) Corporation, which developed knowledge-coupling software and a PC-based version of the POMR. In 2012, Sharecare acquired PKC Corporation with the vision of empowering patients with better tools to manage their health. This vision was realized with the December 2013 launch of AskMD, a consumer-facing mobile and web application that helps people learn more about what might be causing their symptoms, and connect to the doctors and specialists qualified to treat them. Since its launch, AskMD has garnered critical acclaim from users, press and industry, alike, including the Appy Award for Best Medical App in 2014 and 2015, as well as multiple honors from the Digital Health Awards and the Webbys. Additionally, at the October 2014 iPad launch event, Apple featured AskMD during the keynote as a leading example of HealthKit integration.
Thanks to Dr. Weed’s amazing life’s work, we are able to put his genius right at your fingertips with AskMD.