Million Minds – Helping those suffering undiagnosed find a diagnosis

WHAT IS MILLION MINDS?

Million Minds is an innovative smart app which connects the real-world experiences of millions of people across the world and dramatically enhances the capturing of symptoms and holistic lifestyle factors to help those suffering unnecessarily and their doctors get to a diagnosis.  

It replicates what has already been done for Julie but automates this process to enable White Swan to reach and help millions of people suffering undiagnosed – capturing symptoms, observing holistic lifestyle factors, connecting the collective wisdom, spotting patterns and supporting users 24/7 towards a diagnosis.  We believe that good quality and holistic symptom and lifestyle data sits at the heart of giving our doctors the best opportunity to reach a correct diagnosis.  Just imagine it’s like having your doctor’s full attention 24/7 for a month, to give them unique insight into your symptoms and experiences.

We believe no-one should suffer unnecessarily not knowing what is wrong with them, what to do about it or how to prevent it.  This is something we want to change.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

Leveraging Black Swan’s proprietary technology, leading-edge natural language processing and analytics, the app:

  • Enables users to track symptoms and lifestyle factors (such as what they eat, how much they sleep, amount of exercise taken) and summarises these intelligently, highlighting patterns, and allowing these to be shared with their doctor if they wish.
  • Gives users a unique view into the collective experiences of millions of others, by identifying matches between their symptoms, highlighting rarer conditions that may not have been considered before.
  • Helps users understand and interact with conversations that are taking place of those suffering with similar symptoms, and sign-posts potentially useful content, to facilitate sufferers help each other – imagine Google Search on steroids.

The Million Minds app is constantly learning.  To begin with it will intelligently query vast data sets, looking to match symptoms in conversations between users and the internet community, and identify patterns in individual user’s data, connecting symptoms to lifestyle factors.  Over time it will iteratively improve these capabilities, for example automating the decision-tree learning and once sufficient data has been collected within the user base, the app will provide an insight into the relationships between metrics and symptoms and/or conditions.   

WHO WILL BENEFIT FROM MILLION MINDS? 

We hope Million Minds will be able to help any patient who is suffering from symptoms that, so far, have not been diagnosed. Figures from the Royal College of Psychiatrists and the BMJ estimate this to be 5 million patients in the UK alone, c500 million worldwide. Many of these people (and their relatives) try to self-help, turning to forums and online sources of information for help.

We also want to lighten the load on GPs and on NHS budgets, as those suffering undiagnosed often go through multiple referrals and appointments, seeing on average 8 different doctors.  We want to help patients help their doctors to help them.  We’ve been contacted by lots of people who are suffering like Julie was, and we found we couldn’t help them individually, hence we decided we would automate the process Steve and team used as this way we could help many more people.  

Speaking to those suffering undiagnosed, we have found that the anxiety of not knowing what is wrong with them is often worse than the symptoms themselves. Accelerating diagnosis would reduce the period of worry and disruption to their lives with multiple medical appointments. 

We cannot guarantee that users will get to a diagnosis with their doctors by using the Million Minds app, but we hope to help them along the journey, giving a unique insight into their symptoms and the experiences of others to share with their doctors so that they can help them reach a diagnosis.

HOW CAN YOU HELP?

Million Minds is an ambitious project which requires a significant level of time and investment to deliver successfully. We are always looking for partners who can help us on the journey, so if you have expertise in app development, medicine health tech product development or nutrition and wellbeing, or any other particular part of this project please get in touch.  Indeed if you see an opportunity to help us achieve our vision for Million Minds but introducing us to relevant potential partners in order to benefit from their expertise and support us further with funding please get in touch at hello@whiteswan.org.uk

If you would simply like to be kept informed of progress, please follow us on LinkedIn where we’ll be sharing regular updates on the development. 

Learn more about our work here: