MetaMed, a startup led by Skype founding engineer Jaan Tallinn, has announced a $500,000 funding round led by Peter Thiel and is launching to provide patients with an on-demand medical research team. These teams of doctors dive into “patient history, metabolism, genomic variation and current research” with the bold goal of delivering “personal medical breakthroughs” to customers.
In the tech world, medical-focused startups are particularly wild animals; everything from the genetics-focused 23andMe to cancer diagnostics startup Foundation Medicine fall into this space, but much of the technology in use falls beyond the expertise of the typical tech-set — so let’s proceed with caution.
The core of MetaMed’s purpose lies in its argument that the current health system falls short for patients, especially in terms of time spent developing personalized solutions for major illnesses. To back up this claim, MetaMed inundated us with links (we did ask for it); Examples include studies which show how doctors spend only ten minutes with patients during primary care visits, and that one in five patients are actually harmed by the US Medical System.
MetaMed believes its services, which cost roughly $5,000 per 24 hours of research, is the perfect solution to the growing problem of un-personalized care. For those with a serious medical condition, MetaMed likened its pricing to investing in a law firm after being charged for a crime. In the case of preventative care, we’d be cautious before laying down five grand, unless you have excess funds.
Unfortunately, MetaMed’s research sessions aren’t typically covered by insurance, leading to an accessibility problem.
There’s always the possibility that launching with this price point and gaining ground could help MetaMed lower its overhead and thus its price (if you’re feeling hopeful). Until then, this is quite an interesting experiment, if you can afford it, and Peter Thiel’s apparent endorsement brings credibility to the project. You can learn more about it the link below.
Image credit: SAJJAD HUSSAIN/Stringer/Getty Images
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