Esther Dyson laughing at Guy Kawasaki
At Techcrunch40 we watched a presentation (Follow that link for video) by ZocDoc co-founder Cyrus Massoumi. ZocDoc is an online service that lets consumers find, search and book dentist and doctor appointments. After Massoumi’s presentation Guy Kawasaki, who was one of the members of the jury, said ‘I just don’t see it. You search this site and you’re like, “Oh look, Dr. Molly Adams, she looks nice, I’ll ask her to operate on my heart.”‘. While the audience laughed Massoumi cleared his throat, grabbed the microphone and replied ‘You might ask your friend for an optometrist recommendation, but you might not ask them for someone who could diagnose the rash on your butt.”. I don’t really know why but there has been some animosity between Jason Calacanis, who was the moderator for Techcrunch40 and Kawasaki. So the crowd went wild when Kawasaki said “Sure I would. I’d call Jason (Calacanis); he’s had plenty of rashes”.
Kawasaki, as you might know, is a man and not a female and that might have some influence on his opinions. Maybe. If he would have been a female there would have been a 60 percent chance he would prefer the Internet over friends, family or significant other to get medical advice. I didn’t just make that up either. Comscore asked 921 women between the ages of 18 and 44 how they choose their methods of birth control. Turns out that 82% turn to Medical Professionals (i.e. doctors, pharmacists and healthcare workers) but 60% also turns to the internet. Apparently women use all sorts of sources because 51% also asks their friends, family or significant other. Good to know that men (significant others?) are in the loop too when it concerns methods of birth control.
I hope Comscore will repeat this study with men soon so we can accurately determine if there is a future for web-based services that allow you to get medical advice via online services like via ZocDoc or the just announced and soon to launch Google Health. In case you missed it; Google announced last week that they will soon launch Google Health which will enable you to build online health profiles that belong to you, download medical records from doctors and pharmacies, get personalized health guidance and relevant news, find qualified doctors and connect to time-saving services and share selected information with family or caregiver.
Some people freaked when Google launched Gmail saying that it would mean Google would know almost everything about you once they could read your email. I hope these same people will post a few comments here with their opinions on Google Health.