Monday, November 26, 2012

Open Source Medicine

  Salvator Iaconesi is a 39-year-old artist who teaches digital design at La Sapienza University of Rome. Iaconesi also has brain cancer.
Credit to: WE ARE PI
  However, instead of just letting one or two doctors prescribe a course of treatment and following it with high hopes Iaconesi did something different. He published his medical records online and opened his life to the world. He set up La Cure to allow anyone and everyone to review his case, his medical records, and his treatment for review and comment.
  Open source software has been around since the early 80's when Richard Stallman helped launch the GNU Project. Open source essentially means no one owns the information, data, or piece of work. Many companies have used this format to help develop many of their products including operating systems and smart phone software. But no one had ever thought about using this same open approach to their medical treatment.
  The response to this project has been overwhelming. An art collective has used his brain scans for a projection map during their concert, 35 videos have been produced using the images of the tumor, 600 poems have been written and uploaded to the website for Iaconesi, and about 15,000 testimonies of people who have or have had have been posted on the website as well.
  60 doctors have contacted him through the website to try and give opinion and advice on how to continue with treatment. But what is more amazing is that 40 of these 60 doctors have been spontaneously reviewed by at least 500 other visitors to the the website. Iaconesi says he has also received 50,000 remedies and treatment options have been sent to him.
  Iaconesi says that all of this has helped him formulate his own treatment, which goes beyond typical medicine.  He plans to incorperate a variety of treatment options including, surgery, oncology, homeopathy, Chinese medicine, Hebraic Esoterism, diet, and lifestyle.
  Iaconesi has yet to complete his full treatment but he is hopeful and looks forward to seeing this technological and social approach used more often when treating patients.

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