An online resource for intelligent disease management.
By Kevin Davies
May 19, 2009 | Sensing a need to provide accurate health information, Mark Boguski is launching a new direct-to-consumer Internet search firm called Resounding Health.
“Resounding Health is much more than just another search engine,” says Boguski. “It’s a total vertical search environment for web-based medical and health information” that will evolve. Boguski likens it to the developing human brain, which prunes non-useful connections over time. “We generate hundreds of thousands of interconnections among medical concepts and topics and, over time, the poor-quality ones are pruned away through the results of users’ searches and their ratings of sites.”
As a physician, Boguski realized early on that he could potentially help more patients by making scientific discoveries than he could see in a lifetime of medical practice. For nearly two decades, Boguski has played important roles in the bioinformatics and bio-IT arenas, helping to establish GenBank and Rosetta Inpharmatics in the 1990s, before directing the Allen Institute for Brain Science (see “Keynoters Focus on Challenges,” Bio•IT World, May 2004) and a two-year stint in charge of functional genomics at the Novartis Institute for Biomedical Research.
As he was leaving Novartis, he felt there was also an unrecognized medical need “to provide better health information not only to consumers but also to doctors who are rapidly falling behind in their knowledge of new discoveries and technologies that could enhance patient care.”
The company was originally going to be called Vertical Health, emphasizing the search capability in the deep health space compared with the horizontal searches of Google and Yahoo! When his lawyers discovered the name was taken, Boguski needed an alternative. During a concert by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, he saw an ad in the program for the symphony’s record label—CSO Resound. And so Resounding Health was born.
Boguski and Littleford have devised methods to compare the results of searches in a canonical way and use that information to guide other users’ searches. “All of the searches are anonymous but we do provide social networking tools for those users who wish to interact with others who share their interests or conditions,” says Boguski.
Boguski’s goal is to create “value-adding process networks” to provide “the most cost-effective management of chronic diseases in the near future.” When the Resounding Health “brain” achieves a critical mass of validated and important connections, “we will have in effect crowdsourced a revolutionary new, e-patient-friendly textbook of personalized medicine and customized care.”
Resounding Health has been bootstrapped by angel investments so far. Boguski launched the Web site (www.resoundinghealth.com) in conjunction with his talk at the 2009 Bio-IT World Expo. He hopes to attract advertising as traffic builds, and explore other B2B ideas.
Boguski says Resounding Health might be “the most important thing I’ve ever done in my career in terms of being as a physician helping patients.” While it won’t provide the gratification of those 1-to-1 patient encounters, he hopes the site will lead to “more efficient and productive clinical encounters and other interactions between patients and health care systems.”
This article also appeared in the May-June 2009 issue of Bio-IT World Magazine.
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