Changing health care one app at a time – Standard Freeholder
When Mari-Lynn Cordahi was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis 21 years ago, she would have welcomed someone to talk to who knew from experience what she was going through.
Today, she fills that role for others newly diagnosed with MS, thanks to her role as a peer mentor on Curatio. Dubbed a ‘social health prescription,’ Vancouver-based Curatio is the brainchild of co-founder and CEO Lynda Brown-Ganzert.
“I’ve connected with people through the Curatio app,” said Cordahi. “One person in the UK, I connected with her within days of her being diagnosed.
“If I put myself back 21 years ago, I know what she is going through. I sure would have appreciated it if something like this had been available then.”
Using a combination of artificial intelligence and private social networks, Curatio’s mobile app fills a gap in our healthcare system, creating personalized support networks for patients and caregivers who are newly diagnosed or navigating their way through an illness or chronic condition.
The idea came to Brown-Ganzert when she was undergoing fertility issues and complications in pregnancy.
“It was when we were having our second child and there were some complications and issues around that,” she said. “I became a patient and found, ‘oh my goodness, there are some really broken pieces here.’
“Being an entrepreneur you’re always thinking how you could fix it. The genesis of Curatio came from that – looking at the isolation, the difficulty patients have navigating, the lack of curated information you can trust that is personalized to you, connecting with others who are similar to you or have gone through the same thing.”
Brown-Ganzert, whose background is in digital media, had spent the previous 10 years building private mobile social networks. Her experience with the healthcare system convinced her that the idea of private social networks could be applied in the healthcare field.
“A good friend of mine had a heart attack and became our first use case,” she said. “With him and together with Alireza (Davoodi), my co-founder, we built a prototype in 40 days, went on to win a global challenge and our first customer and we were off.”
That was five years ago. Today Curatio is used in more than 85 countries and in four languages.
“Where I started from was recognizing social was a missing piece in healthcare transformation. When you start to connect patients, and we have clinical evidence to show this, you have improved outcomes,” said Brown-Ganzert.
When you sign onto the system, an AI agent helps you navigate to find what you need. There are currently three active communities: in heart, multiple sclerosis and thalassemia, an online community ThaliMe, plus you can sign onto the general Curatio network, or as a caregiver.
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