He may not be a brain surgeon like his on-air alter ego, but Patrick Dempsey (Derek Shepherd) is still working to help save lives. The 48-year-old actor helped found the Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope and Healing six years ago, and now he's investing some of his Grey's Anatomy paycheck to Silicon Valley startup CrowdMed and its online crowd-sourced medical diagnosis platform.
Sort of like Wikipedia, CrowdMed sources knowledge from a vast online community to help users diagnose their mysterious ailments.
Here's how it works: Patients anonymously post their symptoms and health history to the site, and then thousands of medical professionals and fellow patients — dubbed "medical detectives" — collaborate to crack the case and offer the patient diagnostic suggestions to share with his or her physician.
"CrowdMed was designed to help people in need who have nowhere to turn, no options and no answers, which is the same reason I founded The Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope & Healing," Patrick says via a press release.
"I was immediately drawn to CrowdMed's mission of helping those who have run out of alternatives. I remember being overwhelmed when my mother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer almost a decade ago, and I know how challenging it can be trying to make the best medical decisions for oneself or a loved one. The patients who are turning to CrowdMed can't even begin to think about treatment options because they haven’t been able to find an accurate medical diagnosis yet — but hopefully we can change that."
So happy to see Patrick supporting a good cause. We bet Mama Dempsey would be proud!