Medical Commons

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As proposed by John Wilbanks:

"Wilbanks’ proposal is a medical commons, a way for people to gather this medical data and share it freely. People are neurotic about privacy and keeping control of their data. “Some of us like to share as control.” And, he believes we live in an age where people agree with him. He mentions a study run at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee.”It’s not the most science positive state in America,” he say. “Only 5% wanted out. People like to share if given the opportunity and choice.” And not using this data to understand health issues through mathematic analysis “is like having a giant set of power tools but leaving them not plugged in while using hand saws.”

“This is the world’s first fully digital, self-contributed, unlimited in scope, global in participation, ethically approved clinical study,” he says. It’s a way to reach behind and grab that dust, to extract medical records and donate them, to have them syndicated to mathematicians who’ll do big data research.” To sign up, all you have to be is over 14 years old, “willing to sign a contract to say you’re not going to be jerk. Oh, you have to solve a Captcha too.” That’s it. “If you don’t like those terms, don’t come in.” (

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