How Joshua Landy built an app to help doctors swap insights

“People gain exposure to cases they wouldn’t otherwise see. And seeing more cases is what makes a physician better”

 
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Figure 1 co-founder and  Chief Medical Officer Joshua Landy.
Figure 1 co-founder and Chief Medical Officer Joshua Landy. (Portrait by Roberto Caruso)

Joshua Landy, a practising physician, came up with the idea for Figure 1 while enrolled at Stanford University in 2012, studying doctors’ smartphone habits. He launched the app in 2013 with two co-founders. As of September, Figure 1 had 500,000 users worldwide.


“Figure 1 provides health-care professionals around the world with instant access to specialized knowledge. We’re already seeing cases where a doctor from the U.K. helps a doctor in Mexico.

“Users register on our network, and we verify they have a licence to practise medicine. They’re then able to upload a case. They can either take a picture or upload a picture you have, and enter a caption. We review every image to make sure there are no privacy violations. And after that, the images are live in the Figure 1 feed, where our users can answer, comment, discuss and add to their favourites. People are gaining exposure to cases they wouldn’t otherwise see. And seeing more cases is what makes a physician better at his or her job.

“Figure 1 is in more than 175 countries in the world. Part of our growth strategy is ensuring we’ve done the legal work in a country so we’re prepared when we reach out to health-care professionals—we want them to know they can trust us. We’re building a brand and a community around having the appropriate respect for patient privacy. Once we’re able to do that successfully, getting health-care professionals to use our network becomes substantially easier.”

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