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MedShr wins Trinity Challenge Prize for pandemic early warning system

29 June, 2021

MedShr Insights and Early Warning System, led by cardiologist Dr Asif Qasim, has today been announced as one of the winners of the inaugural Trinity Challenge. Drawing from real clinical case discussions posted by its 1.6 million members, MedShr Insights and Early Warning System will apply natural language processing, machine learning and AI to identify trending medical terms and symptoms and thereby predict potential outbreaks.

MedShr, the world’s leading platform for healthcare professionals, enables doctors to use their smartphone to safely share and discuss anonymised clinical cases with peers around the globe. Their discussions range from straightforward clinical cases and images, to diagnostic dilemmas, alongside X-rays, ECGs, blood results, medical imaging and more. With many conferences and courses transitioning to digital formats, physicians now also share interesting academic papers, webinars, podcasts and medical education. 

With a global community of 1.6 million members in 195 countries, MedShr is uniquely positioned to identify patterns and trends from real world medical practice. This provides an unrivalled opportunity to detect novel and emerging healthcare challenges. 

MedShr’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic illustrates the potential impact. As COVID-19 emerged in early 2020, the MedShr team saw a corresponding increase in the number of X-rays posted on the platform, and increasing mentions of fever, dry cough and loss of sense of smell – symptoms we now know are associated with coronavirus. 

Responding to these emerging trends, MedShr’s engineering, data and clinical teams came together to rapidly develop new features, secure global knowledge-sharing groups and free medical education programmes to support its clinical members through one of the most challenging periods in recent history. This included MedShr Polls and MedShr Learning, an interactive online medical education platform. 

Data from these new features and programmes, combined with clinical case discussions and other contextual information, allowed the MedShr team to quickly address the knowledge gaps, amplifying targeted medical education to the healthcare professionals who needed it most. 

MedShr Insights and Early Warning System aims to identify future outbreaks of this and other diseases at the earliest possible stage using medical natural language processing, machine learning, AI and social listening technology to MedShr’s real world medical data. To allow for an even stronger surveillance system, the data can in future be further enriched by ingesting scientific research papers, electronic medical records and social media.  

MedShr’s Early Warning System was awarded third prize of $660k in The Trinity Challenge by an independent panel of world-renowned experts, including Jacqueline Miller (Moderna’s Senior Vice President of Infectious Diseases), Roopa Dhatt (Executive Director, Women in Global Health), and Githinji Gitahi (Chief Executive Officer, Amref Health Africa). 

About the Trinity Challenge  

The Trinity Challenge (TTC) is a coalition of 42 organisations committed to leveraging the power of big data and digital technologies to protect the world from future pandemics. Launched in September 2020 by England’s former Chief Medical Officer, Dame Sally Davies, TTC invited applications from across the world to develop and scale non-medical interventions to predict and prevent pandemics. MedShr was among eight winners selected by a prestigious international panel of expert judges, out of 340 applications from 61 countries. 

About MedShr

MedShr is the world’s leading case discussion platform and has won multiple awards including Facebook’s Social Good App of the Year 2016, United Nations World Summit Award 2017 and ES SME Award in 2018, was a 2019 TechCrunch DT50 Award for Social Impact finalist, and was recently MedShr was named one of the UK’s top 70 high growth technology companies. The platform works in partnership with healthcare providers and hundreds of national and specialist medical societies, as well as the NHS, Health Education England and several Royal Colleges.  

About Dr Asif Qasim

Dr Asif Qasim is a Consultant Interventional Cardiologist, NHS Clinical Director and Founder and CEO of MedShr based in London, England. Dr Qasim graduated from the University of Cambridge in 1995 with prizes and awards for research and clinical medicine. He has published papers in peer-reviewed journals on a range of interventional and general cardiology subjects.

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