Do we need a better knee pain symptom checker?

To see if a new diagnostic tool for injuries was needed, we did a quick google search for “knee pain symptom checker.”

And disappointing doesn’t quite cover it!

What’s available now?

Searching for knee pain symptom checker brought up a number of options.

There were sports injury websites with info on a selection of diagnoses (much like this site).

Helpful? Yes. But you needed to know your diagnosis to find useful information.

Otherwise you’d find yourself endlessly sifting through injury pages, thinking “well, that sounds similar to mine, but not quite.”

Other options in the “knee pain symptom checker” search were sites that could triage (or classify) concerning injuries, such as the Australian Government’s HealthDirect symptom checker.

They’re better than simple injury info sites but they’ve got some significant limitations and very poor accuracy.

A 2015 study by the good folks at Harvard found that the most popular symptom checkers got the diagnosis right only one third of the time!

In fact, they had the correct diagnosis in their top 20 options in just over 50% of cases 🙁

Do we need a better knee pain symptom checker? 1
Symptom category page at https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/symptom-checker

The page is designed to figure out if you need a hospital, but that’s it.

That’s helpful if you’re experiencing chest pain or dizziness.

But if you’re using it as a “knee pain symptom checker” for sports injuries, it just tells you to stay at home and look after yourself.

No diagnosis. And certainly no rehab plan.

What can be improved?

Now, I’m not being critical of the above symptom checker for its intended purpose.

It serves a great role in providing online screening for serious medical issues.

But what’s surprising is that no one has done better than a triage style system for musculoskeletal injuries, like knee pain or ankle injuries.

We have smart lights at home, smart apps for social media and smart cars on their way very shortly.

But for sports injuries…nothing.

And it’s not like the demand isn’t there.

It’s hard to put an exact number of worldwide sports injuries per year – they don’t have to be reported and most don’t seek medical advice.

But let’s narrow our focus down to just the USA, where there is a reporting system in place.

And we only look at children under 14, when injuries are mostly registered for tracking and insurance.

That subgroup in just one country has 3.5 million sports injuries per year!!!

Our goal?

So there’s our niche. Bringing the latest artificial intelligence to your smart phone, to address the need of online diagnostic and rehab information without all the guess work.

It’s a big job, so we’re going to start with lower back and lower limb injuries.

We may need to narrow it further to certain sports but we’re shooting for all sports at this stage.

Fingers crossed for a successful launch in 2022.