Healthcare can be cold and impersonal—overworked doctors rushing from one exam room to the next; patients sitting in crowded waiting rooms for hours on end; staff endlessly copying records. But, at its heart, healthcare is about human beings: helping us all live full, healthy, meaningful lives.
Biograph is a new app that can help healthcare professionals and their patients restore humanity in healthcare. We make it simple for patients to keep track of their symptoms—or track the progress of their recovery. Our app empowers patients to be autonomous. It also helps them find community. Although all biographs are private by default, our authors have the option to find and join vibrant communities where patients discuss their diagnoses, share tips and strategies, and build expertise. Further, Biograph helps patients who might otherwise struggle to keep written notes on their conditions produce lasting records that they and their care team can use.
For healthcare professionals, Biograph provides a space to reflect on their experiences and to communicate with patients on common ground. A doctor can record a quick reply to a patient’s question—no need to use an intimidating, difficult to navigate platform like MyChart. Or a nurse might record mini-podcasts that helps them process working in a covid ward, so they’re ready to give their best next day.
Biograph supports narrative medicine, eases communication between doctor and patient, and helps realize the transition to portable personal health records. Biograph is a key piece of the future of medicine—a future which is humane, accessible, and empowering. Whether you’re a patient or a provider, Biograph can help you put the human back in healthcare.
Patient’s Story: Empowering Care
Sylvia was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in her late 60s. At first, her symptoms were mild and manageable. But as the disease progressed, she began to struggle with basic tasks. Her doctor asked her to keep a record of her symptoms—and her challenges around the house. “We’ll be better able to treat your condition if we know what you’re struggling with,” she said.
But Sylvia had a hard time keeping records: her writing was slow and labored; after she was done, she couldn’t read what she’d written. Her son tried to help her record voice memos on her phone, but she’d get confused or accidentally delete them. Then he downloaded the Biograph app for her. Working with Biograph, Sylvia was able to make quick recordings when she had an issue around the house. Then her son would download the transcripts and email them to her doctor. Biograph empowered Sylvia to take charge of her care—and to write about her experience when traditional forms of writing failed her. And it helped her doctor too: “Thanks to Biograph, I knew exactly what Sylvia was struggling with—and could help her make informed decisions about how her condition was progressing and what treatment would be best for her. I recommend it to all my patients now.”
Provider’s Story: Memoirs in Medicine
Elizabeth is a nurse in an ICU in Cincinnati. “I love the job,” she reflects, “It’s so meaningful to know that every day when I go to work that I’m going to make a difference in someone’s life. But it can be grinding, the intensity of it. And devastating when you lose a patient. I felt like I was getting hardened. And that was making me lose my connection with my patients. I needed to reconnect with my love for this job in order to actually help them get better.”
Elizabeth started recording one-minute Biographs on her drive home, reflecting on a moment in the day that moved her—or frustrated her. She kept the details vague to avoid violating patient confidentiality and posted them publicly. Soon she had a following of other nurses and healthcare providers on Biograph, who would listen to her stories and post their own, sympathizing when she struggled and sharing in her moments of joy. With the audience she built on Biograph, she launched a podcast, “Memoirs in Medicine,” which features honest, in-depth conversations about the struggles that healthcare professionals face. And she still records a biograph on her way home every day.