- Netflix is releasing a new health-centered documentary series called Diagnosis, which uncovers patients' journey to answers in light of inexplicable symptoms.
- Diagnosis is based off Dr. Lisa Sanders's long-standing New York Times column that encourages readers to investigate new conditions and suggests ways to seek help.
- Diagnosis will air August 16 and aim to highlight shortcomings of the American healthcare system as we approach the 2020 Presidential Election.
As much as the internet can be a dark place, it can also be a lifesaving resource that provides individuals with helpful information, a means to communicate with distant loved ones, and in some cases, a diagnosis for inexplicable diseases.
"What if social media could save lives?" asks Dr. Lisa Sanders, associate professor at the Yale University School of Medicine, in the trailer for the Netflix documentary series Diagnosis. For the seven individuals living with chronic illness documented in the upcoming series, the generosity of strangers on social media turned their lives around for the better.
What is Diagnosis based on?
The seven-part series was modeled after Sanders's popular New York Times column that follows patients with debilitating mystery conditions that left many doctors bewildered. In each episode, Sanders studies the medical history of people with undiagnosed illnesses, including a Gulf War veteran suffering from seizures and memory loss, a child with paralysis, and a teenager with persistent nausea following a bite from a rodent.
Sanders then invites the internet to help investigate the mystery illness, in the hopes that a combination of crowdsourcing, social media, and medical expertise will lead to some answers for her patients. "Using the internet, we have the ability to harness all of the intelligence of people around the planet," Sanders says in the Diagnosis trailer.
Sanders has received "hundreds and sometimes thousands" of responses from readers with ideas about what the conditions may be, according to The Times, and their commentary is then shared with the patients and their doctors to hopefully lead to an official diagnosis.
"The generosity of the people who read the column and were willing to spend real time trying to figure out these mysteries—to me, that was just extraordinary," Dr. Sanders told to The Times. Oftentimes, Sanders's featured patients found other individuals around the world who were going through a similar situation, and they connected about their experiences.
"It's so amazing to be able to present a story and have it heard quite literally around the world—and have people talk back," Sanders told CNET. "And that's really so much this moment in time. I still can't get over it."
When does Diagnosis premiere?
The documentary will air on August 16 and aims to spark conversations about the American healthcare system in light of the 2020 presidential election. According to producers, the goal of Diagnosis is not to disclose the cracks and failures of the American healthcare system, although healthcare access is a key theme in the series.
"We're not out to slam the traditional medical establishment," co-producer Jonathan Chinn told CNET, "but we wanted to outline the fact that crowdsourcing could be an enhancement to it."
"The doctor is not the only person who's involved in the issue. The family is, the friends, the friends of friends who hear about it," Sanders told CNET. "So doctors aren't the only ones who have this experience to draw from."
Not all patients in the series find answers, but each individual gets a little closer to understanding their health and paints the path for a hopeful future. "We know more every year, but we have so much more to know," Sanders told the outlet. "Of the people who don't get a diagnosis right away, some tiny fragment are just going to have something that just hasn't been discovered yet."
Watch Diagnosis on Netflix on August 16, 2019.
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Everything You Need to Know About Netflix's New 'Diagnosis' Documentary, Source:https://www.prevention.com/life/a28675579/diagnosis-documentary-release-date/