“Chasing the Cure,” the groundbreaking new show from former “Today” show host Ann Curry, is proving that today’s social media-fueled hyper-connectedness can be harnessed for good — and even save lives.
The program, which airs Thursdays on TBS and TNT, features patients broadcasting their undiagnosed, misdiagnosed or uncured medical mysteries. Then, a team of medical professionals are brought in to try and assist the patient — all on live TV.
What separates “Chasing the Cure” from other medical shows is the “crowdsourcing” element: Viewers are able to dial in, text or use hashtags on social media to comment with their thoughts about the patient’s individual case, or share their experiences and suggestions regarding what the patient might be suffering from.
“There are more than 250 million people in the world with undiagnosed illnesses, and that’s a shocking number,” Curry told The Christian Post. “We’re giving these people an opportunity to come before doctors and find answers they wouldn’t have found otherwise.”
“We’re siloed by where we live, by our medical insurance, by how many specialists we can get to, and by what we can financially afford to reach,” she said. “Often, people are unable to get the care they need. We have a wonderful country with amazing quality of medicine that most people don’t have access to. We’re trying to punch a hole in those dialogues and see what’s possible.”
Curry told CP the idea for the show came after her colleague, Jennifer O’Connell, saw that her son’s teacher had posted an appeal on Facebook about her husband being sick.
“The couple couldn’t afford care and they couldn’t figure out the source of his illness,” she said. “She thought, ‘What if live TV could amplify these kinds of stories?’ From there, everything snowballed.”
From the very beginning, the seasoned journalist said she’s viewed herself, first and foremost, as a “patient advocate.”
“What made me say yes was, I was promised that we would proceed with every major decision made with patients first,” she said. “And they have kept that promise.”
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leah MarieAnn Klett