Crowdsourced patient-reporting platform suggests 84% of US back surgeries ultimately ineffective


Health Outcome, a consumer website focused on bridging the information gap for treatment outcomes, has launched the first crowdsourcing platform for patients to rate their treatment experiences and help others find evidence based cures.

Health Outcome is currently the largest database for orthopaedic treatment ratings, according to a press release. In just a few months patients have written over 50,000 treatment ratings and reviews, sharing evidence based cures for the USA’s most common and costly back and foot injuries. With Health Outcome, patients can compare the effectiveness of multiple treatments including both invasive and non-invasive, less risky treatments, according to the release.

Over 25,000 ratings for lower back pain treatments reveal that 84% of patients are still in pain years after surgery. These outcomes are lower than for most other treatments. The data also suggest that one back surgery is likely to leads to more, and that more surgeries may lead to a higher likelihood of reporting pain.

Health Outcome was founded by Ofer Ben-Shachar, perceiving a dearth of patient outcomes data available when attempting to research potential surgical options for a health problem. “After multiple running and biking injuries, I was operated on and unable to exercise for four years,” he says. “When doctors recommended a second surgery, I wanted evidence that this surgery was the right choice. I was unable to find any outcome data – none!”

“Health Outcome is modernising healthcare by capturing the voice of patient and making it easy for patients to research and compare treatments’ long term impact on patients like them,” says Oliver Aalami, a vascular surgeon at Stanford University.