Innovative Figure 1 Medical Information App [Interview] [Transcript]


Guest: Dr. Joshua Landy

Presenter: Neal Howard

Guest Bio: Dr. Joshua Landy is a practicing critical care specialist. In 2012, Joshua was invited to become a visiting scholar at Stanford University, where he researched online and multimedia-oriented approaches to health education. Joshua serves as Figure 1‘s Chief Medical Officer and continues to practice medicine

Segment overview:  Dr. Joshua Landy, Figure 1’s Chief Medical Officer, discusses the innovative Figure 1 Medical Information App.


Neal Howard: Hello and welcome to the program, I’m your host Neal Howard. Thank you for joining here today on Health Professional Radio. Our guest today is Dr. Joshua Landy. He is a practicing critical care specialist. Now, back in 2012, he was invited to become a visiting scholar at Stanford University and there, he researched online in multimedia oriented approaches to health education. He also serves as Figure 1’s Chief Medical Officer as he continues to practice medicine as well. He’s here today to talk with us about Figure 1. Welcome to the Health Professional Radio Dr. Josh Landy.

Joshua Landy: Thank you very much. It’s nice to be here with you Neal.

N: Thank you for joining us.

J: My pleasure.

N: You’ve done research and this research has been in online and multimedia oriented approaches to health education. Are we talking eHealth, telehealth? What exactly is Figure 1’s role in this industry?

J: I’m glad you put the contacts to their research in there because really, as a result of that research, the Figure 1 came into being. What I was telling at Stanford was essentially the following question; ‘What are young healthcare professionals doing on their mobile phones toward medicine?’. Everyone knows that the internet is provided just an enormous boost to the availability of interesting data and research. It may takes so much searchable and more easily accessible and the things that boosted that by maybe 10 or 100 times has been available on mobile devices and other people can look things up anytime. You no longer have to even leave the bad side to be able to get information about something you’re seeing, if you’re a student or you’re a learner in healthcare. Keep in mind that people who work in the field of healthcare are remain learners throughout their entire career. Even if you’re no longer technically a medical student. Even if you’re not still in medical school, you are still learning new things nearly every day in the clinic. The idea that people are using their mobile devices to educate themselves and each other, made perfect sense to me. It was something that I was already seeing both in my own practice and in the practice of my colleagues around me. Essentially, this research was just meant to confirm. Then yes, people are discussing medical cases on their phones every day. The degree that they we’re doing it, blew me away on the idea that this is happening tens of thousands of times every day that a medical practitioner might have a question for their colleagues, or a test for their students, or a request from a learner to a teacher. All of this is being done my describing a patient’s case, sometimes, taking a photograph of relevant piece of information and sending those cases around for discussion. This behavior is so, so valuable that it was being lost because people we’re simply texting it or emailing it to each other. And so, the idea for Figure 1 arose out of the need or the desire to preserve all of these amazing conversations that are happening around the globe because if you could search for a conversation that two top cardiologists had with each other. You get learn about differentiating, one arrhythmia from another. You would be able to learn a lot from just watching that conversation happen or unfold.

N: Exactly how far reaching is this app, is this Figure 1? How far reaching is it? Where is it being used?

J: Well, when we first started Neal, it was just a local in North America. Although, years later now, we’re seeing the population picked this app all over the world. Our patient can sent forms which are built into the app for patients’ ability to sort of permit there, give healthcare professionals their permission to use the case. Those are available in 47 languages and the app itself is being used in a 190 countries now.

N: A 190 countries and that many languages. Okay, it’s that far reaching? Here in the United States, what percentage of medical students would you say are actually using this app?

J: This app is currently being used by over 70% of medical students.

N: That’s huge.

J: It’s unbelievable. I think it’s sort of speaks to the fact that most medical students today, even consider themselves too young for Facebook. They find Facebook to be the old thing, Snapchat, and other tools are the new thing. We’ve built Figure 1 and learn our lessons from some of the best media companies out there. Our goal is to take these interactions and put them in a place where they can be used in a lightweight way, that people will understand how to use this tool immediately without any instruction. We’re trying to build a version of medical communication platform that fits perfectly into the 21st century. This is for today’s physicians.

N: Okay. A huge number of medical students here in the United States are using it and millions of healthcare professionals worldwide are having this conversation, a 190 plus countries, several, more that several different languages and you’re talking about mobile devices, these phones. Are we talking this app is for personal use, physician to a student, student to physician, pharmacies to pharmacies and that sort of thing. Are there any institutions that are actually using this technology to their benefit? Maybe distributing it to all of their employees or something similar?

J: We’ve built this on what we think, either a permission list innovation. Which means, we want any healthcare professional to be able to pick this app and interact not only with people in their own specialty but also cross-disciplinary learning. Yes, there’s lots of students teaching students and doctors teaching doctors. But there’s also pharmacies teaching nursing students and physiotherapists teaching pharmacists. The network goes deep and it crosses over itself, many, many different ways. In terms of institutions that are using it, we currently have partnerships with the number of groups who are using this to spread knowledge where it needs to go. Those are groups like Doctors Without Borders, the British Medical Journal Group, even the American Cancer Society and a number of other medical journals as well.

N: With all of these conversations taking place and even I guess, patient consent, isn’t there still a privacy issue that exists, a compliance issue when it comes to all of this extremely sensitive healthcare information?

J: Of course. It was the number one concern when we started building this tool. Privacy is our number one concern at Figure 1. We know that this is a huge and important deal for healthcare professionals as well. That’s why we did this, we build all of these tools and bake them into the platform. We call that ‘Privacy by Design’. In order to make sure that healthcare professionals always have the tools they need to be able to transmit this information while protecting patients’ privacy. We even have a 24 hour a day privacy moderation team that reviews every single post manually before it’s publicly posted to make sure that no patient private data is ever release at Figure 1.

N: Now, where can we go online and get some more information about Figure 1?

J: You can learn as much as you need to at the website or you can find it for free in the App Store or Google Play Store if you look at Figure 1.

N: Great. It has been an absolute pleasure talking with you today Josh Landy.

J: Thank you very much.

N: Thank you. You’ve been listening to Health Professional Radio in this Health Supplier Segment with Dr. Joshua Landy. Transcripts and audio of this program are available at, also at You can subscribe to this podcast on iTunes. Listen in and download on SoundCloud also, see us on Youtube.

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