Stumptown Startups Blog

Portland startup hopes to change the face of medical training

Portland startup hopes to change the face of medical training »Play Video
Michelle Oulman (not pictured) and her daughter, Emelia, have agreed to be videotaped and added to the ReelDX video library for future learning.

Portland startup, ReelDx, believes it’s leading to better, faster medical diagnoses in children and potentially saving lives.

Not every startup can say that.

ReelDx offers a large video library showcasing real patients alongside their symptoms and actual diagnoses in the hopes of better preparing medical professionals.

Dr. David Spiro, who works in pediatric emergency medicine at OHSU, co-founded ReelDx.

"Things you can’t learn in a textbook or in an online reference are things we can provide with short, less than one minute videos of doctors shooting their own patients," said Spiro.

Families of the patients featured have agreed to be videotaped and used in the video library.

"I think it's a great system. People need to see these things in real-life, and reading about it in books isn't enough to understand what you're dealing with," said one Portland patient’s mother. "I think it's innovative and the way of the future."

Spiro highlighted a few of the videos offered, showing one teenage boy in rural Oregon. He went to his doctor complaining of shortness of breath.

"One might, if this child shows up at an emergency department, might get a chest x-ray, breathing treatments, maybe even steroids because he’s concerned this may be an asthma attack," said Spiro. "This child was diagnosed with anxiety."

Spiro said this helps other medical students and doctors recognize a possibility in future patients. He feels a text description or still picture couldn’t provide the same experience or knowledge.

Spiro and his business partner, Bill Kelly, launched ReelDx in October 2013. Subscribers can access the video library for $49 a year. While the video library currently only features pediatric cases, the founders are working to expand their system to include adult emergency medicine and dermatology.

"It's a very, very powerful medium," said Dr. Spiro. "I think the opportunity for students to see how good practice occurs, how good doctor-patient interactions occur, is priceless."