Roni Zeiger: Making Smart Patients Smarter

Roni Zeiger received his M.D. from Stanford University and completed his residency at UC San Francisco. He has written several medical text books and taught as a clinical instructor of medicine at Stanford University, while earning his Master’s degree in biomedical informatics from Stanford.

Zeiger created a tool called Diagnosaurus that helps doctors remember potential diagnoses for particular symptoms. It has now been created into a smartphone app used by over 100,000 doctors and medical students.

Zeiger was the Chief Health Strategist at Google, where he was responsible for items such as Google Flu Trends and Symptom Search, where Google uses algorithms to find health conditions related to symptom queries searched in their engine.

His familiarity with searching the web for health issues, ranging from support groups to clinical trials, has led him to team up with Gilles Frydman to found Smart Patients. A few months ago Smart Patients became available to the public, inviting cancer patients and care givers to join the support network to find and discuss clinical trials and other treatments. With this website, Zeiger is bringing together the disparate community of people who have become cancer experts from their close experience with the disease. Smart Patients capitalizes on the collective knowledge of individuals with the hope of improving the quality of caner patients’ lives, while making it easier to find relative information on clinical trials and rare aspects of the disease.

Zeiger is currently the CEO of Smart Patients, as well as a part time Community Staff Physician at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center.

Hear him explain his idea for the intersection of social media and health care, in this TEDMED video explaining Smart Patients.

Or, hear him discuss his latest work for yourself at this year’s The Atlantic Meets the Pacific, presented by UC San Diego Extension and the Atlantic Magazine. The conference will be held on October 2 through 4 at the Scripps Seaside Forum and the Qualcomm Institute in La Jolla, California.

For more information on registration, please visit

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