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Q&A: New app assists with medical marijuana use (Includes interview)

GoFire’s app matches cannabinoids, the primary compounds in cannabis, to symptoms including pain management, insomnia and anxiety to identify the specific products best suited for the symptom. In addition, GoFire server’s combines big data and personal health by housing a user’s dosing information and anonymously comparing it to the results of the GoFire community. This helps patients and doctors make better decisions regarding product and dosing needs by crowdsourcing which products work best for specific ailments.

To find out more about this medical home care related application, Digital Journal spoke with GoFire CEO Peter Calfee.

Digital Journal: How important is digital technology becoming for healthcare?

Peter Calfee: As healthcare continues to advance, digital technology is becoming increasingly important to that movement. With digital technology, healthcare becomes more accessible and automated. The patient’s search for relief gets easier with crowdsourced efficacy data, reducing trial and error while creating confidence and consistency. At the same time, physicians are gaining more insight and control over their patients’ dosing regimens with new remote patient monitoring software and machine learning through big data.

DJ: How popular is the use of plant-based medicine becoming in the U.S.?

Calfee: The popularity of plant-based medicine continues to grow in the US. Almost half of Americans have opened the plant-based medicine cabinet and 25 percent of “modern” pharmaceuticals trace their active ingredients to the natural world.

DJ: How about medical marijuana specifically. What is leading to its popularity?

Calfee: More and more Americans are beginning to accept plant medicine as a legitimate medicine. Now, medical cannabis is legal in 31 states across the country. Research studies and education initiatives have led to increased popularity and acceptance, however, there is still not enough information out there and there is a lack of control that needs to be solved before cannabis is proven as a real medicine.

DJ: Why did you develop Gofire?

Calfee: We set out on this journey to solve the inherent problem found in plant medicine: inconsistency. We believe that patients deserve clarity and choice when it comes to their medicine. To achieve this, we needed to provide them with education, efficacy data, and a platform to control every aspect of their dose regimen. We also needed to give physicians the ability to monitor efficacy for their patients so they can better recommend products and dose sizes that will actually work. Finally, we believe it is time for the masses to take plant medicine seriously.

We designed the Gofire device and platform with FDA approval in mind so we can push clinical research on the effectiveness of different formulas for specific ailments. We will collect real data to make real conclusions on the medical applications of plant medicines, so as to finally shine a light in a dark room.

DJ: What does Gofire do?

Calfee: Gofire provides trusted relief for life’s toughest ailments by giving patients access to a community of like-minded individuals all striving towards the same goal: to feel better. The Gofire app brings clarity and confidence in choosing which products and dose sizes work best for any specific ailment by using algorithms to analyze anonymous patient feedback. The app helps patients find which products are right for them while giving them the ability to dose those products and track each session to discover trends and create a consistent, repeatable experience.

DJ: Is personalized medicine set to develop further?

Calfee: Personalization has been a growing movement, from our playlists and fashion to our phone cases and Coca-Cola cans. Traditionally, medicine has been developed to target an entire population. Recently, it has been recognized that each patient carries unique traits which could cause variations in the way their body responds to a certain medicine. This understanding is catalyzing new technologies and ideas to make medicine more personal. With continued advancements, individual patients will finally receive treatment/medicines specific to, and best suited for them.

DJ: Did you bring medical professionals to assist with the functionality?

Calfee: To create the most precise dose delivery systems and to take plant medicine into the mainstream, it was necessary for us to bring in a strong team of medical professionals with complementary backgrounds. Gofire CTO Joe Keenan was brought in with expertise in pulmonary drug delivery to assist with device functionality. In addition, we have built a robust medical advisory board and actively work with physicians and clinicians to gain insight, scientific direction, and expertise on best practices so we can provide the best possible medication solution for both patients and their caregivers.

DJ: Does Gofire collect data? If so, what happens to the data?

Calfee: Gofire collects anonymous consumer feedback on products and experiences in addition to tracking every aspect of a medication session, from dose size and temperature to time and frequency. By combining all of this data and implementing machine learning, our system is able to use algorithms to identify which products and dose sizes are working best for any specific ailment. This allows patients to learn from the community and find products best suited to them so they can create predictable, consistent results.

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Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, business, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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