|Industry||Managed health care|
|Headquarters||New York, New York, United States|
|Jaan Tallinn – Founder|
|Products||Personalized medical research|
MetaMed Research was a medical consulting firm aiming to provide high-end personalized medical research services. It was founded in 2012 by Michael Vassar (previously of the Singularity Institute), Jaan Tallinn (co-founder of Skype and Kazaa), Zvi Mowshowitz, and Nevin Freeman with startup funding from Silicon Valley investor Peter Thiel. Metamed stated that its researchers were drawn from top universities, as well as prominent technology companies such as Google.
Vassar founded MetaMed to apply the principles of rationality as taught by Eliezer Yudkowsky to medicine, having left Yudkowsky's Singularity Institute to do so. MetaMed was intended to provide an alternative to typical healthcare by providing higher quality research. Vassar explained,
Vassar had left to found MetaMed, a personalized-medicine company, with Jaan Tallinn of Skype and Kazaa, $500,000 from Peter Thiel, and a staff that included young rationalists who had cut their teeth arguing on Yudkowsky’s website. The idea behind MetaMed was to apply rationality to medicine — "rationality" here defined as the ability to properly research, weight, and synthesize the flawed medical information that exists in the world. Prices ranged from $25,000 for a literature review to a few hundred thousand for a personalized study. "We can save lots and lots and lots of lives," Vassar said (if mostly moneyed ones at first). "But it’s the signal — it's the 'Hey! Reason works!' — that matters. It's not really about medicine." Our whole society was sick — root, branch, and memeplex — and rationality was the only cure.
Company researchers gathered detailed medical information on each client, using this as the basis for the creation of personalized research reports for various conditions (or, in some cases, for the purpose of client performance enhancement). It also assessed the expected value of various tests, and created maps of correlations between possible medical conditions. One aim of the company was to aid doctors with advanced artificial intelligence and data from information experts.
MetaMed's personalized medical research services were targeted at the market for concierge medicine, with prices ranging from a few thousand dollars to hundreds of thousands.
By 2015, MetaMed was defunct, which Tallinn attributed to the difficulty of producing research results and limited interest from consumers.
Tallinn learned the importance of feedback loops himself the hard way, after seeing the demise of one of his startups, medical consulting firm Metamed.