HealCam: a ChatRoulette for health

HealCam is a ChatRoulette variant that invites you to select a disease, medical condition, or health issue (Crohn's, back pain, pregnancy, bipolar disorder, allergies, HIV, etc) and connects you with someone else who shares your problems, so you can share notes. Sounds like a helpful way to find tips and commiseration when you need it.



  1. Oh man. Because the internet really needed another way for hypochondriacs to self-diagnose with every conceivable illness.

    (ok, I see the benefits of this, but there’s no way it won’t immediately turn into troll city)

    1. Yup – I can already see the Morgellon’s channel forming. Mind you, if it gives people somewhere to send pictures of what they found in the toilet bowl that morning other than my inbox then I guess I’m in favour.

  2. I’ve always wanted to find people with the same illness as me… and then watch them having a wank.

  3. Wouldn’t be surprised if some insurance agency was behind this. Great way to collect specific health related info. Maybe a Social Security Investigator might “friend” you? I can only imagine the web cam show and tell.

  4. When you’re sick, you realize that you’re boring the hell out of everyone you know when you go on and on about it. That doesn’t mean you can just shut up about it. You often have to pay people to care about your problems, but hey, maybe the internet can do it for free. Also, the internet can be your social lifeline

  5. Biggest problem is that last time I checked there were only 2 users online.

    These types of things need a large userbase to work.

  6. Maybe Community Heath Workers in the developing world could use the HealCam service as 24/7 emergency hotline for remote consultations with other CHWs, midwifes and doctors?

    1. Yep. Countdown until /b/ selects “Epilepsy” from the dropdown, and displays flashing images in an attempt to trigger seizures…


  7. Maybe it’ll end up ruined by griefers, or maybe it’ll just be flooded by thousands of men sharing their priapisms.

  8. As a person with Rheumatoid Arthritis (15 years) who regularly heads to usenet forums for discussions about issues/diet/meds/support, I found this An intriguing idea. Sometimes you really do need someone simply to commiserate with. But of course realized the pitfalls that are bound to arise as pointed out here in comments. This. Will. Not. Work. I would to think that it could but it won’t.

    That being said, reading some of the over-the-top cynical comments about those with chronic disease all I can offer is a big’ol cup of poop snacks. Screw you and be thankful for for not knowing what it is to live everyday in pain.

    Yes, most holistic care is bullshit, but when you have to deal with pain or the craptacular side affects if being on multiple meds you’ll try just about anything.

    In my case the daily choice is: a). Cope with pain and not be able to pick up your kids or b). Better living through chemicals and enjoy having the memory retention of a carrot all the while trying not to throw up on your kids.

    Sorry for the rant, but shit like these comments need to be tempered with a dose of reality.

    PAIN is an extremely good motivator.

    1. Not sure if I’m one of the commenters you were talking about Anon, but I apologise if my flippancy caused you distress. My comments were directed more towards imaginary conditions like Morgellons and the paranoia that drives people to send me photos of their poo because I have a parasitology website. It certainly wasn’t directed at folks like yourself who have real diseases like the fantastic pile of crap that is RA. If the site helps people in your situation, then I guess that balances the problems that arise when people with a common delusion get together to share.

  9. Thanks Wormman, no idea if it was you just a general sense from the comments that I got.

    I was in a crappy mood and went off unnecessarily. I should’ve toned it down and not been so defensive.

    I feel for you having to deal with unwanted solicitations.

    Quick anecdote about my RA:

    After trying multiple things to deal with the nausea resulting from the methotrexate/sulfasalazine combo, I headed down to the Medical Mary Jane clinic toting my records and med all prepared to make my case. As I sat down with the doctor I said “I have RA and the meds cause…” before I could even finish, he said “RA? Ain’t that one the shits! Here you go.” and he handed me my paperwork.

    I couldn’t help but laugh.

    As for the HealCam, I won’t even touch it. There are support boards out there for everything, though I prefer Usenet. It is enough of a tech filter that the discussions remain reasonably intelligent.

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