We recently sat down with our executive team here at PatientsLikeMe in our first-ever roundtable-format podcast. In this PatientsLikeMeOnCallTM interview, we ask Co-founders Ben and Jamie Heywood, Chief Marketing Officer David S. Williams III, and R&D Director Paul Wicks PhD to discuss why our recent series themes are so important to the history and future of PatientsLikeMe.
Blog Series Themes:
“Share and Compare” – where you learned more about how and why patients like you are sharing their health information to put their experiences in context.
“One for All” – including visualizations on how one member of a community can be the catalyst for a universe of unparalleled dialogue and support.
While discussing how patients can continue to drive the health care process, they also help us preview this week’s discussion called “Treat Us Right.”
Treat Us Right
In this series, we focus on how you can see if your treatment is right, just by the information shared by patients like you; and how important your shared information is to research efforts – both for academia and industry to learn how they can help each of you make good choices about your treatments. We’ve heard you tell industry to “Treat Us Right” and we will talk more about it this week.
We kick off “Treat Us Right” week tomorrow with Research Scientist Catherine Brownstein, MPH, PhD describing why it’s critical to compare the PatientsLikeMe communities with the general population of the diseases to begin to assess the validity of treatment outcomes reported on the site. Stay tuned.
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“I want to know if what I’m going through is normal for a patient like me.” This is a sentiment we’ve heard from so many of you throughout our communities. This week, we’re focusing our blog on some of the ways we’re trying to help you put your experiences in context. It’s a concept we like to call “share and compare.”
From a design standpoint, we’ve been focusing on how to help you see how your status relates to other patients with the same condition. By showing where you fit within a larger group, you can begin to see if your experiences are typical. The more data you share, the more you can compare your experience to others.
Here are some of the changes we’ve made this year along these lines, as well as the benefits to patients like you:
Treatment pages: Now you can view the most commonly prescribed treatments for your condition and see where you fit in with the treatments you’re taking. Want to see if the dosage you’re on is in line with others? Now, you can. (You can also use this to discuss dosage questions with your doctor)
Individual treatment reports: When you view a report for an individual treatment, you can get some additional context, including how your reasons taken, side effects and dosages relate to those reported by other patients. Again, it’s a great way to see if your side effects or dosages are typical, and then use this information in your discussions with your healthcare team.
Condition history: When you answer questions in the condition history section of your profile, you can now see how you compare to the larger community based those items, including diagnosis status, age at diagnosis, condition type, family history and more. Are there a lot of other newly diagnosed patients like you? Maybe there are a lot more people with many years of experience with your condition to whom you can reach out to for support. All of this data helps you compare your experiences with those of the larger community.
Over the next few days, we’ll continue to highlight how patients like you are putting their experiences in context and what value they’re getting from being able to compare it with others. Sign up for an email alert of new blogs or just stay tuned right here!
At PatientsLikeMe, people with every type of condition are coming together to share their health experiences, find patients like them and learn how to take control of their health. The result is improved care for patients as well as an acceleration of real-world medical research.
Stay tuned to our blog for the latest happenings with our company, our patients and our mission of opening up the healthcare system.