Posted by admin | October 21, 2011
This weekend, MIT is hosting the first H@cking Medicine conference and PatientsLikeMe is proud to be a sponsor. The hacking encouraged here isn’t malicious, rather, it refers to a passionate subculture of computer programmers who believe in sharing, openness, and innovation (among other things). Those are three concepts near and dear to us here at PatientsLikeMe.
The goal of the conference is to inspire new ideas and create new relationships so that everyone will leave invigorated and excited about improving healthcare. According to the H@cking Medicine website, “By using available tools in unconventional ways, we aim to revolutionize delivery of care, empower patients, and design new models of care. Typically, healthcare innovation is painfully slow and, even worse, often increases the cost. We can make a difference by creating cost-effective solutions without waiting for fundamental advances in science.”
To kick off the event on the first day, our own Jamie Heywood (keynote) as well as other leaders in the health care field will inspire audience members with ways to find and learn from the best use of openly shared data. The second day is dedicated to team hacking, and gives coders a practical look at what can be done with the available resources.
Read more about this subculture of hackers on Wikipedia and follow the H@cking Medicine conference updates on their website and Twitter.
Posted by Lori Piscatelli Scanlon | October 10, 2008
A few nights ago, I was honored to give a keynote at the second Health 2.0 Northeast conference held right here in our Cambridge, MA backyard. It’s exciting to see old friends and new emerging start-ups coming together to try and make a dent in the $2 trillion industry that is healthcare in the U.S. In the world of Health 2.0, we have a lot of great opportunities to impact healthcare in a positive way, including shaking things up and putting patients back at the center. With so many new and promising companies emerging in the space (many in attendance at the Boston event), we have to start thinking about what happens next. How can we really make change, and what changes need to be made?
I believe we, as the eHealth community, need to focus on two major goals: 1) solve patients’ problems, and 2) create business models that allow us to do #1. The PatientsLikeMe business model is straightforward. We build online communities where patients share structured information about their disease to help themselves and others. In turn, we make money by selling that data. We are open with our patients about how and why we sell this data (and specifically what data we sell). They understand this exchange and they’re all for it. “Sell, sell, sell” someone recently wrote in a discussion about our business model. Why? Because they know our goal in selling is to help pharmaceuticals companies, medical device companies, healthcare providers, and others in the industry learn more about patients. We’re giving those companies the kind of information that can help improve the products/services they’re creating for patients.
I don’t want to prognosticate about what types of business models will work for all Health 2.0 companies as the industry evolves (because, ultimately, this is an evolution). It’s up to each company to figure that out. I do believe that there’s no wrong path when you keep both those goals in your sights. Help patients, and create business models to do that. Moving forward as a company and as an industry, that’s exactly what we need to do. Now let’s get back to work…
Posted by admin | January 26, 2008
According to a December 2007 iCrossing survey cited by Jane Sarasohn-Kahn in her Health Populi blog “34% of Americans turn to social media for health research.”
Jane points to PatientsLikeMe and others as “proof of the reality of social media in health is alive and well and healing”, and observes that “increasing numbers of people are reaching out to others for more than the kind of support they might have found in the Compuserve health interest groups in the 1980s; they’re finding practical solutions to chronic health challenges”
Interesting reading, especially her response to one commenter that “In the case of info for PatientsLikeMe, the database on drug dosing, quality of life and outcomes throughout the MS cycle is probably richer than any other single source on the globe”.