8 posts tagged “Robert Wood Johnson Foundation”

RWJF Awards Grant to PatientsLikeMe to Develop New Measures for Healthcare Performance

Posted December 8th, 2015 by

Patient Network to Work with the National Quality Forum to Ensure Patients Drive Healthcare Value  

CAMBRIDGE, MA., December 8, 2015PatientsLikeMe has been awarded a $900,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) to help jumpstart changes that will amplify the patient voice in the measurement of healthcare performance.

A portion of the grant funds a collaboration between PatientsLikeMe and the National Quality Forum (NQF) to develop, test and facilitate the broader use of patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) to assess patient-reported health status. While PROMs have been used in clinical research, they are rarely used in routine clinical care to assess provider performance. In such settings, performance is primarily assessed by what was done to the patient (using process measures) and what happened to the patient (using clinical outcome measures), but not always by what may be most important to the patient.

The grant comes as value-based purchasing is gaining ground in both the public and private sectors, with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) setting aggressive targets for linking performance related to quality, value and patient-centered care to payment. “Measuring what is relevant, useful and actionable for patients has never been more important,” said PatientsLikeMe Co-founder and President Ben Heywood. “This initiative will help quantify the patient experience at the clinical level, so that real patient outcomes can start to prompt changes in behavior, help tailor care, and improve reimbursement. With it, we’ll start to move the whole system toward more patient-centered care.”

NQF is a not-for-profit, nonpartisan, multi-stakeholder, membership-based organization that works to help advance improvements in healthcare. It evaluates, endorses, and selects measures of quality, safety and cost for accountability. The collaboration with PatientsLikeMe is one of several that are part of NQF’s new Measure Incubator, an innovative effort that holds the potential to facilitate measure development and testing more efficiently through collaboration and partnership.

NQF’s Chief Scientific Officer, Helen Burstin, MD, MPH, sees the collaboration with PatientsLikeMe as the answer to an urgent need for new measures that can improve health and healthcare outcomes.

We have an abundance of clinical measures, but we need to better incorporate the voice of the patient into performance measurement,” said Dr. Burstin. “We must be able to accurately measure and understand the patient’s day-to-day experience living with pain and fatigue as well as how they are functioning with routine activities to get the full picture. PatientsLikeMe’s inherent focus on patients will move us closer to having the patient voice be the driver and definer of health care value.”

Creating measures that matter to patients became easier in 2013 when RWJF gave PatientsLikeMe a grant to create the Open Research Exchange (ORE), an open-participation platform that allows researchers to connect with PatientsLikeMe’s 380,000 members to create, test and validate new measures. The collaboration with NQF will initially use the ORE platform to ask patients to prioritize measures, then PatientsLikeMe will develop and test them. This process will ensure that when implemented in clinical care settings, the measures broadly show a patient population’s progress and reflect health outcomes that are important to patients that can then be used to assess an organization’s performance and ultimately to determine reimbursement.

About Patient-Reported Outcomes Tools & Performance Measures

Patient-reported outcomes (PROs) are defined as any report of the status of a patient’s (or person’s) health condition, health behavior, or experience with healthcare that comes directly from the patient, without interpretation of the patient’s response by a clinician or anyone else. Various tools such as questionnaires, scales, or single-item measures that enable researchers, administrators, clinicians and others to assess patient-reported health status for physical, mental, and social well-being are referred to as PRO measures (PROMs). PROMs have been commonly used in clinical research because they are based on patient input, and can help ensure that the treatments developed actually help people feel better and improve symptoms or function. Their application in the clinical care setting is limited, but growing interest among various stakeholders is moving PROMs into more routine use for performance measurement. An example of this is the widely used Patient Health Questionnaire 9 (PHQ-9) that screens and monitors the severity of depression. In a clinical setting, PROMs can help monitor patient progress over time at the individual and population level and support shared decision making. A PRO performance measure (PRO-PM) is based on aggregated patient-reported data and is used to assess quality of care for accountable entities, such as hospitals, physician practices or accountable care organizations (ACOs). NQF endorses PRO-PMs for purposes of performance improvement and accountability.

Contact
PatientsLikeMe
Katherine Bragg
kbragg@patientslikeme.com
617.548.1375


PatientsLikeMe Develops Patient and Scientific Advisory Boards

Posted September 17th, 2014 by

Company Forms First Member-Based Team of Advisors,
Names New Participants to ORE Scientific Advisory Board

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—September 17, 2014—PatientsLikeMe has formed its first-ever, patient-only Team of Advisors to give feedback on research initiatives and create new standards that will help all researchers understand how to better engage with patients. The company also named three new members to the Scientific Advisory Board for Open Research Exchange (ORE), a PatientsLikeMe platform where researchers design, test and share new measures for diseases and health issues. ORE was created with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

A long-time advocate for the patient voice in medical research, PatientsLikeMe posted an open call for the patient-led Team of Advisors in its member forums and was overwhelmed with applications. “Our members are at the heart of our pioneering approach to research, and they’re very focused on sharing their experience to improve medicine,” said Executive Vice President of Marketing and Patient Advocacy Michael Evers. “Now their voice will extend even further as we continue to revolutionize the way that healthcare is developed and delivered.”

Team members are representative of the PatientsLikeMe community at large and include veterans, nurses, social workers, academics, and advocates. They range in age from 32 to 67 years old, and two thirds are female. They are also living with a cross section of conditions, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), attention deficit disorder (ADD), bipolar II, epilepsy, Fabry’s disease, fibromyalgia, lupus, major depressive disorder (MDD), multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease. Members named to the team include: Letitia Browne-James, Emilie Burr, Lisa Cone-Swartz, Charles DeRosa, Amy Fees, Geof Hill, Dana Hunter, Rebecca Lorraine, Kitty O’Steen, Steve Reznick, Karla Rush, and Deborah Shuman. Bryan Kincaid, an initial member of the team living with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), passed away last month. “The data that Bryan shared on his condition and his contributions to the team live on and will continue to have lasting impact,” Evers said.

The Team of Advisors has already met in person and will spend 12 months providing feedback to PatientsLikeMe’s research team. As part of their work, they will develop and publish a guide that outlines standards for how researchers can meaningfully engage patients throughout the research process. Amy Fees, who is living with Fabry and lupus, said: “I feel encouraged that the particular people chosen for this team share a passion for making something more out of their diseases than an affliction and a curse.”

PatientsLikeMe also added three advisors to its ORE Scientific Advisory Board. The group was formed in 2013 to lend scientific, academic, industry, and patient expertise to ORE. New advisors include:

  • Dr. Helen Burstin, Chief Scientific Officer of The National Quality Forum;
  • Eugene Nelson, Professor of Community and Family Medicine and Director of the Dartmouth Institute’s Population Health Measurement Program;
  • Ken Wallston, Professor of Psychology in the School of Nursing, Vanderbilt University.

Information on all ORE Scientific Advisory Board members is available at https://www.openresearchexchange.com/advisors.

About ORE
PatientsLikeMe’s Open Research Exchange (ORE) was launched in 2013 as an online hub to help researchers design, test and openly share new ways to measure diseases and health issues. ORE involves patients at each step of the measure development process, enabling PatientsLikeMe’s members to guide and contribute to research so that it better reflects their needs. ORE is supported by grants from The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

About PatientsLikeMe
PatientsLikeMe® (www.patientslikeme.com) is a patient network that improves lives and a real-time research platform that advances medicine. Through the network, patients connect with others who have the same disease or condition and track and share their own experiences. In the process, they generate data about the real-world nature of disease that help researchers, pharmaceutical companies, regulators, providers, and nonprofits develop more effective products, services and care. With more than 250,000 members, PatientsLikeMe is a trusted source for real-world disease information and a clinically robust resource that has published more than 50 peer-reviewed research studies. Visit us at www.patientslikeme.com or follow us via our blog, Twitter or Facebook.

Contact
Margot Carlson Delogne
PatientsLikeMe
+1 781.492.1039
mcdelogne@patientslikeme.com


The Open Research Exchange- A talk with Paul Tarini and Ben Heywood

Posted August 30th, 2013 by

Founded on a philosophy of “openness,” PatientsLikeMe aggregates patient-reported data from over 200,000 members on 2,000 diseases, analyzes them and shares the results with healthcare and life science companies to accelerate research and develop more effective treatments.

With support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, we’re now building the Open Research Exchange (ORE) so that researchers, clinicians, academics and patients can collaborate to put patients at the center of the clinical research process. ORE will be the hub where we can work together to develop new health outcome measures and increase our collective understanding of disease – faster than ever before.

Hear RWJF Senior Program Officer Paul Tarini and PatientsLikeMe Co-Founder and President Ben Heywood talk about ORE.

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PatientsLikeMe selects first pilot users for Open Research Exchange™

Posted August 13th, 2013 by

Researchers and Patients to Test New Measures for Hypertension, Treatment Burden, Appetite and Diabetes, Primary Palliative Care

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.— August 13, 2013—PatientsLikeMe has named the first four researchers and teams who will pilot test its new Open Research Exchange™ (ORE) platform. Supported by a $1.9 million grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, ORE was created to help researchers design, test and openly share new ways to measure diseases and health issues. ORE involves patients at each step of the measure development process, enabling PatientsLikeMe’s 200,000+ members to guide and contribute to research so that it better reflects their needs.

The four researchers, whose work will be shared in an open library of patient-reported instruments and health measurements, are:

  • Gerald Arnold, Ph.D., M.P.H. and Rebecca Baranowski, M.Ed., M.S. of American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM). The ABIM will create a primary palliative care questionnaire to help physicians assess how they work with seriously ill patients and their families/caregivers to manage symptoms and plan their care throughout their illnesses, well before they are at the end of life.
  • Tamara Kear, Ph.D., R.N., C.N.S., C.N.N. of Villanova University and Fresenius Medical Care. Kear will create an instrument for patients with high blood pressure to capture how they are doing between visits with their practitioner. It will also identify barriers in hypertension management, one of the factors prompting a rise in kidney disease.
  • William Polonsky, Ph.D., C.D.E. of the Behavioral Diabetes Institute. Polonsky is interested in developing a measure for diabetes patients that shows the impact of certain diabetes medications on satiety, or the feeling of being full.
  • Dr. Phillippe Ravaud, M.D., M.Sc., Ph.D. and Dr. Thi Tranviet, M.D. and Ph.D. candidate of the METHODS Research Team in Paris. They will validate a French-based questionnaire among English-speaking patients with multiple chronic conditions. The questionnaire measures the level of burden imposed by prescribed treatments so that providers know when their treatment regimes are too much for patients to handle.

Podcasts from and full details on the researchers are available at http://www.openresearchexchange.com.

PatientsLikeMe Research and Development Director Paul Wicks, Ph.D. said a wide range of researchers applied to the program after the company issued a call for participation during the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) conference in May. “We were astounded at the depth and breadth of measures that people want to create. We’re more confident than ever that our open approach and environment, and its link to a large and very active patient network, makes ORE the best platform for creating completely new ways to measure health.“

RWJF Senior Program Officer Paul Tarini said ORE’s focus on improved measurement will lead to improved care. “ORE has the potential to not only break new ground in the way research is conducted, but to help patients capture and report on outcomes that are much more meaningful to them.”

About PatientsLikeMe
PatientsLikeMe® (www.patientslikeme.com) is a patient network that improves lives and a real-time research platform that advances medicine. Through the network, patients connect with others who have the same disease or condition and track and share their own experiences. In the process, they generate data about the real-world nature of disease that help researchers, pharmaceutical companies, regulators, providers, and nonprofits develop more effective products, services and care. PatientsLikeMe is a trusted source for real-world disease information and a clinically robust resource that has published more than 35 peer-reviewed research studies. Visit us at www.patientslikeme.com or follow us via our blog, Twitter or Facebook.

About Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country. As the nation’s largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to health and health care, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, measurable, and timely change. For 40 years the Foundation has brought experience, commitment, and a rigorous, balanced approach to the problems that affect the health and health care of those it serves. When it comes to helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need, the Foundation expects to make a difference in your lifetime. For more information, visit www.rwjf.org. Follow the Foundation on Twitter www.rwjf.org/twitter or Facebook www.rwjf.org/facebook.


PatientsLikeMe Calls For Researcher Participation in New Open Research Exchange™ Platform

Posted May 20th, 2013 by

Company Names Scientific Advisory Board for World’s First
Open-Participation Research Platform for Patient-Centered Health Outcome Measures

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.— May 20, 2013—Today, PatientsLikeMe announces an open call for medical researchers to be among the first pilot users of its Open Research Exchange™ (ORE) platform (www.openresearchexchange.com). ORE puts patients at the center of the clinical research process and allows researchers to pilot, deploy, share, and validate new ways to measure diseases within PatientsLikeMe’s community of more than 200,000 members. The new platform and call for participation is being spotlighted today at the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) conference in New Orleans.

Supported by funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, PatientsLikeMe’s ORE is available for free to any researcher who wants to:

  • Leverage new, specialized tools to quickly design and field measures based on patient questionnaires;
  • Rapidly test new measures with real patients in multiple iterations, and get feedback on their instrument development;
  • Be among the first to browse and contribute to the world’s only open library of patient-reported instruments and health measurements.

PatientsLikeMe Research and Development Director Paul Wicks, Ph.D. says, “We’re excited to move to the next phase of this important project, and to create an open environment where people who are interested in advancing medicine can easily collaborate on health outcome measures.”

The company has also named an ORE Scientific Advisory Board, a group Wicks says will lend scientific, academic, industry, and patient expertise as the platform develops. The board will also recommend and introduce participants to additional technologies and partners to accelerate their work. “Our board includes some of the most renowned and respected minds in scientific research. Together, they bring the academic experience, clinical perspectives, and patient focus that will be so instrumental to ORE’s users.”

Scientific Advisory Board members, whose full profiles can be found here, are:

  • Ethan Basch, M.D. of the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center;
  • Patricia Brennan, R.N., Ph.D., of the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Nursing and College of Engineering;
  • David Cella, Ph.D. of Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, Department of Medical Social Sciences;
  • Ari Gnanasakthy, Head of Patient Reported Outcomes at Novartis;
  • Hugh Hempel, Co-Founder, Solution Therapeutics and Parent Advocist and Founder of The Addi and Cassi Fund;
  • Erin Holve, Ph.D., Senior Director of AcademyHealth;
  • Bryce Reeve, Ph.D., of University of North Carolina’s Gillings School of Global Public Health;
  • Sara Riggare, Ph.D. student at the Karolinska Institutet;
  • Sharon Terry, President and CEO of Genetic Alliance;
  • John Wilbanks, Chief Commons Officer at Sage Bionetworks and Founder of Consent to Research.

Dr. Basch says that PatientsLikeMe has fundamentally changed the landscape around patient self-reporting by proving that people “are willing and able to volunteer information that can be aggregated to provide valuable safety and effectiveness data. The opportunity for new questionnaires to be tested through online communities is exciting and novel, and is an example of investigator-patient partnering that can increase the efficiency and person-centeredness of research.”

About PatientsLikeMe
PatientsLikeMe® (www.patientslikeme.com) is a patient network that improves lives and a real-time research platform that advances medicine. Through the network, patients connect with others who have the same disease or condition and track and share their own experiences. In the process, they generate data about the real-world nature of disease that help researchers, pharmaceutical companies, regulators, providers and nonprofits develop more effective products, services and care. PatientsLikeMe is a trusted source for real-world disease information and a clinically robust resource that has published more than 30 peer-reviewed research studies. Visit us at www.patientslikeme.com or follow us via our blog, Twitter or Facebook.

About Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country. As the nation’s largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to health and health care, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, measurable, and timely change. For 40 years the Foundation has brought experience, commitment, and a rigorous, balanced approach to the problems that affect the health and health care of those it serves. When it comes to helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need, the Foundation expects to make a difference in your lifetime. For more information, visit www.rwjf.org. Follow the Foundation on Twitter www.rwjf.org/twitter  or Facebook www.rwjf.org/facebook


Creating an Open-Access Platform for Patients: An Interview with Jamie Heywood and Paul Tarini

Posted February 25th, 2013 by

RWJF has awarded PatientsLikeMe a $1.9 million grant to create the world’s first open-participation research platform to develop patient-centered health outcomes. The new platform will be linked with the PatientsLikeMe network to help researchers develop health outcome measures that better reflect patients’ experiences with a disease, and assess health and quality of life in ways that matter to patients.

Jamie Heywood, co-founder of PatientsLikeMe, and Paul Tarini, senior program officer of the Pioneer Team at RWJF, share their views on why creating an open-access platform to develop measures that matter to patients could advance meaningful treatments that improve health and advance research.

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Why is this a pioneering project?  What makes it novel?

PT: We see this as an opportunity to help improve the use of real-world data. As we look at the potential power of this data, we are concerned about how hard it is to move it out of the real world and into more formal settings where it can be applied.  Traditionally, data drawn from the day-to-day experiences of people living with disease have been viewed with real suspicion by those working in more formal settings, such as medical practice and research. So the possibility of developing a way to structure data from the real world and validate it solved a number of those problems. Also, the fact that PatientsLikeMe was willing to largely open-source the creation and availability of the outcome measures that would get produced was a very important public good the Foundation wanted to pursue.

JH: We have been thinking for a long time about how we can really shift the way health care operates into a new paradigm – a “learning health system model” that continuously measures and improves. PatientsLikeMe is helping to build this model by developing a set of integrated measures that characterize the real world state of each patient. What is novel about patient-reported outcomes is we are harnessing the best ideas for measuring each condition through a crowd-sourcing, open-source approach. This will dramatically accelerate our understanding of human health. If we can create a shared partnership with patients and researchers, it will break down a lot of silos, barriers and cost inefficiencies so we can improve and increasingly use outcome measures as a de-facto practice.  Physicist Lord William Kelvin famously said “to measure is to know.” Today we use outcome measures to understand what we practice, not to determine what we should practice. That is backwards. We want to reverse the system so that the outcome becomes the measure of medicine. If we can develop a measurement system that is openly shared and centered on the patient, we will move our knowledge forward and bring medicine to a new and important level.

How will patient-reported outcomes fill the vacuum of “measurement in medicine”?

PT: This is a critical point. We need health outcome measures that hold meaning for patients in contrast to those that are developed by providers or researchers to help them do their jobs. We have seen time and time again that there is not a perfect overlap between the interest of providers, patients, or researchers.  If patients start driving and defining what outcomes are most important to pursue, then we believe we will see some real potential for changes in clinical protocols and research agendas, which could lead to dramatic improvement in health outcomes.

JH:  Like all complex problems, there’s no simple answer to this question. Many measurements are copyrighted, expensive and unavailable for clinical use, or they’re not designed to be meaningful and useful for patients. You can find some instances where measures are used effectively overall but in general they are not part of healthcare. The ability for crowd sourcing to iterate toward measuring what is meaningful and to empower patients with those tools dramatically increases the odds that these measures will be relevant and efficient, and that they’ll be used.

What is exciting and transformative about a project that leverages data in real-world, real-time?

PT: Anybody who is living with a disease spends most of their time living with it in the real world.  They only spend a very small amount of time in a provider setting, yet most of the information we collect traditionally on the status of disease is always collected in those provider settings.  That is such a limited view of what someone is experiencing and how it is affecting their lives. So to be able to get a fuller, richer picture of somebody’s total experience with their particular disease – not just the limited window when they are in a provider’s office – is where new understanding and new knowledge and treatment priorities can emerge.

JH:  My brother Stephen died of ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) when he was 36. When I look back and wonder what might have changed that, and when I think about the tens of thousands of patients who have gone though ALS and tried so many different things to improve their lives, I think of all the knowledge that was lost because the system did not measure or learn. I feel a very keen sense that we continue to throw away information and insights that might lead to new knowledge, and certainly better care.  That experience has made me determined to work toward a world where the next patient who is diagnosed with a disease can make informed choices based on the actual, quantified experience of every patient who has gone before them, and with the best insights of every clinician. Imagine trying to manage your credit cards and bank statements without knowing your balance, or by having to guess the value of each transaction. You would have no idea how to manage your finances. Yet, that’s how we run health care, because we have few meaningful outcomes.

Should patients be excited about this?

PT:  If this is done right–and the measures that get developed are measures that are meaningful to patients–this will give them a way to collect and report on their own experience, which is an important first step. As people begin to do that, patients will begin to see it will change the dynamic they have with their providers. It changes the power of their information and puts them on more equal footing. I also believe there is an altruistic streak that runs through all of us. The opportunity to contribute your information to a larger knowledge enterprise to make it better for others is a pretty powerful motivator for a lot of people.

JH:   We are combining several levels of crowd learning into one integrated system. The PatientsLikeMe system allows for individuals to contribute structured, quantitative knowledge into one model. But what is being added are two powerful new tools.  The first is the ability for patients and researchers to collaborate in the authoring and evolution of the tools.  The second is a real-time feedback mechanism that reviews each instrument for its utility, relevance to the patient, and context. Having a feedback loop so patients can comment and impact the design, coupled with the ability to immediately and rapidly generate significant amounts of quantitative data, is revolutionary. The validity of outcome measures is ultimately driven by their utility to patients, which is a very different concept from the way things work now. This is a disruptive shift.

Why is it important for a foundation to engage in these kinds of relationships at this time?

PT:  The fact that PatientsLikeMe is a for-profit didn’t figure into our analysis on the project’s worth.  The Foundation made its decision based on the merits of what they were proposing and the potential it afforded. For us, the issue is not ‘oh let’s go fund a for-profit’; rather, the issue is whether this is an idea worth funding.

JH: Health care, whether for-profit or nonprofit, is full of silos that prevent the flow of data and information largely to defend existing profit centers. This harms the system and the patient. There are a lot of technologies being developed now that will likely disrupt these silos. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation deserves a lot of credit for engaging in a dialogue with us and many others to disrupt traditional ways of doing things in health care.  They are looking at these developments in a very strategic and important way to make sure the system is inherently open. What distinguishes PatientsLikeMe is that it is fundamentally voluntary. If we are to succeed, we have to deliver on our commitment to patients to advance understanding of their disease and contribute to the research process. Information networking in health care today is like the beginning of the Internet. It is a great public good that RWJF is thoughtfully working to ensure that this fast-developing network is structured in ways that improve the human condition.


RWJF AWARDS $1.9 MILLION GRANT TO PATIENTSLIKEME TO CREATE WORLD’S FIRST OPEN RESEARCH PLATFORM TO DEVELOP PATIENT-CENTERED HEALTH OUTCOME MEASUREMENTS

Posted February 25th, 2013 by

Real-time health learning system will generate health outcome measures that are meaningful to patients and align medical research with patient needs

February 25, 2013—Long Beach, CA—PatientsLikeMe has been awarded a $1.9 million grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) to create the world’s first open-participation research platform for the development of patient-centered health outcome measures. The platform is part of a new open-science initiative that puts patients at the center of clinical research process and will allow researchers to pilot, deploy, share, and validate new ways to measure diseases. An “idea worth spreading,” the initiative will be spotlighted today in a presentation at TED2013 by Paul Wicks, Ph.D., PatientsLikeMe’s Research Director and a new TED Fellow.

Health outcome measures are typically developed by clinicians and researchers, and collect information that meet their needs. Linked with the PatientsLikeMe patient network, the new platform will help researchers develop health outcome measures that better reflect patients’ experiences with a disease, and assess health and quality of life in ways that matter to patients.

“This project is really exciting for us because it focuses on data that is developed by patients in the real world, where they spend most of their time, as opposed to controlled clinical settings,” says Brian Quinn, team director of RWJF’s Pioneer Portfolio, the team funding this project. “We believe it has the potential to help researchers better understand the course of disease and open up important paths for the development of new therapies. We’re eager to see what medical revelations will emerge when researchers focus first on patients’ needs and concerns, and openly collaborate with patients and each other.”

PatientsLikeMe is an established network for patients who want to monitor their health, improve their outcomes, and contribute to medical research and discovery. Nearly 200,000 patients, representing more than 1,500 diseases, have created longitudinal records centered around their health outcomes.

Using the platform, researchers will quickly attract PatientsLikeMe members to their studies, track the progress of newly developed measurements, and export data for analysis. Patients will be able to offer their rapid feedback to ensure that measures are relevant to their experience of disease.

In this open-participation research initiative, access to the new platform will be free, and all instruments and items developed on the platform will be made openly available for free, unlimited use and further development with no commercial restrictions. PatientsLikeMe is also contributing the dozens of existing instruments they have developed. Charitable users will receive discounted access to data compiled by PatientsLikeMe for the initiative.

“Measurement is the basis of knowledge. For too long, there have been restrictions placed by copyright and weak and out-of-date tools to measure a patient’s experience with disease,” says Jamie Heywood, co-founder and chairman of PatientsLikeMe. “Patients, researchers, and clinicians working together to iterate and learn about the holistic journey of each condition and health itself is a critical step toward transforming care and discovery so that they truly serve the patient.”

A beta version of the platform will be unveiled in the coming months.

For more information about the initiative, visit: http://rwjf.org/en/grants/grantees/PatientsLikeMe.html

Professional organizations, patient-reported outcome specialists, funders, academic researchers, and others interested in participating in the initiative are welcome to email openscience@patientslikeme.com.

To join PatientsLikeMe, visit: http://plmjoin.com/openscience.


About Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country. As the nation’s largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to health and health care, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, measurable, and timely change. For 40 years the Foundation has brought experience, commitment, and a rigorous, balanced approach to the problems that affect the health and health care of those it serves. When it comes to helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need, the Foundation expects to make a difference in your lifetime. For more information, visit www.rwjf.org. Follow the Foundation on Twitter www.rwjf.org/twitter or Facebook www.rwjf.org/facebook.


About PatientsLikeMe

PatientsLikeMe is a patient network that improves lives and a real-time research platform that advances medicine. Through the network, patients connect with others who have the same disease or condition and track and share their own experiences. In the process, they generate data about the real-world nature of disease that help researchers, pharmaceutical companies, regulators, providers and nonprofits develop more effective products, services and care. PatientsLikeMe has become a trusted source for real-world disease information and a clinically robust resource that has published more than 25 peer-reviewed research studies. Visit us at www.patientslikeme.com or follow us via our blog, Twitter or Facebook.


Join the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s $200,000 Developer Challenge!

Posted December 21st, 2012 by

Can a game app lead to better health?  The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation thinks so.  They’ve announced a competition challenging developers to create game apps that “generate useful health care data to improve health and health care.”

Learn More About the Developer Challenge

The competition will be conducted in two phases. Phase One is an “open ideation phase” where interested developer teams can submit app concepts. From there, the top five teams will be awarded $5,000 to build upon their initial proposals and create working game apps.

What’s at stake?  The developer of the winning game app receives $100,000, while second and third place winners earn $50,000 and $25,000, respectively.  Winners will be announced in September 2013, with the first place winner honored at the Health 2.0 7th Annual Fall Conference.

The deadline for submission is February 22, 2013.  Learn more and register for the challenge here.