“People often think of PatientsLikeMe as a social network, and I think what they miss is the fundamental part of our invention. What we’re really building is the first medical record designed to answer questions directly for patients. Not to do billing, not to do some other component of the healthcare system. To actually answer questions for patients.
Paul Wicks, the head of R&D at PatientsLikeMe, put down this question: ‘Given my status, what is the best outcome I can hope to achieve, and how can I get there?’ Another way of saying that – because I think that reflects our real mission – is how do we collect all of the meaningful health variables that will allow us to predict the patient’s future and give them the tools to understand how to improve that and all of the elements they care about in their lives?”
“We’re just getting started on a long road to really impact your individual disease and your quality of life…”
Each week this month, we’ll be posting a video interview with a member of the PatientsLikeMe executive team. You’ll hear from Ben Heywood, Jamie Heywood, David S. Williams and Paul Wicks, Ph.D. about what the recent changes to PatientsLikeMe mean for patients, research, industry and the entire medical establishment.
Today, listen in to hear what Ben has to say about why we’re on this “road,” what has been improved with the recent upgrades and how sharing your own health journey moves us forward. You can also see last week’s video teaser here.
Did you know that yesterday was Fibromyalgia Awareness Day?
The PatientsLikeMe Fibromyalgia community is growing exponentially with more than 3400+ members just five months after its launch! Many of our members are feeling newly empowered by their membership in our community and are attending events, wearing pins and ribbons and taking the time to spread awareness about what it’s like to live with fibromyalgia.
This sharing mirrors the sharing they do on the site. At PatientsLikeMe, members build their profiles by sharing information about their condition, such as symptoms and treatments. Top treatments cited to date include rest, heating pads, walking, stretching and the drug Lyrica. The most commonly listed symptom is pain, followed by fatigue, memory problems and lower back pain. In addition to sharing health information, patient members also share their personal experiences and tips with each other. In our forum these past few months, patients have discussed all kinds of topics, including finding the right doctor, coping with pain and fatigue and how to explain how they really feel to their friends and family.
With all this sharing, patients are learning more about themselves, helping each other better understand this condition, and improving their overall quality of life. In fact, in a recent survey amongst some of our members with fibromyalgia, 85% of our respondents agreed or strongly agreed with the statement – “I feel better about myself because of the recognition by others at PatientsLikeMe that my condition is real.”
If you are not already sharing and learning with other patients like you, we invite you to join our community here at PatientsLikeMe.
Posted by Lori Piscatelli Scanlon | March 23, 2009
A year ago today, PatientsLikeMe launched our combined Mood community for patients with depression, anxiety, bipolar, obesessive-compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. It was first announced to the world in Thomas Goetz’s article, Practicing Patients, featured in New York Times Magazine.
Since then, more than 8,700 patients have joined the community, sharing detailed information about their symptoms, treatments and overall progress to learn more about themselves and others. Besides specific drug therapies (like Clonazepam or Lamotrigine), did you know many patients cite Listening to Music and Journal Writing as top treatments as well? Check out what they have to say.
Do you have problems concentrating? That’s the number one symptom reported by our members. Other top symptoms include muscle tension, headaches, back pain and stomach pain.
In the coming weeks, we will continue to share some interesting tidbits about the community, including some powerful personal stories straight from our members. Stay tuned!
This was a great opportunity to update the research community on how our patient members are engaging in data-driven discussions about their health. In my presentation, I gave an overview of the site, summarized some of our published research results, and provided examples of how patients are using our forum and profile comment tools to better understand their own and other’s experience of symptoms and treatments. What really impressed this audience is that PatientsLikeMe is delivering the best of what “medicine 2.0″ can potentially deliver to the healthcare consumer, and patients are using it. It’s very powerful for others to see how patients are talking with one another about treatment and symptoms experiences (supported by data in their profiles) to achieve better living. This is exactly what can happen when we put “Patients First,” and give them a community to support the right interaction at the right time. Our patient members today feel empowered to take back their health, and this kind of commitment will lead to better research, better healthcare and better quality of life.
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.