Epilepsy

FDA’s New Guidance on Patient-Reported Outcomes

We’re big fans of patient-reported outcomes (PROs) here at PatientsLikeMe, defined by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) as: “A measurement based on a report that comes directly from the patient about the status of a patient’s health condition without amendment or interpretation of the patient’s response by a clinician or anyone else.” The self-report questionnaires we use on PatientsLikeMe to measure your health (such as the mood map, ALS-Functional Rating Scale/ALS-FRS, and other rating scales) are all examples of PROs, and they’re designed to accurately reflect the level of disease severity for a particular condition. Contrast PROs with the results of a blood test or an MRI scan; these are measured by someone other than the patient and are interpreted by healthcare providers. When a disease is relatively well understood and can be measured directly, as in HIV, measurement can be performed with objective measures such as blood levels (e.g., CD4 count and viral load). However, for many disease there is no objective measure for a disease (e.g., fibromyalgia). That means that trials and other clinical research studies are dependent entirely on the report of the patient themselves through PRO instruments. The FDA has recently released a new report: …

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PatientsLikeMe Acquires Online Pain Management Company, ReliefInsite

Today’s news release announcing acquisition of ReliefInsite.  Want to receive future announcements?  Sign up for our RSS feed on the press page. – – – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE PATIENTSLIKEME ACQUIRES ONLINE PAIN MANAGEMENT COMPANY, RELIEFINSITE 20,000 Patients Reporting Moderate to Severe Pain on PatientsLikeMe Cambridge, MA and New York City, NY – February 16, 2010 – Today, PatientsLikeMe, the leading online community for patients with life-changing diseases, announces the acquisition of ReliefInsite, a pioneering online pain management company. “Right now, there are more than 20,000 patients on PatientsLikeMe experiencing real pain,” says Ben Heywood, President and Co-founder of PatientsLikeMe.  “By acquiring ReliefInsite, we can improve the way we help patients effectively manage their pain.” Conceived by founder Fred Eberlein in 2000, ReliefInsite’s patented online pain management technology developed into a secure HIPAA-compliant platform designed to help patients monitor their pain levels and share that information directly with their doctors. “I’ve spent more than a decade inventing and advancing the technology platform at ReliefInsite to help patients manage their pain and improve the patient-doctor relationship,” says Eberlein.  “I’m excited this work has led me to my new home at PatientsLikeMe, where we can work together to better align industry’s interests with …

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Manage your epilepsy like a PRO

Ever wonder how epilepsy affects the patient — the whole patient? A patient-reported outcome (PRO) is a questionnaire commonly used in the clinical world to asses a patient’s quality of life (QOL) for research studies. Most of the time patients never get to see their test results, much less see them plotted over time. That’s a shame because many of the best PROs were designed with the help of patients talking about their condition in their own voice. Patients in our epilepsy community can now access a series of PROs to help understand the effect of their disease on everyday life and have a voice in real-world, real-time research. The best part is that once they’ve completed the questionnaires (which should take about 20 minutes) they get to see summary findings of how they compare to other members in the community, plus a summary of their overall physical, mental, and social quality of life is displayed on their profile and their patient icon. This is an ambitious project; we’re looking to get data from thousands of patients with epilepsy at 3 distinct time points. Through this shared goal for the community, patients are pulling together and encouraging one another to …

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Video: Introducing the New Epilepsy Community

In honor of the launch of the new PatientsLikeMe Epilepsy community this week, we have created a video highlighting how patients are coming together to share their experiences with epilepsy and learn from others. It’s now available on our PatientsLikeMe Epilepsy YouTube page. This short video includes quotes from some of our members about what drove them to join the online community, and walks you through what the community looks like and how members are using it.   Know someone with epilepsy?  Share this video, our interview with Blueyedgoddez, and/or our announcement with partnering company, UCB. Welcome to all those joining the epilepsy community! (Special thanks to our new marketing team member, Aaron Fleishman, for pulling this video together.  It’s Aaron’s voice and his band’s music you’ll hear throughout.)

PatientsLikeMe and UCB Open Free Online Community for People With Epilepsy in the U.S.

Pharmaceutical, Social Media Leaders Examine Real-World Impact of Epilepsy CAMBRIDGE, MA and ATLANTA, GA — (Marketwire – January 26, 2010) —  Today, PatientsLikeMe, the leading online community for people with life-changing conditions, and biopharmaceutical company UCB open the doors to a free online community for people living with epilepsy in the U.S. Focused on learning from patients’ real-world experiences, the online community allows members to create profiles that record and share their treatments, symptoms, as well as seizure type, frequency and severity. “As a patient-centered company, we are constantly seeking innovative ways to enhance and adjust our approaches to meet patient needs,” says Iris Loew-Friedrich, Executive Vice-President, Chief Medical Officer, UCB. “We believe this community will be a source of information that will allow us to better understand people living with epilepsy and may help us design clinical programs that incorporate real-world patient needs and experiences in a measurable way.” Among the research being conducted, PatientsLikeMe and UCB are analyzing anonymized data shared by participating epilepsy patients, with their consent, via an online clinical survey built into the site to measure patients’ quality of life (including cognitive, social and physical function). Completed by 60 patients testing the site since mid-November, …

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A Year in Review: PatientsLikeMe in 2009

As 2009 comes to an end, we want to take this opportunity to thank all of our members, partners and general fans for another great year.   Here’s a recap of some of the exciting happenings at PatientsLikeMe these past 12 months.  Wishing you all a Happy New Year! Community Milestones This year, the 15+ disease communities at PatientsLikeMe became an online home to more than 50,000 members.   The fibromyalgia community was expanded this past fall to include patients with chronic fatigue syndrome, and we announced a new community scheduled to launch early next year for people with epilepsy.  In addition to celebrating our communities’ awareness days and months within the site and right here on the blog (including Fibromyalgia Awareness Day, MS and PD Awareness Months, National HIV Testing Day and World AIDS Day), many of our members also participated on PatientsLikeMe teams in walk/run efforts to raise awareness and money in the name of their disease.  Congrats to the 40+ teams walking at events to support non-profit organizations like ALS Association, National MS Society, NAMI, Parkinson’s Alliance, APDA, and the MS Society of Canada. The real-time sharing and learning happening on PatientsLikeMe was also highlighted in the report series …

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Harnessing New Media for Patient Advocacy (Part II)

A few weeks ago, I was invited to present on behalf of PatientsLikeMe at the Arthritis Foundation workshop held in Newport, RI.  The presentation was on how to “harness new media for patient advocacy” – the same as what I presented at a workshop for non-profits in northern New England in August.  This time the audience included non-profits in the southern half of New England.  Among those in attendance were representatives from organizations that mean a lot to us, and our patient communities, including regional branches of the American Parkinson’s Disease Association, CFIDS & FM Association, and the Epilepsy Foundation. One of the highlights for attendees was an impassioned keynote speech by Rep. Patrick Kennedy (pictured above with me and my wife Emma) who advocated the use of the web to support mass organization of patients with serious and chronic illnesses to accelerate research and improve standards of care. We couldn’t agree more.  It’s exciting and validating to know influential decision-makers are recognizing the potential of communities like PatientsLikeMe.

An Interview with UCB’s Peter Verdru

Last month, PatientsLikeMe announced our partnership with biopharma leader, UCB, to launch a new community for people with epilepsy.  Below is an interview with UCB’s Vice President of Clinical Research, Peter Verdru, MD.  David S. Williams III, head of PatientsLikeMe business development, recently spoke with Peter about the forthcoming epilepsy community, adverse event reporting, and the partnership in general. *** (David) UCB is known as The Epilepsy Company.  What’s your goal in partnering with PatientsLikeMe to create a new community for people with epilepsy? (Peter) As patient-centric companies, UCB and PatientsLikeMe are both committed to advancing research and improving the lives of people with life-changing conditions.  UCB has a long-term commitment to the epilepsy community – so a partnership with an organization like PatientsLikeMe seemed only natural. Our goal with this partnership is to provide this community to patients with epilepsy to help them manage their disease. Additionally, the community will generate patient-reported outcomes that may help UCB better understand how patients live with epilepsy and help advance epilepsy care. We anticipate patient-reported outcomes data across treatment groups for seizure severity, number of seizures, symptoms, adverse events, health-related quality of life, and co-morbidities, among other things. Using this knowledge for …

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UCB and PatientsLikeMe Partner to Give People With Epilepsy a Voice in Advancing Research

Today is an exciting day for PatientsLikeMe.   In a first-of-its-kind industry-patient partnership, PatientsLikeMe is joining forces with biopharma company, UCB, to launch a new community for people with epilepsy to capture real-world experiences of the disease and help advance research. The news release announcing the partnership is below. ****** BRUSSELS, BELGIUM and CAMBRIDGE, MA–(Marketwire – June 15, 2009) – Biopharma company UCB and PatientsLikeMe, the leading online community for people with life-changing conditions, today announced a strategic partnership to create an online, open epilepsy community that captures real-world experiences of people living with epilepsy in the U.S. Scheduled to launch in early 2010, this platform will be designed to collect, analyze and reflect information received from people with epilepsy, regardless of their diagnosis, prognosis or treatment regimen. More…

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