Ars Electronica – one of the foremost centers for art and technology – honored PatientsLikeMe at their annual festival with the Award of Distinction. The Prix Ars Electronica is one of the most prestigious prizes in the fields of media, technology, animation, and interactive art.
This year, there were a record number of submissions with 4,056 overall. More than 220 online communities were competing in the newest category: Digital Communities. Previous winners in this category include Wikipedia, Free Software Foundation and Akshaya.net.
While PatientsLikeMe has been honored and cited for its innovation in the area of health and medical research, we were thrilled to be recognized directly for our social and artistic value. Central to PatientsLikeMe, and what drew many of us to work here, is our commitment to empower individual patients to become informed, engaged participants in both their own healthcare and in the creation of new scientific knowledge. This prize attests to our contribution in this area.
At PatientsLikeMe, as an inter-disciplinary team of researchers, designers, and engineers, we are building a platform for patients to both share and use health data. Our goal is help patients leverage their own experiences to make good decisions and improve outcomes. As a research scientist here, it is exciting to see how our carefully designed tools engage patients to record, reason with and apply data to inform all types of medical decisions.
So, it was a particular honor for me to be able to travel on behalf of PatientsLikeMe to Ars Electronica in Linz, Austria to accept this award focused on the social and creative value of the online communities for patients. I presented PatientsLikeMe to an international audience and the audio is available as a podcast on their site. Relationships with these new audiences and the resulting discussions help us continue to improve tools for patients to share and leverage data to improve outcomes.