5 posts tagged “benjamin heywood”

A new collaboration and the work ahead: An interview with PatientsLikeMe Co-founder and President Ben Heywood

Posted April 11th, 2014 by

Earlier this week, PatientsLikeMe announced a five-year collaboration with Genentech. Our goal? To bring your experience – the patient experience – to a company that wants to learn more from the people who are living with serious diseases, and to better integrate your insights into their decision-making as they develop new medicines. PatientsLikeMe Co-founder and President Ben Heywood talks more about the work ahead.

So, why Genentech? What do you hope to achieve through this partnership?

Genentech is a leading biotech company and an acknowledged leader in oncology (which is where our initial focus will be).

We spoke with their teams for quite some time before embarking on this collaboration and I have to say that we just really like their approach. We’re very much aligned in our goals of defining a more patient-centric approach to research, development, and care delivery.

Their goal in working with us is to explore the use of our PatientsLikeMe network to develop innovative ways of researching peoples’ real-world experience with disease and treatment. I think we also hope and expect this collaboration will encourage broader engagement of others involved in the delivery of healthcare to support a stronger voice for patients like you.

How does this differ from your other collaborations?

What’s different with Genentech is that we’ll be exploring on a broader scale how the use of our patient network might develop new ways to research the patient experience. The broader access should allow for more agile, real-time use of the data and help align the strengths of the platform with Genentech’s priorities. This collaboration also helps PatientsLikeMe expand our cancer community, and we’re excited to be partnering with such a leader in oncology research and development on that.

How does this move “put patients first?”

Genentech is a forward-thinking company that is continuously working to patients at the center of their decision-making. By providing Genentech access to the health data shared by the members of our network, it will help them learn more from patients like you and better integrate your insights into their decision-making as they develop new medicines.

Is the focus on cancer new for PatientsLikeMe?

We have a community of people with cancer that have been using the site since we opened it up to people with any condition in 2011; many right now list cancer as a secondary condition, although some list it as their primary. Part of this collaboration is about using resources to enhance the tools within our network to help make the site even more useful for cancer patients. Of course what we build for one community will benefit all, much like we’ve done all along. The end result is a website that better serves people’s needs.


Health 2.0: Where do we go from here?

Posted October 10th, 2008 by

h20nelogo971510_std.jpgA 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?

trailtoprofitability-1.png 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…

PatientsLikeMe member bheywood