jamie heywood

PatientsLikeMe Adds Online Community for People With Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

PatientsLikeMe made the following announcement last night at the TEDMED conference.  For more on Jamie Heywood’s presentation, check out what people are saying on Twitter. – – – – – – – PATIENTSLIKEME ADDS ONLINE COMMUNITY FOR PEOPLE WITH CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME Researchers Use Open Medical Network to Measure Real-World Impact of XMRV Virus Cambridge, MA–October 30, 2009–PatientsLikeMe (www.patientslikeme.com), the leading online community for people with life-changing conditions, announces the expansion of its fibromyalgia community to welcome patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), also know as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME). By sharing information about their experience with CFS, patients can now find others just like them, including other patients who may have the newly discovered xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus (XMRV). The purpose of this expansion is for PatientsLikeMe to research the impact XMRV has on CFS patients. “With 1 million patients diagnosed with CFS, and potentially 10 million Americans who could be infected with the XMRV virus, there is an unique opportunity to use the power of our open medical network to understand this illness and accelerate the validation and development of new biomarkers and treatments,” says Jamie Heywood, co-founder and chairman of PatientsLikeMe. There are currently more than 7,000 …

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The Smart List (Forget Medical Privacy) and The Future of Healthcare

Check out the October issue of WIRED magazine!  PatientsLikeMe makes “The Smart List:  12 Shocking Ideas That Will Change the World.”  In an interview with Brendan Koerner (“Forget Medical Privacy“), Co-founder Jamie Heywood talks about how “the lack of openness [in medicine] is making us sicker” and how sharing individual health data can benefit you.  What do you think? Earlier this month, Jamie also gave a rapid fire presentation on the future of medicine at the 2009 Gov 2.0 Summit.  He addresses how we can better answer this question for patients:  “Given my status, what is the best outcome I can achieve and how do I get there?”  Here’s how (with openness leading the way):

Patients like me declare our health data rights

“We the people…have the right to our own health data.” That’s part of a collective new Declaration of Health Rights, officially unveiled tonight on the newly launched HealthDataRights.org. It is time to turn the conversation from fear and privacy to sharing data and finding new treatments and better care. The Declaration represents reality that what we are doing does not work and does not serve the patient, and this reality is being declared tonight simultaneously via blogs by all stakeholders in healthcare.  I recently wrote about how sharing is a right.  This Declaration articulates these inalienable rights, as it provides a straightforward definition of health data rights to ensure the flow of meaningful data.  We are that much closer to getting you, the patient, at the center of the health system. This started with a simple conversation; a conversation about sharing data between two health systems that spurred additional conversation and more.  In the end, so many of us agreed that what we need to do is let the data flow and the information become meaningful. Our collective goal is to ensure that healthcare gets better, quality is improved, and yes, treatments are developed faster.  That is what we stand …

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Sharing Is A Right As Well

We do not live our lives alone. We live our lives in collaboration with others. We communicate our needs and our goals, and together we work to achieve them. This is exceptionally true for families and individuals dealing with illness. Whether you’re dealing with depression, or pain, or perhaps the fear and stigma of HIV, or the impairment that comes from MS, Parkinson’s or ALS, what helps us the most is when those around us reach out and share their support and advice. You would think that your ability to share would be as much your right as speech, but is it? It’s not clear that is true in healthcare today, nor is it clear that such a right will be protected tomorrow. Privacy is also a right – a right to not share what you do not want shared. It’s a fair and just expectation that the doctors and clinicians you employ to support you in your illness will not share your information without your permission. Today, I fear that privacy has become much more than a right; it has become a goal. When that happens, people begin to find ways to make it difficult to share in the …

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Does It Work? Lithium and ALS

by James Heywood Update (March 7, 2008):  PatientsLikeMe ALS Lithium Research released. Does it work? On February 12th of this year, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (one of the leading science journals) published a paper entitled — Lithium Delays Progression of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. After 10 years researching ALS, I believe it is fair to say this paper includes the most promising suggestive set of data from a clinical trial ever published. I say “suggestive” because there are many flaws with both the information presented and with the publication process itself. These flaws make it so that patients and their doctors are left trying to draw conclusions about the use of Lithium to treat ALS, without actually having any realistic confidence in the data or its meaning. For a patient, there is genuine risk either way. Lithium is not a harmless drug, and, although it is widely used, it can have significant side effects if it is not monitored properly. In addition, the reality is that in several of the last clinical trials in ALS, including minocycline and topiramate, the patients in the treatment group did worse than those in the control group. So, fears about the risk …

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