4 posts tagged “kate brigham”

One for All: A PatientsLikeMe Year in Review (Part 1)

Posted January 3rd, 2011 by

Thanks everyone for a great 2010.  As we kick off the New Year, PatientsLikeMe would like to take a quick look back at the road we’ve traveled together this year.  We think of all these improvements as laying the groundwork for even more exciting changes to come in 2011.

PatientsLikeMe Flash charts

At the start of 2010, we set out to tackle two very important goals that could help you, our members, get the best possible experience out of PatientsLikeMe:  1) unify the way we collect medical information and 2) give more information back to you so you can see how you fit in and compare your experiences with others.  Kate Brigham recently talked about some of the improvements we’ve made on the second goal in her Share and Compare post, but I’d like to share a bit more about the first goal.

Our communities have a lot in common despite their different conditions and health concerns.  As Tommy Maker said in a recent newsletter interview, “I’ve learned that we all care enormously for each other and are very eager to help those who find themselves in the same boat as we are.  But most of all I’ve learned that I am not on my own.”

“We are all in this together” is the sentiment we hear from you time and time again.  In that spirit, we made a lot of changes to unify your experiences across all our communities.  Many of these improvements started in one community where some of you tried functionality and gave us good feedback so we could improve things and share them with all patients.  With the rollout of every product development below, you can now better share and compare your experiences.

Here are some examples of ways our communities have helped each other learn and grow in 2010:

  • Flash charts: We piloted these in the ALS community last January and received a lot of great feedback.  Since that successful pilot, we converted the profile charts in all our communities to these more flexible and easier to understand charts.  This change also enabled future enhancements, like re-organizing your profile and better Doctor Visit Sheets.
  • Condition History: While many of the questions you answer on PatientsLikeMe are very specific to your medical condition, there are a lot of questions that apply to any and all patients.  When did your symptoms start?  Do you have a diagnosis?  Are you taking any treatments?  Now members across communities answer many of the same questions in the condition history so everyone can share and see how their answers compare with the rest of the community.
  • InstantMe: This idea of asking you a quick question about how you are doing started out as InstantMood, and was available only to members of the mood community.  They gave us great feedback and helped us to improve it (especially adding a “neutral” answer choice) before we rolled it out to patients in all our communities in November.  It’s now called InstantMe.
  • Quality Of Life: The quality of life survey we just made available to all members at the end of December was piloted in the HIV and Organ Transplants communities.  By having a way to measure your social, mental and physical well-being, now you can gain a better understanding of how your condition affects you – the whole you.

Thank you to all the members of our community who continue to share and learn along with us.  Watch this year in review video to see how you all have contributed to making the patient experience on PatientsLikeMe one of a kind.

PatientsLikeMe member moakes


To spit or not to spit (openness gets personal)

Posted January 22nd, 2008 by

23andMe Kit

Over the past seven months of working at PatientsLikeMe, I’ve come to think that the idea of sharing medical and health information is completely normal. Since giving birth to my nearly 3 year old daughter, I have continued to be eternally grateful to other mothers who have willingly and openly shared their deeply personal experiences and advice so readily. There are some unexpected things you have to deal with, and nothing is so helpful as the wisdom of others who’ve been there. Then this December, I had a moment of pause. All of us at the company received a year-end gift of 23andMe‘s Personal Genome Service. Here was my chance to find out what my genes have in store for me and to find out what I might have passed onto my little girl. But do I really want to know? And once I find out, do I want share that information?

Well, it took a while to decide and I hadn’t expected that. I realized that deciding to put very personal details about my health, current or future, out into the world is no small thing. I commend each and every person who has chosen to share their information in our PatientsLikeMe communities. I wouldn’t have made it this far into motherhood without the nitty-gritty, honest information that other mothers have shared with me, and I’ve been truly and deeply inspired by the information that people have so willing shared on our site. I would certainly want access to that knowledge and experience if I needed it. But, if I want to have access to that kind of information, then I have to do my part too. So in the end, I decided to spit. Now I’m waiting to find out what my genes have in store for me and my family. Openness, here I come.

PatientsLikeMe member kbrigham