maureen oakes

A Day in the Life of PatientsLikeMe Product Manager Maureen Oakes

What’s it like to work at PatientsLikeMe?  We are continuing to reveal just that with our monthly blog series “A Day in the Life,” which features employees from different departments.  So far, we’ve interviewed User Experience Engineer Cris Necochea, Research Assistant Shivani Bhargava, Office Manager Alison Dutton,  Research Scientist Timothy Vaughan and Biz Dev’er Arianne Graham.  Today we’d like to introduce you to Product Manager Maureen Oakes, or as she’s affectionately known around the office, “Mo.” 1.  You’re the Product Manager at PatientsLikeMe.  Tell us what that involves. A little bit of everything! I read in an article that product managers are like “embedded CEOs” because you drive the core decisions to improve and change the product, which in this case is the PatientsLikeMe website. That means different things depending on the circumstances. Sometimes my job is getting all the right people in the room to make a decision, and sometimes it is making a decision myself. In all cases, it involves listening, asking good questions, weighing all the options and following up to make sure what needs to get done actually happens. Each day I split my time between planning ahead for enhancements we could make to the site in the …

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

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. 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 …

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PatientsLikeMe – Out & About and OnCall

The PatientsLikeMe team has been traveling around the globe recently talking about the power of real-world patient data in changing healthcare.  You may have heard about our executives at industry conferences, government hearings, or even on TV.  Highlights below. Last month, PatientsLikeMe Co-founder and President Ben Heywood was on Fox Business News talking about how industry is engaging directly with patients and tuning into the “unvarnished truth” patients are sharing about their real-world disease experiences. Watch the latest business video at <a href=”http://video.foxbusiness.com/” mce_href=”http://video.foxbusiness.com/”>video.foxbusiness.com</a> Earlier in March, we launched our PatientsLikeMeOnCallTM podcast series to bring to you our leaders’ perspectives on topics that impact you, the patient, and the healthcare industry as a whole.  We kicked off the series with Ben’s interview regarding Fast Company recognition.  You can check out that one and the rest of our podcasts on iTunes or click on the links below to start listening to a specific interview.  As podcast host Aaron Fleishman says, “thanks for stopping by and listening and we’ll talk to you next time.” Listen | Ben Heywood (Co-founder, President) answers questions about the launch of our new organ transplants community and our collaboration with Novartis Listen | David S. Williams III …

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Redesigned Treatment Reports on PatientsLikeMe

One thing that’s great about working at PatientsLikeMe is that our members are really invested in making our product better. Every day, we receive lots of great recommendations about how to improve the site.   Today, we’re unveiling newly redesigned treatment reports that incorporate feedback we’ve received in all our communities.  Want to know what medications patients like you are using to treat their condition and compare your experiences with others?  That’s what you can do with a treatment report.   In redesigning these reports, we wanted to make them more useful, more visible and easier to navigate.  Now you can: Understand the experience of taking a treatment, including what the side-effects are and how people manage those side-effects Learn how to cope with taking a drug (with tips and advice from other members and links to relevant forum threads) Find and contact other patients like you who use a certain treatment (such as people who report the same side effects or people who take it for the same reason) See how your experiences compare to those of other patients like you If you’d like a tour of these new reports, check out the screencast below by our web developer Adam Darowski.  …

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PatientsLikeMe and The Power of Peers

Over the weekend, PatientsLikeMe was an exhibitor at the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance’s 2008 National Conference, which took place September 11-14th in Norfolk, Virginia.  The theme was “The Power of Peers.” While I spent most of my time at our sponsor table answering questions about PatientsLikeMe, I overheard other attendees discussing a concept I found very interesting. A talk called “I Am Not My Illness: The Importance of First Person Language” by Stephen Propst prompted a lot of discussion from attendees about the distinction and power of saying “I am bipolar” versus “I have bipolar.” He noted that people with other conditions do not say “I am cancer” or “I am diabetes” and that the language we use has the power to change how we think about the intersection of our health and our identity. As I listened to people hashing out the details and implications of being more thoughtful with our language, I thought more about how it relates to the collective power of peers.  Face to face conversations are a time-tested method for empowering others and making change, but having conversations online can magnify your message far beyond a two person discussion. Having read over 2000 threads …

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PatientsLikeMe Facebook Page

Are you on Facebook? We are! Simply search for “PatientsLikeMe” to find our new company page. Once there, click “Become A Fan,” and a “My Pages” link will be added to your profile. Remember, Facebook is an open platform that anyone can view and isn’t part of PatientsLikeMe. Therefore, any information you share about you is open to the 100 million Facebook members. Thanks for spreading the word about us to your Facebook friends. Currently, our Facebook page features photos from the AIDS Walk Boston, which drew over 20,000 participants and raised $1.2 million. We were proud to be a sponsor of the Wellness Festival that accompanied the successful June 1st event. Where can you see us next? We’re a sponsor of the National Parkinson’s Foundation’s 6th Annual Young-Onset Parkinson’s Network Conference, August 7th-9th in Atlanta, Georgia. Staffers Paul Wicks, a speaker at the conference, and Maureen Oakes will be present.

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