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PatientsLikeMe Encourages Sharing of Health Data for Good with 2nd Annual “24 Days of Giving”

The Gift of Health Data Can Help Others, and Advance Research CAMBRIDGE, MASS., December 1, 2015—On this #GivingTuesday, PatientsLikeMe is once again celebrating “the new tradition of generosity” by encouraging people to donate something unusual but vital: their health data. Starting today and continuing for #24DaysofGiving, PatientsLikeMe is asking anyone who is living with a chronic condition to donate their health data after donating to their favorite non-profit. PatientsLikeMe is a patient network that aggregates the health data members share so that others can see what’s working for patients like them, and what’s not. Health data includes information about a disease or condition—how people live with it, what their doctors are doing to treat it, and what it’s like to navigate their health journey. PatientsLikeMe also analyzes the donated data to spot trends in specific diseases and works with partners to incorporate patient-reported evidence in their research. Partners can then create new products and services that are more in tune with what patients experience and need. Michael Evers, Executive Vice President of PatientsLikeMe’s Consumer and Technology Group, said that members donated a record amount of health data last year, the first time the campaign was introduced. “Tens of thousands of …

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Results From PatientsLikeMe Survey Highlight Patient Beliefs About Medical Marijuana

Cambridge, MA, July 14, 2015—A new survey of 219 PatientsLikeMe members has found that patients with certain conditions who use medical marijuana believe it is the best available treatment for them, with fewer side effects than other options and few risks. The survey, conducted in June 2015, is among the first to gauge patient perceptions about the benefits and risks of medical marijuana and their level of willingness to recommend its use. PatientsLikeMe’s Vice President for Advocacy, Policy, and Patient Safety, Sally Okun, RN said that while the number of respondents and conditions represented is limited, the survey and its results come at an important time. “As more people consider using medical marijuana, and more states legalize it, patients need to know what others are experiencing. This survey starts to gather real world data about marijuana as medicine—information that may be useful for patients and their physicians as they explore options and make treatment decisions.” Half of the survey respondents started using medical marijuana in the last five years, while 25% started to do so in the last two years. Smoking (71%), edibles (55%), and vaporizing (49%) were the most commonly used methods for taking the treatment. The top three …

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Throwback Thursday: Are you sleeping?

It’s time for another Throwback Thursday, and today, we’re rewinding back to the summer of 2013, when the staff at PatientsLikeMe shared about how they sleep. Sixty one employees helped kick off the “Are you sleeping?” campaign in a quick poll, answering questions about how long and how well they sleep each night. Check out the highlights below: How well are you sleeping? All in all, we found that the majority (89%) of our staffers were sleeping OK or better.   On average, how much sleep do you get every night? Although our Zzzz’s were OK, 61% of respondents were only getting between 5-7 hours a night (and according the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, that’s way less than the recommended 7-8 hours for adults).   Do you have a problem… For those who confessed to having sleep troubles, more people said it’s staying asleep that was the issue (77%).   What have you tried to help you fall asleep? When it came to needing sleep aids to catch Zzzz’s, more of our employees turned to solutions like books (60%), lifestyle changes (50%), TV (31%), relaxation (31%) and sex (33%). Some tried over-the-counter interventions (22%), prescriptions (16%) and homeopathic techniques (14%). …

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Let the world know about pulmonary fibrosis

On Rare Disease Day back in February 2013, we announced our partnership with Boehringer Ingelheim to help enhance the online idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) community. And by September 7th that same year, the community had grown to just over 1,000 people. Today, on the next edition of Global Pulmonary Fibrosis Awareness Day, the community stands 2,500+ members strong, making it the largest online gathering of IPF patients anywhere in the world. In just a year, the community has almost tripled in size, and everyone is sharing about their experiences so that other patients, doctors and researchers can learn more about life with IPF. But what exactly is IPF? Pulmonary fibrosis (PF) is a medical condition that causes lung tissue to thicken, stiffen and scar over a period of time, and “idiopathic” means “no known cause.” According to the Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis, there are over 100,000 Americans living with IPF at any given time, and an estimated 40,000 will die from the condition every year. And besides a complete lung transplant, there is no known cure for IPF.1 Today, the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation (PFF) is encouraging everyone to educate, share, fundraise and start conversations about IPF. You can learn more about …

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One for All: Ways You Can Share, Find and Learn at PatientsLikeMe

When patients join our site, a common question we get is, “Now that I’ve signed up, what can I do here?” One answer is that you can chart the real-world course of your disease and compare it against other patients. But that sounds a little complex, doesn’t it? If we break it down into simpler terms, we are really talking about you sharing your health outcomes with each other, finding other patients like you and learning from the information that you have all shared. That’s why “Share, Find and Learn” is part of our core message at PatientsLikeMe, as it best explains how you can help each other with the in’s and out’s of your condition. To give you a better understanding of what we mean, we recently asked a few patients like you for examples of how you’ve used PatientsLikeMe to “Share, Find and Learn.” PATIENT 1 (MS) SHARE: “I’ve shared as much information [as possible] about the medications I’ve taken and still take and the CCSVI procedure that I recently went through. ” FIND: “It’s helped tremendously when there are others that have undergone the same treatment or procedure in that we can share updates or milestones.” LEARN: …

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Mood Patient Interview: How Far I’ve Come

We continue our series from last week of getting to you the person, not just the “patient.” Here’s an interview with member “Bradley25,” a member of our PatientsLikeMe Mood Community who was interviewed for our January newsletter.   Read on to learn more about how comparing his condition over time has helped give him hope as well as his goals for 2011 .  Enjoy! * * * (Amy) Where do you find hope? (bradley25) I find hope when I look at my continued progress. When I look back and compare the severity of my condition over the years, I am amazed at how far I have come. Fifteen years ago, my life was a complete wreck. I was in and out of the hospital and had trouble holding a job for more than a few months. Ten years ago, I had many of the same problems but life was improving from a treatment plan that I held. Within the last five years, I have found a good doctor and am properly medicated. Although life isn’t perfect today, bipolar disorder no longer controls my life, and I find it interferes less and less with my job, social life and daily routine. …

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The Patient Voice – Loud and Clear

We are excited to present the first member video for the PatientsLikeMe Mood community and what better way to kick it off than with one that represents the voice of the patient. In June, we launched The Patient Voice with the inaugural report on inpatient therapy, a topic often discussed by our Mood community members.  At the time of the report, 63% of patients on our site reported an efficacy of “moderate” or “major” for inpatient therapy. Many patients have already benefited from the information in the report, so we decided to create a video that highlights our patient members’ tips and experiences. Check it out on our YouTube or Facebook page, but if you visit the latter don’t forget to become our fan! If you want to know more about patients’ experiences with inpatient therapy, you can download the full report here. It includes even more tips and personal stories, interesting facts about the PatientsLikeMe community and a worksheet that will help you make the most out of your hospital stay. Of course, none of this would have been possible if patients like you were not willing to share. We are always eager to hear what you have to …

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Sharing to Feel Better

Sharing.  It’s a concept we all learn at a very young age.  Oftentimes reminisced as happening in the sandbox, we think back to our young selves giving up what we hold most dear (in this case, some cheap plastic toy) to allow someone else to benefit from it.  It seems so simple and obvious, but how many toddlers do you know that immediately give into the concept…easily handing over that toy without a moment of hesitation or a slight tug back or possibly the more extreme screaming tantrum?   Over time, what happens is that the more they share, the more they see it puts a smile on their friends’ face, or gives them something in common to “chat” about. You don’t need to be clairvoyant to see where I’m going with this.  Sharing is at the core of PatientsLikeMe, and it’s what makes our communities so special.  More than 32,000 patients are online sharing something they hold dear — details about their health — so that others can see it, learn from it, and dialogue about it.  It’s truly inspirational and something we believe is transforming healthcare as we know it. But sharing doesn’t have to stop there.  From a …

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