PatientsLikeMe: New Way to Get Healthcare Support

April 16, 2013
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Getting healthcare support can be frustrating. You see your doctor about an ailment, get a diagnosis and a prescription and you’re sent on your way. If it’s serious, you may get a phone call from a nurse or physician’s assistant, but that’s usually it. Many patients are left alone, with little information on how to properly measure their progress or next steps.

Getting healthcare support can be frustrating. You see your doctor about an ailment, get a diagnosis and a prescription and you’re sent on your way. If it’s serious, you may get a phone call from a nurse or physician’s assistant, but that’s usually it. Many patients are left alone, with little information on how to properly measure their progress or next steps.

healthcare social mediaToday, that “alone” time may get a little less lonely with the assistance of 200,000 of your newest friends and a social network called PatientsLikeMe. This data-sharing social platform provides users with tracking information on more than 1,800 diseases, including neurological disorders like ALS, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease. It also provides its users with a support group to connect with and share similar experiences.

The website wants patients to provide qualitative data through questionnaires sent regularly to members. Patients can also quantify aspects about their disease treatment by scoring side effects. It also provides survey tools to measure how closely patients adhere to their treatment regimen.

Available for free by anyone who wants to measure a disease, including drug companies, PatientsLikeMe provides a platform that unlocks patients’ own data to build a learning healthcare system with potentially new outcomes and results.