A new spot for internet hypochondriacs

Monday, March 1, 2010 Leave a Comment

If you're like me, it doesn't take much to convince you that your weight gain is a thyroid problem, or that a tremor is Parkinson's. Here's yet another resource for all of us internet hypochondriacs: Patients Like Me! You can learn all about diseases, treatments, supplements, alternative treatment, new research... and oh, so much more by comparing patients with the same conditions, along the same timelines, getting similar treatments.

But seriously, for people with conditions like the autoimmune Hashimoto's Disease (which I've just been diagnosed with), or Parkinson's, or MS, or HIV, or cancer, a resource like this is a blessing. In our healthcare system, you have to be your own specialist. Patients can ask their caregivers, doctors, etc. to be a part of the community, too. Imagine if your medical history could be viewed like a graph, could be shared anonymously, could be compared to other people with conditions like yours. Imagine if you could see how well this drug, or that drug, or even prayer works.

The Patients Like MeOpenness Policy states it well:

"You see, we believe sharing your healthcare experiences and outcomes is good. Why? Because when patients share real-world data, collaboration on a global scale becomes possible. New treatments become possible. Most importantly, change becomes possible. At PatientsLikeMe, we are passionate about bringing people together for a greater purpose: speeding up the pace of research and fixing a broken healthcare system."

Here's to many sleepless nights.