Today, PatientsLikeMe (www.patientslikeme.com) announces the expansion of its platform and invites patients with any condition to join. The five-year-old free online health data-sharing website was previously only available to patients with 22 chronic conditions (including ALS, Parkinson's disease, HIV, depression, epilepsy, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis and organ transplants). In February, the company closed to new members and allowed its 100,000 members to test out its new design and upgraded functionalities, such as adding multiple conditions (or co-morbidities) to their health profiles and measuring their mental, social and physical well-being (or quality of life).
"Every ten seconds on our site, a patient shares an answer to a survey question about their health. Approximately every minute, one of our members is viewing another's profile to see these answers. It's clear patients see the benefit of sharing deep health information," says President and Co-founder Ben Heywood. "We're excited to see how this openness and sharing will potentially change thousands more lives as we open the doors to every patient today."
Since launching in 2006, members of the website have shared data on more than 9,700 treatments and 4,800 symptoms related to their chronic conditions. During that time, PatientsLikeMe also received requests from 23,000+ patients asking the company to "build a community" for more than 5,000 conditions, everything from the more commonly known conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, autism, diabetes and cancer to rare diseases like ankylosing spondylitis and Niemann-Pick disease.
Adds Heywood, "Patients can now share multiple conditions, symptoms, treatments and more through their profiles. With these changes, we've improved our ability to help people find more patients like them.'"
PatientsLikeMe® (www.patientslikeme.com) is the world's leading online health data sharing platform. PatientsLikeMe® creates new knowledge by charting the real-world course of disease through the shared experiences of patients. While patients interact to help improve their outcomes, the data they provide helps researchers learn how these diseases act in the real world and accelerate the discovery of new, more effective treatments. [Follow company news on Twitter.com/PatientsLikeMe and http://blog.patientslikeme.com]