PatientsLikeMe is a medical website that helps patients come together and share their knowledge and experiences. The site literally brings patients together that have similar conditions and diseases. Users can join the community and provide advice and information to others who are going through the same health issues. In turn, the user can learn more from others who have already gone through the same medical challenges. The site offers a forum as well as private messaging features. Users can browse symptom and treatment reports as well as the site’s treatment evaluations. User profiles contain charts that monitor individual progress as well as doctor visit sheets. New users can search the site by condition, medication or any other medical keyword.
PatientsLikeMe was founded in 2004 by brothers Jamie and Benjamin Heywood and friend Jeff Cole. The concept was formed after Stephen was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Sadly, Stephen passed away in 2006. His story inspired the book His Brother’s Keeper as well as the creation of PatientsLikeMe. The online community currently covers more than 1,000 conditions and includes over 137,000 patients.
PatientsLikeMe is a valuable tool that stands out from other medical sites. While there are many online resources that provide a wealth of information for patients, PatientsLikeMe encourage patients to learn from one another. The site contains a wealth of information that covers many conditions. Users can monitor their individual progress and review symptom and treatment reports. PatientsLikeMe combines social elements with a medical information resource.
PatientsLikeMe welcomes users with a gentle blue color scheme. The site utilizes stylish graphics and modern elements that give it a professional yet personable appearance. Information is presented in easy to digest charts, stats and pages. The site has a very modern feel to it that helps users discover more about a condition they are suffering from. The design is user friendly and helps patients learn very specific details about their condition, treatment and other medical concerns.
A new user can join the PatientsLikeMe community by filling out the form along the left side of the homepage. The form asks for any conditions the patient has and medications they are taking along with a gender and age. After clicking the “Join Now” button, the user is taken to another form. The second form asks for the user’s role (patient/caregiver, doctor or research scientist), email address, password, username and optional first and last name. Users can also choose one of the radio buttons below the form to make their profile public or private to the internet.
PatientsLikeMe provides access to everyone for free. There are no subscription fees and users are not required to make any purchases. The user doesn’t have to contribute information, either. The cost-free access is a very appealing option that lets everyone access the information they need to deal with medical conditions. There is a lot of information that can be obtained on the site, making it well worth the few minutes it takes to sign up.
PatientsLikeMe is ideal for anyone who is suffering from a medical condition or who is caring for an individual that is ill. The site can also provide information to researchers and physicians. Users can learn more about many medical conditions and obtain insight from others who have gone through the same situation. The site is free for everyone, which is a nice touch considering the amount of information that is provided.