Where do patients with ALS live the longest? Are there regional variations in HIV therapies? What effect does this have on patients’ outcomes? How do local factors like weather or population affect depression?
For years patients with life-altering illnesses have had online communities to share their subjective experiences. However, patients lacked objective measures to compare outcomes and track their conditions. By combing the power of traditional, subjective, community tools, objective measurements of medical outcomes, and a philosophy that this information can and should be shared, PatientsLikeMe is transforming the conversations between patients, doctors, researchers, and the pharmaceutical industry for diseases like ALS, MS, PD, HIV, and Mood Disorders.
PatientsLikeMe has now extended its tools to allow these objective measures of patient health to be explored in their spatial and temporal contexts. We’ll show how patients and researchers can use our large patient populations and these new tools to look for answers to questions like those posed above and present next steps in changing the Healthcare conversation.
Steven Hammond is a software engineer and Ruby developer at PatientsLikeMe. PatientsLikeMe is leading the way in changing both patient care and medical research. Check it out.
As part of his work at PatientsLikeMe, Steve has contributed some code back to the Rails community. Many people are using Steve’s mysql_bigint plugin to enable large integers in MySQL tables in Rails. Steve has also posted a mock object for testing OpenID in Rails.
Prior to PatientsLikeMe, Steve was a PMI Certified Project Manager in a Fortune 500 insurance company.
Steve is also very active in his local community. He is a Solar System Ambassador for the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. In this role, he volunteers his time to go to local schools, and libraries to teach people about space and space exploration. Steve is a member of the Aldrich Astronomical Society and he tutors people on the Internet at the local library. Last, but certainly not least, Steve serves on the local school board.