Social Media Bringing Patients And Researchers Together
This week, PatientsLikeMe announced the building of an open science platform to allow its users to measure their diseases' progress and share it with medical researchers.
Kecia Lynn has worked as a technical writer, editor, software developer, arts administrator, summer camp director, and television host. A graduate of Case Western Reserve University and the Iowa Writers' Workshop, she is currently living in Iowa City and working on her first novel.
What's the Latest Development?
At this week's TED Conference, the social networking site PatientsLikeMe announced that, thanks to a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, it would build a platform that will improve users' ability to track their chronic diseases and share data with medical researchers. A big part of this initiative will involve developing open standardized measurement systems that are easy for patients to use. Only a few hundred of the thousands of diseases in existence have such systems, and with them data that's currently being entered in an ad hoc fashion can be formalized for research.
What's the Big Idea?
PatientsLikeMe has a user base of almost 200,000, all of whom have relinquished their privacy — and gone around built-in medical privacy regulations and proprietary measuring systems — to share sensitive data records in order to learn more about their illnesses. PatientsLikeMe research director Paul Wicks says the open platform will allow researchers "to understand these diseases and learn about them — not for curiosity, not for publication, or for profit, but to take them apart one by one, and consign them to the history books."
Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com
Science and the squishiness of the human mind. The joys of wearing whatever the hell you want, and so much more.
- Why can't we have a human-sized cat tree?
- What would happen if you got a spoonful of a neutron star?
- Why do we insist on dividing our wonderfully complex selves into boring little boxes
Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.
- America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
- Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
- Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
A guide to making difficult conversations possible—and peaceful—in an increasingly polarized nation.
- How can we reach out to people on the other side of the divide? Get to know the other person as a human being before you get to know them as a set of tribal political beliefs, says Sarah Ruger. Don't launch straight into the difficult topics—connect on a more basic level first.
- To bond, use icebreakers backed by neuroscience and psychology: Share a meal, watch some comedy, see awe-inspiring art, go on a tough hike together—sharing tribulation helps break down some of the mental barriers we have between us. Then, get down to talking, putting your humanity before your ideology.
- The Charles Koch Foundation is committed to understanding what drives intolerance and the best ways to cure it. The foundation supports interdisciplinary research to overcome intolerance, new models for peaceful interactions, and experiments that can heal fractured communities. For more information, visit charleskochfoundation.org/courageous-collaborations.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.