Could we cure diseases faster, or at least better control them, through crowd-sourcing?
Benefits for patients and doctors:
PatientsLikeMe provides forums where more than 65,000 members with epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and more than a dozen other disorders are encouraged to share details about their conditions and the success or pitfalls of specific drug treatments.
Benefits for industry:
Among the services the site provides to its corporate clients is analysis of members’ conversations, broken down by age, sex, disease progression and treatments, to “learn not only what’s being said about your brand, but by whom.” Another service allows drug makers to conduct market research on 25 to 50 of the most active users on the site — typically those who post messages often and have emerged as opinion leaders — who consent to participate.