Every day, data is lost between the clinician-patient interaction. Given the fact that physicians under report over 50% of the symptoms and side effects their patients experience, this is a significant amount of information. This is data that could otherwise be used to formulate new pharmaceutical drugs or design innovative medical devices. In this interview with Ben Heywood, we learn how PatientsLikeMe.com is creating a new medium for clinical trials by crowdsourcing healthcare data from their community of patients.
PatientsLikeMe was co-founded in 2004 by three MIT engineers: brothers Benjamin and James Heywood and longtime friend Jeff Cole. Five years earlier, their brother and friend Stephen Heywood was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) at the age of 29. The Heywood family soon began searching the world over for ideas that would extend and improve Stephen’s life. Inspired by Stephen’s experiences, the co-founders and team conceptualized and built a health data-sharing platform that potentially can transform the way patients manage their own conditions, change the way industry conducts research, and improve patient care.
Interview Highlights with Ben Heywood
- What is PatientsLikeMe.com?
- Why do patients openly share their health status through PatientsLikeMe.com and what do they hope to gain in return?
- How is the medical community responding to clinical data from PatientsLikeMe?
- The unique business model of PatientsLikeMe.com.
- The short and long term vision for PatientsLikeMe and the future impact of social healthcare.
- What has Ben learned since the inception of PatientsLikeMe?
- And much more!
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4) Read the following transcripts from my interview with Ben Heywood. Also, feel free to download the transcripts by clicking here.
Who is Ben Heywood?
Benjamin Heywood has served as the President and Director of PatientsLikeMe since its inception in 2004. His professional experience spans a diverse set of operational areas including successful ventures in the medical device industry, the entertainment industry, and in speculative residential real estate development. After graduating from MIT, Heywood moved to Silicon Valley to work for Target Therapeutics, the leading designer and manufacturer of microcatheter-based products for the treatment of stroke. After significant involvement in both manufacturing and product design, he eventually moved into a business development role until Boston Scientific acquired the company. Heywood earned his Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from MIT and received his MBA from the UCLA Anderson Graduate School of Management.
Read the Interview with Ben Heywood