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Type Private
Founded 2004
Headquarters File:Flag of the United States.svg Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
Key people Ben Heywood, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Jeff Cole, Co-Founder and Chief technical officer
James Heywood, Co-Founder, Chairman
David S. Williams III, Head of Business Development and Marketing
Slogan "Patients Helping Patients Live Better Every Day"
Type of site social networking
Launched October 10, 2005
Current status Active
Profile of a patient with ALS

PatientsLikeMe is a social networking health site that enables its members to share treatment and symptom information in order to track and to learn from real-world outcomes.

PatientsLikeMe currently has communities for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson's disease, fibromyalgia, HIV, chronic fatigue syndrome, and mood disorders, as well as the rare conditions progressive supranuclear palsy, multiple system atrophy, and Devic's disease (neuromyelitis optica). In June 2009 PatientsLikeMe announced their first major partnership with the drug company UCB to develop a community for patients suffering from epilepsy, due for launch in early 2010.[1]

PatientsLikeMe enables patients who suffer from these life-changing diseases to converse with one another, allowing them to share data on improving their outcomes, empathize with each other and to learn any techniques or medication other sufferers are trying in order to improve their health.

The site was initially launched in 2005 when brothers James Heywood and Benjamin Heywood recognized the need for community-based information sharing around specific diseases when their brother Stephen Heywood was diagnosed with ALS in 1998.

Physicians and researchers can access the site, enabling them to find out what treatments its patients have tried and how successful the outcome of the treatments were. The site has also introduced a number of projects that analyze clinical information given by the patients. Users of the site access the site for free. However the site is a commercial site as it aims to sell its users' data to drug and medical companies. The number of users is increasing. At October 2009, there were 45,000 registered patients on the site.

In the time since launch, the company has expanded to 9 disease categories, with plans to expand to many more. The company was named as one of the "15 Companies that Will Change the World" by Business 2.0 and CNN Money.[2] It was also featured in a March, 2008 New York Time Magazine article entitled "Practicing Patients"[3] and in December 2008 on a television segment with Sanjay Gupta for the CBS Evening News.[4]


  1. Marketwire, UCB and PatientsLikeMe Partner to Give People With Epilepsy a Voice in Advancing Research Jun 15, 2009 07:00 ET [1]
  2. PatientsLikeMe : Press
  3. PatientsLikeMe - Medicine - Doctors - Computers and the Internet - New York Times
  4. Social Networking For Medical Patients - CBS Evening News with Katie Couric

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