PatientsLikeMe Is Building A Self-Learning Healthcare System
When we get sick, doctors capture all kinds of data about us in their office or at the hospital: bloodwork, scans, interviews, probes. Then there's a follow-up appointment to see how we're doing. Maybe if it's serious, you get a follow-up call from a nurse. That leaves the other 99.9% of our time spent not in the clinic, just living alone with our ailments. How do we measure our progress in the in-between time? How do we measure our distance from health? The answer to this question has become an obsession for data-driven scientist Paul Wicks. The neuropsychologist from the U.K. (and a 2013 TED Fellow) is the chief research officer for PatientsLikeMe, a social network that is producing some of the most compelling clinical data the health care industry has ever seen.