Interview with PatientsLikeMe CEO and co-founder Ben Heywood

PatientsLikeMe is one of my favorite Health 2.0, social networking websites. The online community enables patients with serious illnesses to build content-rich connections to similar patients. Patients are motivated to provide all the relevant information about themselves and to stick with the site over time to help one another. As a consequence, PatientsLikeMe users collectively generate robust data sets that have the potential to generate meaningful insights for researchers and commercial entities. That leads to some interesting business opportunities for the company.

During the relative lull of the last week of 2007 I had the chance to sit down with Ben Heywood, CEO and co-founder of PatientsLikeMe to catch up on the company’s progress. We talked about the differences between PatientsLikeMe and other Health 2.0 communities, the extension of the platform from the original focus on ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) to a broader set of conditions, the company’s Openness Philosophy, and how the company intends to monetize its offering without alienating its users.

January 2, 2008

6 thoughts on “Interview with PatientsLikeMe CEO and co-founder Ben Heywood”

  1. Pingback: WorldHealthCareBlog.org » Interview with Ben Heywood, CEO of Patients Like Me: a hosted discussion on innovation in health care
  2. Great!This site helps a lot of patients to get the information online about their health issues and at the same time it generating employment to many people.

  3. Patients Like Me is a remarkable development. I visit the ALS pages frequently and am constantly impressed and moved by the way the members reach out to one anther with humor, solid practical advice and compassion. ALS is a devastating illness and it is inspiring to see the members dealing with it through social bonding and mutual support. I have made some good friends there–and it is a good place for people like me who don’t even have ALS but who are fascinated by patient empowerment and Web 2.0. I have made some good friends there and have seen on PLM some amazing, inspiring examples of human resilience and fortitude in the face of terrible adversity.

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  5. It is a nice network, it is part of Health 2.0 services, similar to access to electronic medical records online services.

    of course, their network count on openness, while ours focus on privacy and confidentiality.

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