Crowdsourced online health care solutions have become increasingly popular within the last year. One notable contributor in this space is Northern California-based Curetogether. Alexandra Carmichael, Curetogether’s Cofounder, had this to say about crowdsourcing:

“I define crowdsourcing as people coming together to collaboratively solve problems. When it comes to health, crowdsourcing has the potential to have a huge impact – if patients, doctors, and researchers can all come together and share their unique understanding with each other, amazing discoveries can be made. I would even go so far as to say I think this kind of collaboration is actually essential for the next generation of medical discoveries.”

“CureTogether is a place where people anonymously track and compare health data, to better understand their bodies, make more informed treatment decisions and contribute data to research. Patients have so much knowledge about their bodies, especially people living with chronic conditions. We believe that everyone coming together and sharing this knowledge, anonymously, can build a big picture faster than traditional research. I see patients becoming more and more empowered in their care, being partners with their doctors. Patients will own their health information and be able to easily take it with them wherever they go for care. “

Crowdsourced healthcare solutions like Curetogether have very important implications for long term care. As Carmichael explains,

“For long-term care facilities, a health tracking system like CureTogether would give an up-to-date record of each resident’s health and an overall picture of the health of everyone in the facility, helping doctors, nurses and families understand the changes in individual health and make decisions about care.”

Another thing that makes CureTogether interesting is that it is a natural hub for clinical trials recruiting, which has huge implications for the pharmaceutical industry. If the site hits a critical mass of people, Pharma companies could send inclusion criteria for trials they need fills as well as surveys about adverse side effects, drug efficacy, or company perception for specific populations of patients.

This type of open collaboration between patients will be essential in the coming years as more and more people decide to take control of their own health information.

Carolyn Haynali

Last Modified May 28, 2009 @ 10:52 am
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