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PatientsLikeMe: Carlos Rodarte’s Push for Connectivity

Screen Shot 2014-08-26 at 7.30.02 PMWhen Carlos Rodarte left his life sciences consulting job, he wanted to help fix the American healthcare system by making use of mobile platforms and devices. Three years later, he’s on his way. Rodarte joined PatientsLikeMe in late 2010, working to build an online patient community where patients share their health data, meet other patients like them, and learn about their diseases.

Rodarte will join Stephanie Shine, Karandeep Singh, and others to discuss the potential of Google Glass in healthcare at Pri-Med’s East Conference this September. We chatted with him about PatientsLikeMe, and how the company hopes to change the healthcare system.

What is PatientsLikeMe?

PatientsLikeMe is a patient network and a real-time research platform that advances medicine. Through the network, patients connect with others who have the same disease or condition. They can track and share their own experiences. In the process, they generate data about the real-world nature of disease that helps researchers, pharmaceutical companies, regulators, providers, and nonprofits develop more effective products, services and care.

Through health profiles, members monitor how they’re doing between doctor or hospital visits, document the severity of their symptoms, identify triggers, note how they are responding to new treatments, and track side effects. They learn from the aggregated data of others with the same experiences and see, often for the first time, just how they’re really doing in comparison. They also get and give support from others that will help them live better day-to-day.

What do doctors need to know about PatientsLikeMe?

PatientsLikeMe doesn’t provide medical advice – it enables peer-to-peer connectivity. The website is a place where patients come to learn about their condition from others like them. By virtue of connecting with others who may share similar experiences, patients get the support they need to better manage their condition and live better day to day.

PatientsLikeMe has published research showing that patients who use the site become better at self-management. This self management often occurs outside of the traditional clinical encounter, but PatientsLikeMe also provides validated tools to help patients record changes in their symptoms and condition over time.

How is PatientsLikeMe revolutionizing patient care?

Our patient focus is helping to drive a new era of health care in which people can benefit in real time from the information they share, and contribute to a new way of measuring health. In our “learning health system,” members share their real-world experiences; as a for-profit company founded on a philosophy of “openness,” we aggregate patient-reported data, analyze them and share the results with health care and life science companies to accelerate research and develop more effective treatments.


Carlos Rodante will bring the patient’s point of view to Pri-Med’s conversation about Google Glass in healthcare.

What do you plan to talk about at Pri-Med East in September? How does PatientsLikeMe tie into Google Glass in the healthcare space?

All too often, when novel technologies are introduced, the patient perspective is rarely included. Even when there is a desire to include it, there typically isn’t an efficient process that helps us learn alongside patients. PatientsLikeMe gathers the patient perspective when the impact of novel technologies like Google Glass are made available.

On the panel itself, I plan to discuss the important role that patients play in the adoption of novel technologies like Google Glass. For example: ensuring that patients understand the role of such technology, how it will be utilized, issues around data privacy and consent, and the value it has to society as a whole. I’ll also talk about barriers to adoption more broadly, the startups involved in Google Glass efforts, the investment thesis and my own personal experiences in using Google Glass through the Explorers Program.

Join Carlos Rodarte; Stephanie Shine, RN; Dr. Jennifer Joe; Dr. Karandeep Singh; Don Schwartz; and Dr. Tristan Gorrindo  at Pri-Med’s East Conference for a panel on the power of Google Glass in Healthcare, September 13th at noon. Register here under “Ticketed Events, Saturday”.

Jenni Whalen

Jenni Whalen

    Jenni Whalen is the Executive Assistant of Editorial at Upworthy. She was previously MedTech Boston's Managing Editor and has an MS in Journalism from Boston University, as well as a BA in Psychology from Bucknell University. Whalen has written for Greatist, Boston magazine, AZ Central Healthy Living and the New England Journal of Medicine, among other places. She has also worked as a conference planner, ghost writer, researcher and content developer.

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