Headache? No doctor, hit the Net!

Imagine this.  Instead of visiting your doctor when your headache just doesn't go away, go online and talk to others who have experienced similar symptoms for relief and suggested treatments.

No, it's not like asking your Aunt Millie for her recipe for ingrown toenails. According to a story at wired.com, PatientsLikeMe, a new social network for those suffering from chronic diseases, "says it will use a new $1.9 million grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to build an open science platform to help patients measure the progression of their own diseases and to make that data available to medical researchers."

And you won't be alone. Ryan Tate writes that almost 200,000 people have already taken advantage of the network to spread medical data. Privacy freaks, no worries. The network is secure.  The app developed when its owners realized there are no standardized "measurement systems developed for patient use."  So, very often, patients are left in the dark about how other patients with their same disease progress, using what treatments.

Tate reports that this network will provide one central base for information to be shared by patients self-assessing through standardized questions, building "a bridge to formalize that data and share it with scientists who can act on it."

Sounds like a plan to me.



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