Patients Share Health Data, Become Researchers to Seek Cures for Their Conditions

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CureTogether to demonstrate at Health 2.0 Conference how some patients are responding to inadequate research by doing it themselves.

Patients living with chronic conditions are starting to go beyond simple web searches and online support groups. Increasingly, they are tracking their health daily and sharing hard data on their conditions online with peers, to learn more about their bodies and attempt to predict which treatments may work best for them.

On October 23, at the Health 2.0 Conference in San Francisco, CureTogether (http://www.curetogether.com) Co-Founder Daniel Reda will demonstrate how patients are comparing multiple symptoms and discovering new treatment options. He will speak on the "Genomics Online" panel and also discuss how gathering health data directly from patients can complement genetic data collected by companies like Navigenics and 23andMe.

As patients input data on symptoms, treatments and outcomes, they build quantitative health profiles that can be compared with those of other patients living with the same condition. Every person experiences their condition differently, and identifying patterns can lead to more personalized and more effective treatments. One member recently commented, "It was very interesting to see all of the other symptoms that other women were having. It's nice to know I'm not alone or crazy."

Aggregating and analyzing data from thousands of patients enables association studies, which may lead to important new discoveries about numerous conditions, particularly those that have historically been under-funded. Jeff Howe, Contributing editor of Wired Magazine and author of Crowdsourcing recently called CureTogether "very promising."

CureTogether, a San Mateo, CA startup, launched in July to help patients living with chronic conditions collaborate anonymously with each other and with scientists to accelerate research. Starting with 3 conditions - Migraine, Endometriosis and Vulvodynia - its members have since expanded it to support 87 conditions.

For more information, please contact Faren Inglett at 916-996-9200 or faren @ curetogether.com

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Faren Inglett
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