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Social Media Platforms for Cancer Patients

By Salman Abdulaziz
MedHelp
www.medhelp.org
Founded in 1994 out of a shared need for better
medical information and support, MedHelp is the
pioneer in online health communities. The MedHelp site
connects people with the leading medical experts and
others who have similar experiences.
Today, MedHelp empowers over 12 million people each
month to take control over their health and find
answers to their medical questions. MedHelp, a
privately-funded company, has over 16 years of
accumulated information from doctors and other
patients across hundreds of conditions. In addition,
MedHelp has long-standing partnerships with the top
medical institutions such as the Cleveland Clinic, National Jewish, Partners Health, and Mount Sinai.
MedHelp's audience, archives, and partnerships make it a unique health destination on the Internet.
In addition to helping patients find answers to their questions, MedHelp has a robust infrastructure to
help patients actively manage their health. Through its condition-specific health applications and
Personal Health Records (PHRs), MedHelp members are able to track over 1500 symptoms and
treatments on a daily basis as it relates to the progression of their medical condition. The ability to
document and share this information with their doctors has led to better communication and more
active patient engagement. MedHelp trackers are available on the website and on mobile phones
through web-based browsers and iPhone apps covering both general health conditions, such as weight
loss and allergies, and very specific disorders, such as infertility and diabetes. MedHelp now has one of
the largest databases of self-reported medical data, totaling 100 million data points.
Every day, members come to MedHelp to receive the support they need from other patients like them,
to research information on drugs and health topics, to document their medical history, and to share
their knowledge with others in need. Through MedHelp's patients, doctors, experts, researchers,
hospitals, and non-profit organizations, each day, we are one step closer in our mission to find cures
together. MedHelp is a profitable private company which is funded through operating profits.
Patients Like Me
www.patientslikeme.com
PatientsLikeMe is committed to putting patients
first. They do this by providing a better, more
effective way for you to share your real-world
health experiences in order to help yourself, other
patients like you and organizations that focus on
your conditions.
PatientsLikeMe was co-founded in 2004 by three MIT engineers: brothers Benjamin and James Heywood
and longtime friend Jeff Cole. Five years earlier, their brother and friend Stephen Heywood was
diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) at the age of 29. The Heywood family soon began searching
the world over for ideas that would extend and improve Stephen’s life. Inspired by Stephen’s
experiences, the co-founders and team conceptualized and built a health data-sharing platform that
they believe can transform the way patients manage their own conditions, change the way industry
conducts research and improve patient care.
Today, PatientsLikeMe is a for-profit company, but not one with a “just for profit” mission.
PatientsLikeMe follows fourcore values: putting patients first, promoting transparency, fostering
openness and creating “wow.” They are guided by these values as they continually enhance their
platform, where patients can share and learn from real-world, outcome-based health data.
PatientsLikeMe has also centered its business around these values by aligning patient and industry
interests through data-sharing partnerships. It works with trusted non-profit, research and industry
partners who use this health data to improve products, services and care for patients.
Cancer Hope Network
http://www.cancerhopenetwork.org/
Cancer Hope Network is a national non-profit organization that provides
free and confidential one-on-one emotional support to cancer patients,
their caregivers, and their family members. Cancer Hope Network matches
cancer patients or family members with trained volunteer cancer survivors who themselves, have
undergone and recovered from a similar cancer experience. The initial trauma of a malignant diagnosis
is undoubtedly one of life’s worst experiences and will remain so until a cure for cancer is found. Until
then, Cancer Hope Network offers unique and free one-on-one support over the phone to help patients
through this unknown and fearful experience. Through its internal and external resources, Cancer Hope
Network shares the successful experiences of cancer survivors, dispelling fears, myths, and uncertainty,
and replacing those with a much better feeling—the feeling of HOPE after diagnosis.

I Had Cancer
http://www.ihadcancer.com/
I Had Cancer is a cancer support community
that empowers people to take control of life
before, during and after cancer. Members can
search by type of cancer, age, gender,
location, year of diagnosis and type of user so
that they can easily find others who have
experienced their specific situation. This peer-to-peer support is crucial because it allows survivors,
fighters and supporters/caregivers to share firsthand experiences about treatment, side effects, long
term effects and more. Cancer can be isolating and scary, but I Had Cancer helps anyone who has been
affected by cancer find real support and real answers from those who have been in similar situations.
Most importantly, it lets survivors, fighters and supporters/caregivers know that they are not alone.
I Had Cancer’s mission’s is to empower anyone who has been affected by cancer. In less than two years,
the I Had Cancer community has grown to thousands of members in more than 110 countries. In 2012, it
was recognized by the Webby Awards as the Best Community Website and in 2013, Parade Magazine
listed I Had Cancer as one of seven social networks that could save your life.
Who is I Had Cancer for?
Fighters: People currently diagnosed with cancer who are looking for information and support from
other people who have been through a similar experience and understand.
Survivors: People who have overcome their diagnoses and are looking for continued support or hoping
to inspire and help others who have been recently diagnosed. Supporters: Caregivers or supporters who
have been with their loved ones through their cancer diagnoses and are looking for support or to
exchange information.

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Social Media Platforms for Cancer Patients

  • 1. Social Media Platforms for Cancer Patients By Salman Abdulaziz
  • 2. MedHelp www.medhelp.org Founded in 1994 out of a shared need for better medical information and support, MedHelp is the pioneer in online health communities. The MedHelp site connects people with the leading medical experts and others who have similar experiences. Today, MedHelp empowers over 12 million people each month to take control over their health and find answers to their medical questions. MedHelp, a privately-funded company, has over 16 years of accumulated information from doctors and other patients across hundreds of conditions. In addition, MedHelp has long-standing partnerships with the top medical institutions such as the Cleveland Clinic, National Jewish, Partners Health, and Mount Sinai. MedHelp's audience, archives, and partnerships make it a unique health destination on the Internet. In addition to helping patients find answers to their questions, MedHelp has a robust infrastructure to help patients actively manage their health. Through its condition-specific health applications and Personal Health Records (PHRs), MedHelp members are able to track over 1500 symptoms and treatments on a daily basis as it relates to the progression of their medical condition. The ability to document and share this information with their doctors has led to better communication and more active patient engagement. MedHelp trackers are available on the website and on mobile phones through web-based browsers and iPhone apps covering both general health conditions, such as weight loss and allergies, and very specific disorders, such as infertility and diabetes. MedHelp now has one of the largest databases of self-reported medical data, totaling 100 million data points. Every day, members come to MedHelp to receive the support they need from other patients like them, to research information on drugs and health topics, to document their medical history, and to share their knowledge with others in need. Through MedHelp's patients, doctors, experts, researchers, hospitals, and non-profit organizations, each day, we are one step closer in our mission to find cures together. MedHelp is a profitable private company which is funded through operating profits.
  • 3. Patients Like Me www.patientslikeme.com PatientsLikeMe is committed to putting patients first. They do this by providing a better, more effective way for you to share your real-world health experiences in order to help yourself, other patients like you and organizations that focus on your conditions. PatientsLikeMe was co-founded in 2004 by three MIT engineers: brothers Benjamin and James Heywood and longtime friend Jeff Cole. Five years earlier, their brother and friend Stephen Heywood was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) at the age of 29. The Heywood family soon began searching the world over for ideas that would extend and improve Stephen’s life. Inspired by Stephen’s experiences, the co-founders and team conceptualized and built a health data-sharing platform that they believe can transform the way patients manage their own conditions, change the way industry conducts research and improve patient care. Today, PatientsLikeMe is a for-profit company, but not one with a “just for profit” mission. PatientsLikeMe follows fourcore values: putting patients first, promoting transparency, fostering openness and creating “wow.” They are guided by these values as they continually enhance their platform, where patients can share and learn from real-world, outcome-based health data. PatientsLikeMe has also centered its business around these values by aligning patient and industry interests through data-sharing partnerships. It works with trusted non-profit, research and industry partners who use this health data to improve products, services and care for patients.
  • 4. Cancer Hope Network http://www.cancerhopenetwork.org/ Cancer Hope Network is a national non-profit organization that provides free and confidential one-on-one emotional support to cancer patients, their caregivers, and their family members. Cancer Hope Network matches cancer patients or family members with trained volunteer cancer survivors who themselves, have undergone and recovered from a similar cancer experience. The initial trauma of a malignant diagnosis is undoubtedly one of life’s worst experiences and will remain so until a cure for cancer is found. Until then, Cancer Hope Network offers unique and free one-on-one support over the phone to help patients through this unknown and fearful experience. Through its internal and external resources, Cancer Hope Network shares the successful experiences of cancer survivors, dispelling fears, myths, and uncertainty, and replacing those with a much better feeling—the feeling of HOPE after diagnosis. I Had Cancer http://www.ihadcancer.com/ I Had Cancer is a cancer support community that empowers people to take control of life before, during and after cancer. Members can search by type of cancer, age, gender, location, year of diagnosis and type of user so that they can easily find others who have experienced their specific situation. This peer-to-peer support is crucial because it allows survivors, fighters and supporters/caregivers to share firsthand experiences about treatment, side effects, long term effects and more. Cancer can be isolating and scary, but I Had Cancer helps anyone who has been affected by cancer find real support and real answers from those who have been in similar situations. Most importantly, it lets survivors, fighters and supporters/caregivers know that they are not alone. I Had Cancer’s mission’s is to empower anyone who has been affected by cancer. In less than two years, the I Had Cancer community has grown to thousands of members in more than 110 countries. In 2012, it was recognized by the Webby Awards as the Best Community Website and in 2013, Parade Magazine listed I Had Cancer as one of seven social networks that could save your life. Who is I Had Cancer for? Fighters: People currently diagnosed with cancer who are looking for information and support from other people who have been through a similar experience and understand. Survivors: People who have overcome their diagnoses and are looking for continued support or hoping to inspire and help others who have been recently diagnosed. Supporters: Caregivers or supporters who have been with their loved ones through their cancer diagnoses and are looking for support or to exchange information.