Given the amount of information available on the internet today, it is almost hard to imagine a world without it. The seamless ability to share information today is simply unprecedented. The internet offers people a chance to tell their stories.
The founders of the web site patientslikeme.com have taken the concept of sharing stories one step further. Members now numbering over a quarter of a million people are actively updating their ups and downs as they treat various ailments and diseases.
The web site allows a member to track their health over time, connect with and see how others with similar symptoms are doing. Over time, patterns emerge (what works, what does not work) and it is hoped that the information can be used to define new treatments and improve people's lives.
If you are interested in seeing an introduction to the concept of the patientslikeme.com web site, search for "Jamie Heywood" on the "TED talks" web site. In February 2010, Jamie informed the TED audience how the web site works and how it can be used as a tool to help others. It is an inspiring conversation. If you haven't visited the ted.com web site before, it is a collection of short lectures (usually around 15 minutes long) on a wide variety of social, scientific and artistic topics. Something for everyone can be found on this excellent web site.