My Notes on Kate Bringham’s presentation – PatientsLikeMe: Adventures with Data Visualizations

Kate’s presentation was a very interesting specialized topic. It was very interesting to see how they handle health data, mainly because I really had never thought about health data handling at all. It’s very delicate and complex data and I really liked how people at PatientsLikeMe are doing things.

Here are my notes:

  • Eight out of ten users look for health information on the internet
  • The goal at PatientsLikeMe is to make people know what they can do about their state and how.
  • It’s important to make it easy for people to create data
    • Easy to answer questions with no jargon
    • You can’t always make it extra simple, but you don’t always have to ask too much information.
    • Let people use their own meaningful language
  • Highlight the benefits of sharing data – Let users know what they do on the site is worthwhile.
    • For every piece of data that is asked, something can be given to the user in return. (example: answer the ‘I have’ question to find patients with your condition).
    • Patients can see themselves in context and find out the degree to which their symptoms are common.
  • Help people use data to answer their questions
    • PatientsLikeMe helps people know the outcomes of different actions they can take regarding their state.
    • People can learn through the experiences of other people.
    • People can end up answering questions they never really thought to ask in the first place.
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment
    • Be willing to fail while trying stuff you’re not sure about.