COMPARING CONDITIONS

PatientsLikeMe.com introduces you to a world where people who share your conditions are ready to discuss them with you. This leads to some interesting stuff, like how people have experienced different reactions, good and bad, to medicines taken at different times or different seasons. It kind of opens up a growing database of details that are seldom researched. You can also read what others have posted about various diseases and bodily ailments. The site is free to use. Update: The opening pages of the book “Dragnet Nation” describes how the site sells patient info to pharmaceutical companies.

CureTogether is similar to the PatientsLikeMe site and asks you to take a survey about your condition, such as knee pain, and see how you compare with others who experience your symptoms. Looking at a chart, we saw that “stop exercising” was an extremely popular treatment but very ineffective.

HealthTap lets you ask a doctor a question. Usually there’s a charge for this kind of service, but this site and its 10,000 doctors offer free advice. There’s also an Android/iPhone/iPad app.

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