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ECTRIMS 2014

Dr Paul Wicks Points to the Benefits of Technology in MS Research

Paul Wicks, PhD, vice president of innovation at PatientsLikeMe, discussed the benefits of using technology in multiple sclerosis research by patients, providers, researchers, and other decision-makers.
Paul Wicks, PhD, vice president of innovation at PatientsLikeMe, discussed the benefits of using technology in multiple sclerosis research by patients, providers, researchers, and other decision-makers. 
 
According to Dr Wicks, while many are skeptical of Internet-based information when researching multiple sclerosis symptoms and treatments, meaningful data is becoming increasingly accessible to patients. For instance, many patients are sharing patient-reported outcomes measures just like those used in clinical trials. Others are using web-based tools to pool together valid observational data. Dr Wicks was hopeful that this trend will grow over the next few years, and patients will become more confident in Internet-based research. 
 
Dr Wicks also commented on the use of technology in MS research by providers and other healthcare professionals, particularly in the form of data-sharing. He proposed a system where every patient with MS is a “continuous data point,” where his or her data is recorded and used to make informed treatment decisions about others with similar symptoms. As Dr Wicks put it, “The point of technology is to support the learning healthcare system…for every patient that comes in the door, the decisions about their treatment will be made.”
 
 


 
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