Top 5 online communities for patients | Online patient communities

online patient communities

Online patient communities

Online patient communities give patients and their close kin an unlimited online opportunity to learn more about diseases, seek and or give assistance. They can also find and connect with others infected or affected by the disease.

The advancements in technology along with positive changes in the health care systems has increased the rate of daily visits to the Internet. Today, above 18% of the adult American who access the Internet often go online for health care information. Online societies have predicted that they will have an increased number of visitors with the development of interactive communities such as discussion platform.

1. PatientsLikeMe

This is the leading private and personalized health network. Founded in 2004, the network was inspired by the living experiences of Stephen Heywood. With headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, this society came as a result of Stephen’s diagnosis with Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Today, this network gives patients an opportunity to get alternatives for treatment, socialize, take various actions to better their health and provide valuable information for further research.

PatientsLikeMe currently has more than a half a million active members and has over 100 published research studies.

The network started with creating a social platform for the Lou Gehrig’s disease patients, but it has with time opened its wing to accommodate people with other conditions such as HIV, Devic disease, Multiple system atrophy, organ transplant, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and mood disorders. The company offers patients and their kin to feed in relevant data on their condition, treatment records, symptoms, side effects, weight, mood and quality of life, then it generates results in various presentations such as charts and graphs to display their health patterns. Details of patients with the same conditions are also presented which help them to enquire what medication has worked for another. According to past surveys, more than 72% have found the site relevant in disease learning.

For more information, visit.

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2. HealthBoards

This is a health care Internet website with its birthday on 26th July 1998. This privately owned company headquartered in El Segundo, CA, United States. The site came as a result of unanswered questions that Charles Simmons, the founder, which lacked explanation from doctors, then Simmons was forced to seek counsel and support from the Web.

This social support website consists of more than 280 Internet message boards crafted for the patient to patient health support. Being one of the pioneer health communities, health board was part of a web portal that comprises of Yahoo, iVillage, and WebMD.

This platform permits patients to send and share information to offer support for various conditions like cancer, autism, cancer, and feminine health.  The latest survey dated October 2013 indicated that the network had over a million registered members with about 5 Million messages posted. This company was in 2005 rated one of the top 20 health sites by the consumer reports health web-watch. The ranking was based on the number of visitors to the site.

The site is much loved by its ease to use, transparency, advertising, accessibility and information reliability. The platform has received much appreciation as it offers free services to its registered members.

On the site, a message topic is initiated by a member, and then thousands of discussion threads are typically created. Unregistered members can also search for information only that they cannot post on the platform.

Learn more about HealthBoards on their website.

3. MedHelp

With headquarters in Melbourne, Florida, USA, MedHelp is an American health care Internet site that was founded on the 14th February 1994 and was founded by Cindy Thompson, co-founded with Phil Garfinkel. This company partners with different medical practitioners to aid online discussion boards on health related issues. The company adopts “finding cures together” as its slogan. The company has built various products including Medtalk, Health topics, medical communities and Ask an Expert.

Alexa Internet rated Medhelp 3090th in Internet traffic in December 2008. The site receives a monthly traffic of over 7 million visitors. The site tackles health topics like Addiction, Allergy, Cancer, cosmetic surgery, dermatology, disaster preparedness, EN&T, fitness, Gastroenterology, Gynecology, Hepatitis, HIV, Neurology, Orthopedics, Pain Management, STD, weight loss, and women health and many others.

Users can post health questions, remarks and seek responses from other online users.

MedHelp is popular with its health applications such as Weight management, personal fitness trackers, interactive tools and others. The site has helped its members to manage conditions such as sleep mode and ovulation & pregnancy.

More information can be acquired through.

4. WebMD

This company has a passion for providing better information for better health. This public firm was founded James H. Clark, M.D in 14th June 1996, its name at initiation was Healthscope. It has headquarters in New York, United States.

The firm is well known with the online publication of health-related articles and information. The site also engages in health care topics such as symptom checklist, drug information, pharmacy data, and further provides storage for personal health information.

In the last quarter of 2016, WebMD recorded the highest number of unique online user per month at 179.5 million users and a record 3.63 billion page visitors after every three months.

The site offers a variety of services to physicians and other individuals including publication of the famous WebMD.The Magazine-a patient-centered magazine published twice a month to a large population of doctors.

Know more by visiting.

5. Healthunlocked

This firm was founded by Jorge Armament and Dr. Matt Jameson in 2009. The online patient community offers social networking services to patients and their close kin. The company provides its customized health information through the use of unique to health Artificial intelligence.

The company gives peer support and patient empowerment by getting people to engage in their health care matters actively. This network is currently hosting over 600 health communities on its website. The organized communities deal with different patient health condition.

The network is preferable as you are enabled to create a custom user profile and can then access one or more of the communities under the network.

The British Liver Trust, Endometriosis UK, and other health organization have considered a partnership with the communities to run their activities.

According to a survey by the University of Warwick in 2016 indicated that these networks have succeeded in uniting people to tackle various illnesses. The system accommodates among many patients, cancer, diabetes and mental health patients. This firm was among the first ones selected to join the NHS England innovation accelerator program that aims to adopt changes in a faster and more systematic way.

Know more by visiting.


Many patients have expressed testimonies by the development of online patient communities, a lot of funds which could have been misused, have been spared as patients can share and get to know the kind of medication to an illness works best so that they can go for it.

The communities are of great importance to physicians and researchers as they offer relevant information that can be used as the base for further research.

We above discussed 5 of the top and best online patient communities, and we hope you found informative. You can consider visiting the links provided. If you are affected or infected by illness, you know little about, hesitate not to register on any of the above communities that suit you best. We look forward to having you find out more. Stay tuned.

Image credit: All images and logos belong to respective owners as mentioned in article above and are taken from their websites.


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