PatientsLikeMe & 23andMe: Community-Based Personal Genomics

What happens when 2 of the world’s hottest technologies — social networking and personal genomics — come together?

Dig this press release, via Marketwire: PatientsLikeMe Teams Up With 23andMe to Help Parkinson’s Patients Health 2.0 Pioneers Work Together to Accelerate Research

PatientsLikeMe, the first community-based personalized medicine platform for people with life-changing conditions, and 23andMe, the world’s leading personal genomics company, announce a partnership today to help people with Parkinson’s disease. PatientsLikeMe is teaming with 23andMe on its effort to recruit 10,000 people with Parkinson’s for a massive study of the disease, and give patients a way to learn more about their personal genetics….

PatientsLikeMe is a social networking site, but it’s also one that physicians and researchers can get access to, to gather information. Now add to that 23andMe’s ability to generate genomic data, the significance of which (and the significance of the sharing of which) will often be poorly understood by customers/members. The combination raises at least the worry that people will let their guards down — PatientsLikeMe is a community, after all — and make poor decisions, either about participating in research or about sharing potentially-sensitive genetic information.

Here are the Wikipedia pages for PatientsLikeMe and 23andMe.

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About Chris MacDonald

I'm a philosopher who teaches at Ryerson University's Ted Rogers School of Management in Toronto, Canada. Most of my scholarly research is on business ethics and healthcare ethics.
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