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access some of the alliance partners’ technologies in order to gather more data about their health. For example, a patient might have a blood sample taken and tested by SomaLogic and HealthTell, Heywood says.
That could lead to recommending a lifestyle modification or a change to a treatment regimen, he adds.
It’s still early days though, and PatientsLikeMe and its partners still need to prove that providing all this data to patients can lead to improvements in their health.
“Quite frankly we don’t know the impact,” Heywood says. “But as we’ve seen in genetics, more and more, this is going to be direct to consumer. I think that’s going to be an important thing that’s going to democratize information, and I think fundamentally change how the healthcare system works.”
PatientsLikeMe will use the new funding to grow its 160-person staff, hiring particularly in computational biology, informatics, and data science, a spokeswoman says. She declined to share how many people the company plans to hire.
PatientsLikeMe will also invest in the expansion of its online patient network, Heywood says.