After Lisa Cone-Swartz was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 2008, she joined a group on the crowdsourcing site PatientsLikeMe to share data about her worrisome symptoms. Seven years later, Cone-Swartz is still using the site to aid her treatment and make better drug choices.
"I wanted more control of my own medical knowledge," said Cone-Swartz, a retired executive who lives in Parkville, Missouri. "Parkinson's is very complicated, and no one has the same experience." These days, however, people can access medical information and be more demanding and informed, she explained.
Cone-Swartz adds that no one doctor can be an expert at everything, anyway. "So if I'm not my own advocate," she said, "I might not be getting the best care."