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Open Access Highly Accessed Open Badges Commentary

Could digital patient communities be the launch pad for patient-centric trial design?

Paul Wicks

Author Affiliations

PatientsLikeMe, 155 2nd Street, Cambridge, MA 02141, USA

Trials 2014, 15:172  doi:10.1186/1745-6215-15-172

Published: 15 May 2014


The system of medical discovery does not revolve around patients as unique individuals with preferences, needs, and desires. Rather it revolves around scientific scrutiny, the needs of the sponsor, and the desires for regulatory approval. The patient is only a subject. Is it any wonder, then, that some patients have rejected the current medical paradigm and sought to find their own path?

Patient centered trial design; Patient powered research networks; Protocol design; Clinical trials