How PicnicHealth is pioneering research in lupus with real-world data

Did you know that developing a new drug takes more than a decade and costs hundreds of millions of dollars, on average? Part of that inefficiency is because scientists don’t have access to all the medical data that would help them better understand the diseases they hope to treat. Unfortunately that means patients have to wait for innovative new treatments, and when they arrive, they can be costly.

At the same time, anyone impacted by chronic diseases like lupus knows the frustration of dealing with dispersed healthcare records. Dozens of calls and faxes to various doctors return messy records that patients must make sense of on their own. And when patients and doctors don’t have the full picture of a patient's medical history, it can lead to slower diagnoses and missed insights in matching patients to the right treatments early.

Fortunately, PicnicHealth has created a novel approach to tackling both challenges. 

“I founded PicnicHealth after managing a Crohn’s disease diagnosis. It started as a way to give patients more control navigating their own care,” said Noga Leviner, co-founder and CEO of PicnicHealth. “We quickly realized we were actually solving a much bigger problem by turning each patient’s messy, nonuniform medical records into structured data. The result not only helps patients directly but it also really moves the needle on research.”

PicnicHealth does the hard work of collecting all your medical records, from all doctors, and organizing them into a single timeline accessible with one click. PicnicHealth also creates medical data sets that researchers can use—but only if a patient consents to share their de-identified data. Using de-identified data of thousands of patients, PicnicHealth gives researchers a uniquely rich view of how diseases are experienced by patients and treated by clinicians in the real world, well beyond the highly controlled setting of clinical trials.

PicnicHealth doesn’t just redact medical records; they extract specific pieces of information from your records—like lab results or medications—and put those into a separate file to keep your privacy safe.

PicnicHealth has now helped tens of thousands of patients diagnosed with chronic or complex diseases, and most of them have actively opted-in to contribute their de-identified data to medical research. Patients can sign up in 10 minutes by providing basic info and the names of your doctors or hospitals. It’s free for anyone who volunteers to contribute their de-identified data to help research.

“Especially during the Covid era, we’ve heard from our users that they really appreciate being able to do their part for research easily from the safety of their home,” said Leviner.

Now, PicnicHealth is expanding its research to lupus and looking for volunteers to contribute their data. Together with patients, PicnicHealth is changing the future of health for the better by giving patients and doctors better visibility of their medical records, and by equipping researchers with data to help accelerate the development of new treatments. 


Learn more and sign up for PicnicHealth at PicnicHealth.com/lupus.

Meg is PicnicHealth's Growth Partnerships Lead.