Introducing the PicnicHealth Research Platform

We’re excited to announce the next phase in our evolution, the official launch of PicnicHealth’s scientific research platform! 

PicnicHealth already has a long history of  working directly with patients to give them unmatched visibility into and control over their complete medical records. Now, with our scientific research platform, we give these same patients the chance to contribute their medical records data to advance scientific research. 

PicnicHealth started with the goal of taking some of the pain out of being a patient in the US Healthcare system. Medical records contain rich and meaningful patient health data that is currently buried in disparate and disorganized systems. For patients, accessing and organizing this information can be time-consuming and frustrating.  To date, we’ve helped tens of thousands of patients, most with chronic and complex illnesses, better navigate their care by porting their records from any doctor or EMR in the United States into a single, secure online account.  Along the way, we learned that giving patients access to their records had the potential to go even further: to drive research that can improve treatments in the future. The result is PicnicHealth’s scientific research platform.  

Today we are working with top research organizations across academia and industry to provide access to data from de-identified and aggregated records—if and only if patients opt in to contribute.  This data, known as “real-world data” helps researchers better understand what diseases look like outside of the controlled setting of clinical trials where research has traditionally been done.  This way, researchers get a more full picture of how diseases really look and how care really happens over patients’ lives.  They see how patients are treated outside of academic medical settings, how treatment and outcomes look for groups under-represented in research, or how disease symptoms change for different groups over their lives. For researchers, the lack of access to this data today slows efforts to create better treatments that can ultimately improve patient outcomes. 

PicnicHealth provides the most complete, richest, real-world data possible for this research. The only way to get this depth and breadth of data is working directly with patients who can consent to contribute medical records from all of their different providers across time and across different health systems.  Today, we are able to do this work at scale. Our combination of machine learning with clinician review is giving unprecedented access to high-quality real-world health data.

How PicnicHealth Works:

We collect patient health records on their behalf. With their written authorization, we collect complete records across all of a patient’s many providers, regardless of where they work or which electronic medical record (EMR) they use.  We digitize and organize complete records using advanced human-in-the-loop machine learning (HITL ML). Our team collates and digitizes every file. Our proprietary algorithm “reads” the records and a nurse validates each transcription. This approach allows us to process records at scale while ensuring accuracy and improving our algorithm with each record.

We give patients access to their complete records, organized in one place. Users can view their whole medical history in a timeline view that includes doctor notes and reports, imaging, lab results, medications, and more. Patients can easily search for the information they need or share access with family members and doctors. 

We anonymize and aggregate records to provide researchers with meaningful datasets. We can work directly with researchers to design the dataset they need and keep it updated as new patient records contribute additional data. Researchers use this data in a broad range of ways: 

  • Accelerate new drug development by using real-world outcomes as a control arm for clinical trials or to help inform regulators
  • Understand which patients respond to which treatments, so patients can receive optimal care
  • Better characterize the burden of disease and ensure patients can access the therapies they need
  • Improve diagnostic criteria and predictors of disease progression to help better manage patients

Part of giving patients ownership over their medical history is enabling them to use it for the greater good. We will continue to give patients the same one-click access to their complete medical records. Now, with the launch of this research platform, we are thrilled to help accelerate breakthroughs in care, too.