Last October 28th, during one of the MaDI talks, we were honored by the presence of the project Diseasemaps. If we had to summarize what we learned in one sentence, this one would be “Even the smallest person can climb the highest mountain”. Diseasemaps team project have no limits. Here we tell you why:
What is the Project Diseasemaps?
It is a collaborative platform developed by Pablo Belmonte, an old student of the Carlos III University of Madrid’s Polytechnic School, after he was diagnosed with a rare disease. In a couple of years this team has never stop growing and they have thousand users connected around the world.
Pablo’s story has not been easy when developing this project. Even though he spends much of his time at home, he could tell us via Skype how he has developed this platform. Thanks to the development of a map where he linked users by disease, he realized about the prospective and capabilities of his idea and how people with other conditions could take advantage of similar maps. This is how Diseasemaps was born, project with 756 current conditions maps.
As for Elisa Ainoza, in charge Social Networks and Raquel Belmonte, biomedical engineer, they told us the progress and the projects around this platform. Among them, we find the 500 GWAS project which consists in compare the DNA of people with a certain condition and people without it in order to find genetic differences between the two groups, finding this way markers which allow diagnose and treat these conditions.
What is the Diseasemaps goal?
This platform aims at making the lives of those dealing with rare diseases or unusual chronic syndromes easier. In this way, it is not only people affected who can interact through these maps but also researchers, doctors, families, associations or counselors, etc. may join them. Thus, people in connection with a rare condition can gather information or advices from anywhere in the world to keep evolving.
In addition to the maps, there are also forums available on the platform, with answers to ordinary questions sorted by condition, statistics on how every of these conditions impacts on the daily lives of people affected, overcoming stories and even advices or suggestions helping others involved to improve.
People constituting the project Diseasemaps
As astonishing as it may seems, they have developed, with almost no resources, a platform translated in 7 languages with information about more than 700 conditions. Pablo, Elisa and Raquel are just the figurehead of an organization growing thanks to the disinterested help of hundreds of people which altruistically contribute to translate, include diseases, etc.
The interview about the project Diseasemaps
If you want to know more about this interesting project, you cannot miss this video where they share all the details!