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e-Patients: Educated. Engaged. Empowered.

Posted by | 4:20pm on Friday, November 12, 2010
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99 million U.S. adults are e-empowered patients using online information and tools 

The e-Patient has officially arrived. A growing number of people are using the internet to educate themselves on health and engage with each other via social media – both of which lead to empowerment. The latest Manhattan Research data shows that 99 million U.S. adults are e-empowered patients using online information and tools to take a more active role in their health care.

Patients have inserted themselves into the traditional relationship between physicians and pharmaceutical companies. Caregivers and patients are increasingly asking for specific treatments, and getting them.

With the huge amount of medical information available, there is no way physicians can keep up. Dr. Donald Lindberg, director of the National Library of Medicine, said, “If I read and memorized two medical journal articles every night, by the end of a year I’d be 400 years behind.” However, many patients are motivated to learn everything they can about their condition. This is especially true of rare disease patients, who in many ways are the ultimate e-Patients.

As one woman commented on the Facebook page for the National Organization for Rare Disorders: “When your doctor has to do an internet search for your disease, you are forced to become an empowered patient.”

Dave deBronkart became so empowered that he is now commonly known as “e-Patient Dave,” and his story is an inspiration to others.  In conjunction with Kru Research, he created this video that shows the Future of Patients is e-Patients.

Who Are e-Patients?
Thanks to Jess Seilheimer, whose blog, digilicious, directed me to this resource from Fard Johnmar’s Path of the Blue Eye. They have gathered information into a great visual that shows an overview of e-Patients.

What do you consider the definition of an e-Patient? Do you consider yourself an e-Patient?

The next question is whether physicians and hospitals are ready for e-Patients!

(Image courtesy of D. Sharon Pruitt on Flickr)

About Eileen O'Brien

Eileen has more than 16 years of digital healthcare marketing experience. She is an opinion leader on social media and biopharma, and has been invited to speak at industry conferences and quoted in publications.

View other posts from Eileen

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  • 15 January 2011 at 2:01pm
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  • 27 June 2011 at 10:06pm
    [...] Pick up Dave’s story. And why not check out the Society for Participatory Medicine. For more insights on the e-Patient movement and an ...
  • Seven Life Or Death Lessons from e-Patient Dave. | AdvanceMarketWoRx
  • 25 July 2011 at 9:07am
    [...] applaud the rise of the educated, empowered patient engaged in their care in partnership with a healthcare provider. This whole story reminds ...
  • Can a Patient Ever Know Too Much? | SIRENSONG
  • 06 September 2011 at 4:09pm
    [...] applaud the rise of the educated, empowered patient engaged in their care in partnership with a healthcare provider. This whole story reminds ...
  • Can a rare disease patient ever know too much? - Catalyst
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