Sunday, March 23, 2008

Cancer patient empowerment for GenX and GenY

From the e-Patient blog:

Check out this interview [below] with Matthew Zachary, founder of ImTooYoungForThis (cancer resources for GenX and GenY).
(This is from the Health 2.0 conference where Susannah Fox spoke, as I noted the other day.)

It's a perfect example of how Web 2.0 means we get to say: provide a platform (the Web) and "an open mike" ("anyone can publish"), and you may get a bunch of inane garbage, but you'll also get some absolutely wonderful creations that might never have seen the light of day.

1 comment:

  1. The Only Industry Void of Technology

    The Health Care Industry, particularly in the United States, needs to evolve and revolutionize for the benefit of those who utilize the services of this industry, which is the public,as well as those who provide such health services. Among other issues that need to be rebuilt and corrected include the presumed issue of patients misunderstanding their health care providers who happen to overestimate their patients’ health literacy. That seems to be in the process of being corrected in large part- with the assistance of technology.
    Health care has been called recently the most crowded market in cyberspace. There is a strong desire by these so many others to collect, refine and share health care and medical information they seek so often in order to gain valuable knowledge- such as with patients who have some concern or actual disease or medical condition , unfortunately. Patients desire to manage their specific health concerns in order to supplement the advice and treatment regimens provided by their health care providers. Patients do this with what essentially is a subculture of this healthcare online network avenues more are discovering and joining for their own health and desire for increased knowledge about medicine and health care, which includes health care providers as well. Presently, there may be 100 or more new and innovative sites which are called, as a group, Health 2.0- social networking sites, and began their creation well over a decade ago. Mr. Matthew Holt created the term ‘Health 2.0’, and also created:
    Types of Health 2.0 users and why they seek information from these internet sites include reasons such as to manage their own health and possible disease they may have, as well as make treatment decisions regarding these issues. About 150 million people are users on Health 2.0 for this reason, which means they now exceed health care providers as a primary source for them to receive medical and health care information. In addition, there are those who seek information for reasons of medical education, which again may include the public and the medical profession for other different reasons. The medical profession and its members utilize Health 2.0 to enhance their own medical practices for the benefit of their patients. All reasons for why they wish to become informed are valid and ultimately beneficial. Benefits of Health 2.0 include the potential to increase the qualities and outcomes of patients with various disease states. Also, Health 2.0 networking sites can decrease health care costs as well as reduce medical mistakes and decrease the number of doctor visits for patients. Patients are happier and healthier because of this, as they are now equipped, empowered, enabled, and engaged in their own health, thanks to health care social networking sites that now exist.
    It is in fact a method of participatory health care that allows these others the ability to rapidly share, classify, and summarize individual health information. This improves health care systems and experiences that benefit the public health, overall. Yet this has concerning issues involved with this sharing of information. Opinions and recommendations from essentially strangers likely void of medical training, overall, may do more harm than good to those concerned about their health that seek such information.
    How do the users of such systems perceive this new concept and paradigm with health care? Most users of these health care systems find the information they seek and locate are very useful for them. Most also seek and locate information regarding a particular disease or medical problem. The user of such sites usually visit many medical and health care sites on particular health care social network locations, and others seek such information before their next doctor visit to be knowledgeable and prepared about their own health. This is hopefully what occurs, instead of those with medical conditions attempting to doctor themselves.
    For those others who utilize health care networking sites designed for patients, or community sites, they may become members on particular sites in order to communicate with other members who may have similar health or medical concerns as their own. They are allowed to quantify their own experiences by sharing and annotating their symptoms and treatments, if these things exist. So this system on such sites ultimately allows patients to possibly manage their diseases with this advice available immediately to them by others who have accessed the site another may be exploring at a certain time.
    Other categories of health care social networking that are not necessarily designed specifically for patients and consumers include general interest sites, medical research sites, disease and medical condition sites specific to each ailment. There are also those sites that offer health advisory services, heath financial services, personal health records, comparative health website services, representative consumer empowered tools, as well as other health care network sites that may not fall into a specific category.
    Yet all Health 2.0 sites seem to share similar themes are qualities:
    - They impact noticeably on the traditional and collaborative practices historically associated with the medical profession and their relationship with their patients. These sites allow the users and providers to connect with each other in a new and exciting way.
    - Personal healthcare can be provided by users connecting with health care providers in such a way.
    - Partnerships can be formed to reform health care delivery, as sites with Health 2.0 promote outgoing medical education
    - The participants, or users of these sites, are involved to a greater degree now that these sites exist.
    Others that choose to utilize their health care needs with Health 2.0 web sites appear to be healing not only themselves, but health care delivery overall by the utilizing and sharing that occurs on such sites.
    Patients are indeed a virtue, as they and others are democratizing health care with this new avenue of Socratic learning, yet should be utilized with caution by users of such systems.
    This, indeed, is authentic patient power as long as the patients validate what they may read,

    Daniel Abshear


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