Patient Sharing: A Concept That Is Finally Becoming Obvious

Susannah Fox, Associate Director of the Pew Internet & American Life Project

Susannah Fox, the Associate Director of the Pew Internet & American Life Project, recently posted a blog entry entitled “Peer-to-peer Healthcare: Crazy. Crazy. Crazy. Obvious.” that is near and dear to our hearts here at PatientsLikeMe.

In her post, she defines peer-to-peer healthcare as follows:

“Patients and caregivers know things — about themselves, about each other, about treatments — and they want to share what they know to help other people.  Technology helps to surface and organize that knowledge to make it useful for as many people as possible.”

Sound familiar?  She goes on to describe where this idea of patients sharing knowledge with each other fits in the lifecycle of ideas (or The Natural History of a New Idea).

All of this research is moving peer-to-peer healthcare along the new idea scale.  In fact, I’m having fun watching people’s reactions (and mine) when I describe these new studies:  from indifference (bummer, they don’t get it), to puzzlement (OK, we’re at least up to ‘odd, but unproven’), to excitement (oh good, let’s talk). It speaks volumes to me that the Wall Street Journal covered the PatientsLikeMe [ALS] study, for example, and other major news outlets did not.”

Want to hear why she thinks PatientsLikeMe and others are moving the concept of patient sharing from “crazy to obvious” – and how this all could affect the future of science?  Read her full blog post and weigh in with your own thoughts in the comments section.

PatientsLikeMe member lscanlon

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