Patients increasingly demand unprecedented levels of personalization, immediacy, and decision-making power. Let’s take a look at how digital health has fueled the evolution of the ePatient Movement, already transforming healthcare…
An amazing thing happened along the road to the quantified self: Patients have become empowered by digital technology to actively participate in their own healthcare. The traditional paradigm of a passive patient being shuttled through a paternalistic medical system has been shattered by active patients demanding information and choice within a collaborative partnership. The “ePatient” was born, and all of healthcare has grown up.
Equipped, enabled, empowered, and engaged, today’s ePatient has the tools, means, knowledge, and support to actively participate within every aspect of care. Advocates such as “e-Patient Dave” deBronkart and Manny Hernandez have helped found a movement and encourage young patients like Matthew Zachary and Claire Wineland to become the next generation of influencers. By adding the “e” they’ve essentially redefined “patient.”
As Claire insists, patients want to be understood and not have their illness define them. Patients are far more than people who are sick, and suffering need not make them miserable. How society views patients is slowly changing for the better as ePatients redefine themselves and their role within the healthcare system—and throughout the rest of society. Swapping pity for empowerment, they reflect the values of a changing treatment paradigm.
Participatory medicine now impacts every milestone throughout the patient journey: From initial symptoms to diagnosis, treatment decision to activation, compliance to advocacy, each touch point is infused with unprecedented access to data, and direct communication with peers and professionals. From the moment the “World Wide Web” made information instantaneously and globally available, patients have searched, researched, and shared.
And as communications technology has relentlessly evolved from the Internet to social to mobile, and health helps drive today’s consumer electronics market, the boundary between “patient” and “consumer” is dissolving, their expectations blending into a service model where the end-user is in control. The patient-centric healthcare revolution has already arrived, and the ePatient Movement has finally won by becoming ubiquitous.
At Klick Health we facilitate and encourage patient advocacy, listening closely to what patients say to understand how patients feel. Experts in the digital tools they use, we apply our creativity, data, and technology to help our clients educate and empower all their stakeholders, with the goal of ultimately improving outcomes. We’re eager to hear your patient stories, and work together to create new ones.