It used to be that you would visit your doctor, receive a diagnosis and let nature take its course.
“It’s all about empowerment,” said Shwen Gwee, vice president of digital health at Edelman. “Patients used to rely on their doctor to seek information. Now, they’re finding [online] communities that are related to the disease. They’re doing this because they can’t wait for the doctor. They’re living with this disease, and they need to find the answers.”
Gwee mentioned a recent medical meeting on diabetes. Like any other professional convention, it brought together physicians carrying on scientific discussions.
But the meeting also had many sessions with e-patients (Internet patients), who came with an agenda: to present their own clinical data.
“Patients are becoming a big force in the whole health care movement. They’re running their own trials,” Gwee said.
Gwee saw this coming.
Before joining Edelman, he spent several years leading digital strategy and social media with Vertex Pharmaceuticals, where he focused on new and social media, Web 2.0, and Health 2.0. Gwee also led the company’s digital strategy for commercialization, which included launching the corporate Twitter account and digital disease education campaign that utilized YouTube and Slideshare.
Social media is changing the way patients are managing disease. It also gives them a voice for their real world research.
To continue reading this post on the Social Media Club site, click here.