As an activist for the patient movement – a social change movement – I look for and often cite signs of real change in the establishment, documenting that it’s increasingly accepting patient voices as a real part of the future of medicine. Examples:
- 2011: TEDx Maastricht was the first TED conference to prominently feature patients as its speakers, produced by Radboud University Medical Center (UMC) in the Netherlands
- 2012: The Institute of Medicine’s report Best Care at Lower Cost says, in its summary table, the future of medicine requires “patient-clinician partnerships” with “engaged, empowered patients” and must be “anchored on patient needs and perspectives.”
- The National Library of Medicine announces that it’s now capturing some patient blogs into its History of Medicine, in the Library of Congress
- The first Stanford Medicine X conference is held, completely powered by e-patient advisors.
- Less than a year after its TEDx, Radboud UMC publishes its #PatientsIncluded policy
- 2013: The British Medical Journal announces the start of its own “patient journey,” saying Let the Patient Revolution Begin.
- 2014: The BMJ announces its Patient Partnership. It’s a landmark event with unprecedented policies, including that authors of research articles must answer how patients were involved in setting the research question, and that patients will serve as peer reviewers alongside medical professionals
- A patient delivers a plenary speech at the 100th annual meeting of the National Board of Medical Examiners, the organization that gives the US Medical Licensing Exam
- 2015: A patient serves as the Mayo Clinic’s Visiting Professor in Internal Medicine
- Radboud University Medical Center launches its new med school curriculum, completely redesigned with patients involved
- Stanford Medicine X adds a pre-conference on updating medical education including the patient perspective
We’ve come a long long way since 2010, when people’s eyebrows went up at the idea of a TEDx featuring patients!
Now, late in 2015, I’m thrilled to say that I’ve been elected as the first patient in the Healthcare Internet Hall of Fame, and will be inducted next Tuesday at their conference in Orlando. From their press release:
The Healthcare Internet Hall of Fame honors individuals and organizations that have made outstanding, long-lasting contributions to the healthcare Internet industry. The organization’s purpose, while honoring innovation, is to ensure that the “history” of the industry is preserved for future generations new to the healthcare industry.
Past inductees include some pretty great names to be listed with:
- C. Everett Koop (former Surgeon General, who in 1997 created DrKoop.com, one of the first patient health portals)
- My Nashua NH neighbor @KevinMD
- @SeattleMamaDoc Wendy Sue Swanson
and more. Explore their website to learn more.
My acceptance speech:
Honorees are invited to submit a statement or short video for the website. Well, you know I took the opportunity to not just thank the hosts, but, as their site says, to preserve the history for future generations … to explain in a short speech how the internet has changed healthcare forever by altering what’s possible for patients to contribute:
My thanks to the sponsors. I hope this will be the first of many patient inductees – so many have used the internet in so many ways, to alter the future of healthcare!