Johnson and Johnson's Marc Monseau convened a group of health care social media addicts last night for a pleasant evening of dinner and conversation. Seen here are Chris Iafolla from Shift Communications, Laurie Edwards, Marc, Jack Barrette from WEGO Health, Shwen Gwee from Vertex Pharmaceuticals, yours truly, e-Patient Dave deBronkart, and Alicia Staley.
How weird to be in the physical presence of people!
As has been the case since I first started down this social media path, I learned more than I offered. The big topic was patient empowerment and creating true partnerships between patients and caregivers.
There was also some tech talk. For example, I never realized that the algorithms used by Google and other search engines actually make it hard for a person with an unusual physical problem or disease to find useful information. Since they are at the "tale end" of their disease, and since the search engines reward those sites that get the most traffic, a normal web search will often not pick up useful information for those patients. Thus, user groups -- self-created agglomerations of data-sharing colleagues from around the world -- can often provide people with advice that would otherwise be unknown. Patients can then take that information to their physicians and explore options. Powerful stuff!
But let me stop there and invite last night's participants to add their own comments, perhaps presenting something they learned last night or whatever perspective they would like.