Thursday, April 18, 2013

Smart Patients helps organize smart patients

In 1995, Gilles Frydman, founded the Association of Cancer Online Resources (ACOR), which evolved into the world’s largest collection of online cancer communities. These communities are remarkable, not only as support groups, but as repositories for the latest and best information about each disease.  Why? Because the participants care deeply about the topic. For them, knowing and sharing as much as possible can literally be a matter of life and death.

Now Gilles and Roni Zeiger, M.D., former Chief Health Strategist at Google, have created Smart Patients, an online community for cancer patients and caregivers.  Beyond patients helping patients, though, this will be patients helping corporations and organizations in the health care field. They note:  "Smart Patients’ business model is to conduct occasional voluntary surveys and share anonymous insights from patients with partners in the healthcare industry to help them provide better care and incorporate the patient perspective into the design of future clinical trials. The site has no advertising or marketing."

Here's more from their press release issued today:

Smart Patients is launching with several partners who will help seed the community. One of the company’s early partners is The Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation, based in San Carlos, California. “We are honored to be partnering with Smart Patients. It is a perfect fit with our philosophy that educated and empowered patients live longer,” said Bonnie Addario, Founder and Chair of the Foundation.

Cancer Commons, a nonprofit, open science initiative linking cancer patients, physicians, and scientists in Rapid Learning Communities, is also partnering with Smart Patients. “It's critical to bring patient data as well as patient wisdom to our research teams, to accelerate the development of personalized cancer therapies. We're excited to work with Smart Patients to close that loop,” said Sarah Greene, Executive Director of Cancer Commons. Smart Patients will tap into the knowledge of networked patients to help speed the development of needed cancer treatments.

Smart Patients is working with Oncosec Medical to incorporate patient input into the design of upcoming clinical trials of Oncosec’s skin cancer treatments. “We’re excited to learn from the Smart Patients community. We believe that by incorporating patient feedback into the design process of our clinical programs, we will improve the speed and efficiency of our trials,” said Punit Dhillon, CEO of OncoSec.

Another partner, WorldOne Interactive, has assembled the leading engagement platform for physicians, including Sermo, the largest online physician community in the United States. “Partnering with Smart Patients aligns with our mission to support the physician decision journey and improve patient outcomes. Oncologists, in particular, are interested in patient experiences and clinical outcomes. Providing physicians the opportunity to hear and learn from a robust network of patients having educated discussions on clinical trials and the latest science is a powerful educational tool," said Jake Coniglio, SVP Global Strategy & Corporate Development.

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