Entries by Marie Ennis-O'Connor

Seven Steps to a Successful Digital Advocacy Strategy

Digital advocacy concerns the ways in which you engage your audience online and inspire them to take action around your cause. Using digital tools and applications can amplify your issue, while giving you new opportunities to listen and engage with supporters, and monitor your progress. Creating a digital strategy will help you focus on your […]

How to Read Beyond the Headline: 9 Essential Questions to Evaluate Medical News

Ben Goldacre writing in Bad Science classified science reporting as falling into three categories – wacky stories, scare stories and breakthrough stories; the last of which he views as ”a more subtly destructive category of science story”. Whether you get your news through digital or traditional means, you can’t fail to notice the regularity with […]

A Person Centered Approach To The Care Of Chronic Illness

The World Health Organization has called chronic conditions ‘the health care challenge of this century’. According to the latest figures released by the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention about half of all adults have one or more chronic health conditions; and one of four adults have two or more chronic health conditions. Long-term diseases, […]

Why Your Patient Story Matters

“Tell me a fact and I’ll learn. Tell me a truth and I’ll believe. But tell me a story and it will live in my heart forever.” North American Indian proverb As a patient or caregiver you may be asked to share your personal story with others. Your story serves as a powerful tool for […]

The Power of Content Curation for Healthcare Communities

“Getting information off the Internet is like taking a drink from a fire hydrant” – Mitchell Kapor Information is power and patients are becoming more empowered through increasing access to medical information online. However, one of the biggest challenges we face is trying to filter the vast repository of online content to find trustworthy content. […]

Shared Decision Making: Putting the Patient At The Center of Medical Care

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn” – Benjamin Franklin As gravity shifts away from health care providers as the sole keeper of medical information, the importance of sharing decisions, as opposed to clinicians making decisions on behalf of patients, has been increasingly recognized. Shared decision- making […]

Building A Digital Ladder Of Engagement

Building A Digital Ladder Of Engagement In my previous articles, I have written about using social media to connect with other patients and advocates, communicate with health care professionals, and access information to help make more informed choices about our own and our loved ones’ care. I am a passionate believer in the transformative potential […]

Designing With The Patient in Mind

Incorporating patient values, preferences and needs into digital health interventions. “We are stuck with technology when what we really want is just stuff that works.” Douglas Adams, The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy. A new report by Accenture [1]reveals that just two percent of patients at hospitals are using health apps provided for them. The research, […]

Are We Ready for Mobile Health?

Are we ready for mHealth in 2016? Mobile health, also called mHealth, is a term used for the practice of medicine and public health supported by mobile devices. It is a growing industry fuelled by the rise in ownership of personal mobile devices. A new national survey shows that more than eighty percent of US […]

Virtual Patient Communities

Virtual Patient Communities Engendering A New Social Health Era Howard Rheingold, who coined the phrase virtual communities, describes them as “cultural aggregations that emerge when enough people bump into each other often enough in cyberspace.” Rheingold’s words, though descriptive, may not fully capture the depth and breadth of experience many patients find when they go […]

Six Lessons Learned From Breast Cancer

“The period of greatest gain in knowledge and experience is the most difficult period in one’s life.”  — Dalai Lama Writing in Oncology Times, radiation oncologist, Matthew Katz MD, described cancer as an illness of transformation. “Biologically” he wrote, “it represents a change in growth and homeostasis. Metaphorically, a cancer diagnosis can transform how you […]

Can Digital Wearables Help in Clinical Trials?

Today’s healthcare consumer can log and produce a range of data through wearable devices, smart fabrics, and intelligent sensors that are worn on the body or incorporated into garments and accessories, such as wristbands and watches. To date, wearables have been limited to tracking information related to health and fitness, but as the technology behind […]

Clinical Trials 2.0: Reinventing Research For The Social Age

Clinical research is changing. No longer the sole preserve of clinicians and researchers, the Internet and new digital technologies are reinventing the way in which patients take part in the clinical trials process. In the past decade there has been a revolution in how patients access health information. The Internet is increasingly the first port […]