ePatient 2010: Are You One?
I spent the last few days at the ePatient 2010 conference in Philadelphia, and one of the terms (surprise, surprise) that kept coming up was "epatient." I've written about my take on the term "epatient" before, and was surprised to hear that there was a negative feel to the term, like it was overused. And overplayed. (Like Chumbawumba.)
I turned to Facebook to see how my friends felt about the term, and the feedback was instant and mostly positive. Facebook buddy and fellow ePatient 2010 attendee, Susannah Fox, connected with me after seeing the discussion and sent me a link to a discussion on her blog about the word "epatient" and how that movement is going through some growing pains.
Far be it for me to be ahead of the curve (I just started tight-rolling my jeans), but I'm still comfortable with the term "ePatient." I find it to be empowering - another "e" word - and having it as part of my identity makes me feel like I'm part of a very strong, very forward-thinking community. Having lived with diabetes for ... forever, it seems, I am so appreciative of the changes taking place in patient care. I like the broad stroke of support that the Internet provides for patients, and the power of connecting outside of the perimeters of your zipcode makes an enormous change in how I view my health. As I said at the conference, "People with diabetes take drugs, test their blood sugar, watch their food intake, but emotional support is just as crucial as the insulin we take. For me, it's part of my health." Empowered, electronic, encouraged, engaged ... ePatient.
My friends in the Facebook circles had varying perspectives, but most of them seemed to feel empowered to be using online resources to manage their health - or the health of their loved ones. Here are a few responses:
With all of these varying discussions about the term "ePatient," how do you feel that you fit into the mix? Do you think the term is overused and now weak as a result? Are you empowered by the term "ePatient?" Or do you have an entirely different opinion to share? Are YOU an ePatient?