The Proof is in the People.
Happy New Year!! The 50th issue of diaTribe came out last night, with a really amazing letter from editor Kelly Close, insight from the advisory board, and my response to the NPR article that came out in early December.
"Earlier this month, I was part of a piece put together on NPR about diabetes and social media, which focused on how pharma and patients interact in this medium. The NPR article referenced a quote from Dr. Jason Bronner that ruffled feathers not only in the diabetes online community, but in many other patient communities across the web.'But what are patients getting out of social media? It's unclear whether connecting online is helpful for adults treating diabetes. "There's no proof in diabetes that social networking is helpful," says Jason Bronner, a doctor at the University of California San Diego Medical Center. He's leading a study that will help determine whether social networking can actually help patients manage diabetes.'I wish the focus of that NPR piece had been on the community. Because even though Big Pharma (and their medical device friends) can be an important group for patients to be interacting with in efforts to influence new product development, etc., the most important interaction is between patients and … patients. The diabetes online community may serve many communication purposes, but at the core, it’s built for connecting people to people.
What are patients getting out of social media? I hear this question being raised by researchers and healthcare professionals and all kinds of voices across the caregiver spectrum, and I am filled with frustration at the lack of data that proves the positive impact of patients connecting with other patients online."
Please check out the rest of this article, with quotes from fellow PWD voices - including Manny Hernandez, George Simmons, and Briley Boisvert - over at diaTribe. (Also, if you aren't subscribed to diaTribe yet, 2013 is a good time to start! You can sign up to receive the newsletter here.)