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Media is revolutionizing science in all its forms, from patient access to information, to technologies doctors use to diagnose and treat, to how science research brings solutions to global health problems. The JUST Science Section discusses the various ways media drives scientific advances and affects social change.

Karina Saravia
Lisa MattsonMarisa Co

 

 

 

 

 

Kay BaldwinDoug Fleischli

Science

Thursday
Oct132011

When Patients Share Their Stories, Health May Improve

PAULINE W. CHEN, M.D

A gifted artist in his early 60s, the patient was a liver transplant candidate who learned he had hepatitis B some 20 years earlier. Despite the worsening fatigue that accompanied his liver failure, he threw himself into preparing for his transplant. He read everything he could about the procedure and the postoperative care, drilled doctors with endless questions and continued to drag himself to the gym each day in the hopes of being better prepared to withstand the rigors of the operation. Read more...

Thursday
Oct132011

Participation Matters

Suzanna Fox
October 2, 2009 

In politics and in health care, participation matters as much as access.
The passion we saw in the political campaigns last year is matched by the passion we see when someone is trying to save a life, find a better treatment, or just manage the health of a loved one. What are you doing in your work to harness that passion?...where do we stand in terms of participation?

60% of e-patients (internet users who go online for health information) have engaged in some sort of social media related to health and health care, mostly consuming information created by other people, not posting their own thoughts.

42% of all adults say they or someone they know has been helped by following medical advice or health information found on the internet. That’s an increase from 2006 when 25% of all adults said that. Read more...

Thursday
Oct132011

Breakthrough to Cures

Wednesday
Sep142011

Media is Transforming the Future of Healthcare

Marisa Co
September, 2011

Innovation is innate to the field of science. In most cases, scientific innovation entails a long process, full of regulatory hurdles. In the next few years, several exciting trends will significantly accelerate the pace of innovation in healthcare: a) a shortage of physicians, b) an increase demand for healthcare services, driven primarily by the aging baby boomers, c) an increased use of the internet, through computers and smartphones, to access health information, d) patients willingness to share health information and take an active role in their own health and wellness, also called “participatory medicine” and, e) an increased use of mobile technology, shifting the delivery of care from expensive settings (hospitals, clinics) to patients’ homes, known as telemedicine.

Media is transforming the healthcare industry in unimaginable ways. Although the details are subject of future articles, a few concepts will help set the stage.

  • Participatory Medicine: The patient is no longer a passive recipient of services but an empowered patient involved in clinical decisions affecting their care. Social media and games (Healthseeker: apps.facebook.com/healthseeker) on mobile platforms are effectively used to engage patients in managing their own health.
  • Telemedicine and mobile technology: Smartphones and tablet-based mobile health applications range from diagnostic tools, patient-record keeping, patient monitoring, and video-consultation, to name a few.

In the next decade, the convergence of all these forces and the advances in media and mobile technology will give rise to a new healthcare delivery system.

Wednesday
Sep142011

Social Media and Patient Engagement

By Med 3000

A recent report from YouGov Healthcare found that 81% of consumers believe that if a hospital has a strong social media presence, they are likely to be more cutting-edge. In addition, 57% of consumers say that a social media connection with a hospital is likely to have a strong impact on their decision to seek treatment at that hospital.

Hospitals and practices are embracing social media at increasing rates. More than 1,100 hospitals are using sites such as Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook to engage patients and extend their influence beyond the exam room. Patients are responding, including the 197,000 who follow Mayo Clinic on Twitter and the 30,000 who “like” Cleveland Clinic on Facebook. Read more...

Wednesday
Sep142011

Healthseeker

By the Diabetes Hands Foundation

Friday
Jul292011

When courts control science...consumers lose

Marisa Co
July, 2011

As a scientist, I have always been fascinated by the rigor and discipline with which scientific research is conducted, tested and scrutinized before discoveries become widely accepted. This process, also known as the “scientific method of experimentation” ensures consistency and standardization in the testing of research.  The “peer review” process, a system of “check and balances” lets each scientific discipline set and maintain standards and prevents bad science from becoming “general principles” The system of peer review forces a rigorous evaluation of someone’s work to ensure that the results and conclusions are well supported by evidence.  

As a consumer of science, peer review is one of the few safeguards we have to learn and be safe about what we consume. Society needs objective, accurate, truthful, and fair analysis of scientific data before this information is disseminated to the broader masses by the media.

A complication arises when courts are able to decide what scientists should and should not say. Such as the case of libel laws in the UK where scientists can be prosecuted and endured incredible hardships for doing what they are expected to do…challenge hypotheses, methods and results. How could a country well known as a scientific powerhouse prevent scientific arguments from taking place by allowing frivolous lawsuits? When a system allows lawyers, driven by the need to win a case regardless of the accuracy of the information, to dictate what and when scientists should provide their expert opinion to inform the public, it undermines the very integrity of the scientific endeavor built to protect society.

Friday
Jul292011

Ben Goldacre - Bad Science - Interview 19/10/10

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sunday
Jul102011

We should so blatantly do more randomised trials on policy

Ben Goldacre, The Guardian, Saturday 14 May 2011

Politicians are ignorant about trials, and they’re weird about evidence. It doesn’t need to be this way. In international development work, resources are tight, and people know that good intentions aren’t enough: in fact, good intentions can sometimes do harm. We need to know what works.  Read more ...

Sunday
Jul102011

Sense about science

Sense About Science works with scientists and members of the public to change public debates and to equip people to make sense of science and evidence.  Sense About Science responds to hundreds of requests for independent advice and questions on scientific evidence each year.  Read more ...

Wednesday
Jul062011

Participatory Healthcare - Patients in the Driver's Seat

Marisa Co
June, 2011 

The current healthcare revolution is not driven by technology or new pharmaceutical products, or even new discoveries in diagnostics…it is driven by the changes in patient access to information and social media networks that has caused a fundamental shift in the delivery of care and the relationship between physicians and patients.

The paternalistic approach of the past has given way to participatory medicine, where through media, patients track medical progress, learn from and share information with other patients and contact physicians and healthcare providers.

In a socially networked healthcare world, patients gather at sites like patientslikeme.com (ALS patients), ACOR.org (cancer patients), MedHealth (pain & chronic conditions), DailyStrength.org (anonymous support group) and many others to share information with their peers, access disease information and learn from other patients suffering from and physicians treating the same condition. In social media today, the “key opinion leader” is the patient whom, by communicating his or her story, influences other patients’ behavior, attitudes towards their disease and adherence to their treatment.

Patients’ use of social networks has increased significantly over the last few years. In a survey conducted by Deloitte Consulting in 2010, 55% of respondents get information about a health condition and treatment online. More importantly, the same survey shows that 60% of physicians are interested in using social networks for professional purposes. Medical institutions such as Mayo Clinic, MD Anderson, Kaiser Permanente and others are using media to help consumers understand treatment options and to evaluate  customers’ experiences in order to improve patient care.

The healthcare revolution has begun…and media has put patients on the driver seat.

Wednesday
Jul062011

Dave deBronkart: Meet e-Patient Dave  

Saturday
Jul022011

When Patients Share Their Stories, Health May Improve

PAULINE W. CHEN, M.D.
February 10, 2011

Yellow Dog Productions

Patients and doctors have long understood the power of telling and listening to personal narratives. Whether among patients in peer support groups or between doctors and patients in the exam room or even between doctors during consultations, stories are an essential part of how we communicate, interpret experiences and incorporate new information into our lives.  Read more...

Saturday
Jul022011

Social Media Artists – The New Generation Patient Opinion Leader 

WhyDotPharma
May, 2009 


Each life-impacting disease today has its set of highly engaged e-patients or “optimized me’s” (as  Christine Kraft calls them). These patients do everything that is possible and imaginable to improve the quality and access to health care for the patient communities they serve. Read more...

Wednesday
Jun292011

When Science is Hidden Behind a Smokescreen

Stéphane Foucart
Guardian Weekly
Tuesday 28 June 2011

Photograph: Linda Nylind for the Guardian

Under the guise of furthering debate, some scientists foster public ignorance.
A corpus of research funded by the tobacco industry seems to have affected attitudes to the real dangers of smoking. Read more...