Friday, 8 July 2011

Beyond e-patients

New Communication and Information Technologies (ICT) are no longer new, they are totally integrated into our lives, in our personal, social or professional relations, there is no turning back. For that reason, some terms which have made complete sense up to now are not necessary any more and should be given up.

E-patients and e-physicians turn back into patients and physicians, at present they have integrated twitter and facebook or other social networks into their day to day work, and they are using Google searches, as much as to be better informed in the case of the former and better trained in the latter and also clarify their doubts, their illness or concerns, to get support from others like them, sharing their knowledge and experience, to make an appointment, to get medical advice online and so forth.

Now the previous patient-doctor relationship in the current e-scenario is a simple reality and fortunately it is a renewed relationship and it isn't an "e-" any more. The Electronic Health Record (EHR) is shared between patients and medical doctors and the possibility to gain access to them is a fact, to recommend high quality websites is usual and it seems that online support groups and social networks will soon be incorporated in the EHR.

From now on, we may and we have to give up talking about "e"-patients, we reinvent o.s. time and again but now as "patients".

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