TED Conversations

e-Patient Dave deBronkart

Change Advocate for Participatory Medicine / Let Patients Help, Society for Participatory Medicine

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"WHY is the patient the most under-used resource in healthcare?? How did that happen?" (Follow-up to LIVE TED Conversation July 27)

"e-Patient Dave" deBronkart is an advocate for patients being "E": empowered, engaged in their care, equipped, enabled, educated, etc. As described in his talk from TEDx Maastricht, he beat a near-fatal cancer, supplementing his great medical care by using the internet in every way possible.

Today, as blog manager and volunteer co-chair of the Society for Participatory Medicine, he has studied the social, technical and sometimes political factors that make healthcare ignore the potential of patients contributing to their care.

In his TEDTalk, he quotes senior physicians who have said for decades that patients are the most under-utilized resource in healthcare.

Why is that? How did it get to be that way? Is change valid? Why now, and not 20 years ago? And what can we do about it?

Watch the talk, and come back to discuss. *Your family* will be affected someday.

ADMIN EDIT: e-Patient Dave has requested that we keep this conversation open for 1 week. After 2pm ET July 27, he will periodically check in to answer questions and respond to comments.

Topics: Healthcare
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    Jul 31 2011: Your TED talk was an inspiration. Fourteen years ago I overturned an 8 week terminal cancer diagnosis by mobilizing a self-created multi-disciplinary treatment team incorporating traditional medicine, diverse spiritual communities and several alternative health treatment modalities to form my "survival roundtable". Like you, I demanded all data and medical records as I went through the journey which at that time seemed radical.

    I would not be here if those 105 people had not been inspired by my "roundtable" proposal to engage in the saving of one patient's life, mine.

    I encourage all patient's to be proactive.

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