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Wednesday, December 01, 2010 | Aniruddha Malpani

I am now seeing a new class of patients - the e-patients. (Many of these come from Pune and Bangalore, the Silicon Valley of India!)

Initially, e-patients stood for patients who used e-mail and the Web. Today, the e-patient has become much more powerful.

E-patients are engaged - with their doctor, with their health, and with their healthcare system. They do not just read content - they create it as well. ‘User-generated content’ is very powerful and moving, because it provides a firsthand view straight from the horse’s mouth.

They have blogs and post on forums, and some of them can be very prolific. They are empowered, knowledgeable and articulate. They have an opinion and are happy to express it.

They are experts. They realize that they are the experts on their own illness - and are happy to share their expertise with others.

They are equipped. They understand how to use the Internet to help themselves and to help others as well. They will often lead and participate in online support groups, and are able to discuss technical medical matters intelligently with their doctors. They do not underestimate their competence and intelligence and understand that they have the most at stake when it comes to matters relating to their health.

They are enabled. They have access to technology and are happy to use this intelligently.

These e-patients are exceptional patients - and these are the kind of patients who can heal a sick healthcare system. They are the icons of a new kind of medicine, called Participatory Medicine.

Good doctors appreciate and treasure these e-patients - and form partnerships with them, because they realize that they can learn a lot from each other!

Dr Aniruddha Malpani, MD is an IVF specialist in Bombay, Maharashtra, India who believes in information therapy. He runs the world’s largest free patient education library, HELP. Visit his blog at

Tags   travelers, personalhealthrecord, empoweredpatient, epatient

About This Blog

Welcome to the Traveler’s PHR blog – a communication forum and social network to connect you with health information management professionals and other travelers for the exchange of ideas and information for managing your personal health information to prepare for the best healthcare while traveling. If you ever wondered what might happen if you get sick or even became unconscious while traveling outside of your home town and what you might do to prepare for such an event, then you’re in the right place. As this blog grows, we invite you to share your own advice and travel stories and learn from other travelers about their experiences.

Blog Contributors

Marsha Dolan, Valerie Watzlaf, Cindy Boester, Heidi Shaffer, Julie Wolter, Margaret Hennings, Colleen Goethals, Vera Rulon, Leah Grebner, Robert Caban, Mynilma Olivera-Vazquez, Amanda Bushey, Margie Kelly, Donna DuLong, Sarah Dietze, Valisha McFarlane, Maria Kovell, Ted Eytan, Leann Reynolds, Laura Heuer, Kristin Stewart, Derek Allen, Chris Matthies, Margo Corbett, Craig Newmark, Sarah Buelterman, Skyler Tanner, Aniruddha Malpani, Joan Malling, Marilyn McFarlane, Megan Rooney, Patrick Rhone, Dr. Carrie Nelson, Maria Bouselli, Erin Jordan


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