Monday, February 29, 2016

My "Ah-ha" Moment with Self Care Catalysts

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During the afternoon session of Day 1 of the ePharma Summit 2016, I was truly inspired and optimistic of what the healthcare industry can do to bring the patients to the forefront of the conversation. The speaker was Grace Soyao, Founder and CEO of Self Care Catalysts, and she started her presentation talking about patients. Patients as the leaders, not as the afterthought.

Self Care Catalysts is a company that believes in welcoming the patient. Within those patients, we know there is always a story, and always a person behind that story. Furthermore, patients are going digital. In fact, healthcare is going digital, but patients are just doing it faster. As was presented, we have to be in digital to involve ourselves with patients and what they need. That's what Self Care Catalysts is all about, and more importantly, what their disease management app is all about.

We know that 90% of care happens at home, so how do we meet that? The app is called Health Storylines and is available on mobile devices and through the web. Apps that offer disease management opportunities are essential to the quality of life for chronic disease patients especially. What I find inspiring is an app that involves physical health, lifestyle management, medication adherence, mental health, and physician integration. Not only that, but all conditions are available for input within the app, key for those of us with rarer diseases.

The point of #mHealth needs to be a mimic of the patient's life. I talk about wanting my physicians and other members of my care team to follow me on social media or follow my blog all the time. Why is that? Because those avenues show my real life. They show what I experience, what symptoms I have, what side effects I have, and how I'm handling those things. A physician cannot possibly know all of these things by just having that 15 minute appointment every couple months.

I was truly invigorated by the possibilities available from the presentations focused on mobile app technologies in today's sessions. The mere mention and road map of putting patients first and listening to what patients want and need is such an 'ah-ha' moment in healthcare and in my own journey. In actuality, what are healthcare, pharma, and physicians without the patients?

From Grace Soyao: "The future is in the patients' hands." Are you working towards that statement?

Make sure to follow along live with this year's ePharma Summit. Read about sessions and experience on the ePharma blog here. Follow along on social media with @ePharma and #ePharma16. If you'd like to follow me specifically, use @KristinMCoppens.

About the author: 
Kristin Coppens is a social media and digital communications professional, a health activist, an ePatient, and a multiple chronic diseases fighter and blogger. You can read more about her chronic illness journey on her blog, Chronically Kristin, or follow her on Twitter. 
She will also be joining us this year at ePharma as an official guest blogger sharing insights from the event.
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