‘Patient 2.0’, also called the Smart Patient or the e-patient is a patient who has decided that they want to be a partner in their care. They are active in using all the resources offered by the Internet to support this.
‘Doc Tom’ Ferguson, the founder of e-patients.net discusses e-patients as being patients who are “Empowered, Engaged, Equipped and Enabled”.
A recent piece of research I undertook with a colleague identified two further essential ‘E’s
- Evaluating. This refers not only to the information e-patients find, but also to the source of that information, be it a web page, a peer, or a healthcare professional. We have found that this evaluation begins, and trust in sources is established, at an early stage.
- Equal. The e-patient expects to be an equal member of the team responsible for their care