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May 01

We’re excited to announce that the 2012 e-Patient Connections Conference will be held September 24-25. We’re going to be back in the heart of Philadelphia, this year at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel.

We’re also pleased to announce that e-Patient Connections has been acquired by ExL Events, Inc. You may know them better as ExL Pharma, based on the many valuable industry programs they research and produce for the industry.  If you aren’t already familiar with them, their website is:

When we launched ePatCon over three years ago, our dream was to create a unique community and forum that showcased best practices for engaging patients and health consumers, regardless of industry. We’ve definitely demonstrated the value and power of uniting a wide range of practitioners from life sciences, non-profits, health startups, medical providers and of course the patients themselves.

Up to this point we’ve volunteered our time and produced the event as a labor of love; it’s time to put the show in the hands of dedicated professionals, who have the time and expertise to make sure e-Patient Connections continues on and makes an ever greater impact. ExL Pharma is the right partner not just because of their vast experience producing conferences, but also because of the expertise in the life science industries and in the areas of digital marketing. In fact, many of e-Patient Connections most valued speakers and advisers have also worked with ExL on their past events and have endorsed our partnership with ExL Pharma.

If you have any questions on the program or are interested in getting involved, please contact Simon Curtis, Program Director at ExL Pharma at

We hope to see you in September in Philadelphia.

- Christine, Kevin & the e-Patient Connections Team

Jan 29

Remember the VGo, the telepresence robot?


How about Jonathan Richman talking about dancing elephants and the idea of a new role for pharma?


Or Roni Zeiger, telling his story from the perspective of a patient as well as a doctor?


Looking back over these videos we are once again impressed with the fantastic speakers, case studies, and stories that were shared at the 2011 conference.  We hope you’ll feel the same.

You can find the videos in the Kru Research library, and as always, big thanks to Klick Health, our sponsor who makes it possible to make these videos available.


Aug 04

e-Patient Connections 2011 is less than 60 days away. Register now and guarantee that you won’t miss the latest in connecting with empowered patients and digital health consumers everywhere. In addition to sharing best practices across industries, you’ll have the chance to:

  • Get coaching on the latest social media platforms
  • Meet with a master networker who can connect you with someone to help with your initiative
  • Grab lunch with one of the featured speakers
  • Create a social media crisis plan before your organization needs it
  • Hear from patient opinion leaders ready to answer your questions and tell you what they think
  • Meet the founders of the Digital Health Coalition that is working to tackle regulatory issues in mobile, social, and search


At the 2010 conference, we heard from Craig Lipset of Pfizer, who told his own personal story of being diagnosed with pulmonary sarcoidosis and subsequently reaching the conclusion that he was an empowered patient.

He goes on answer the question “what happens when the informed and engaged patient comes up against the blinded, randomized clinical trial?”

Craig Lipset: e-Patients and Clinical Trials (15 minutes)


Watch video * Visit sponsor: Klick

Craig talks about the questions that come up within R&D, such as whether or not e-Patients actually exist, and whether or not they can be detrimental to clinical trials by sharing information with each other.

Then he explains that even though there are barriers to innovation in clinical trials (regulations), there are two things that can be done to bring e-patients and clinical trials together right now:

  • Make clinical trials more patient-centric by using technologies that could enable more people to participate via mobile or from home.
  • Make clinical trials more participatory by sharing clinical learning and results back with the patients.

Pfizer is moving in this direction - and we’re looking forward to hearing how it goes.

Jul 26

We recently had the chance to speak with Jill Balderson, Managing Partner of HealthEd On Demand about their new offering that benefits patients and physicians alike.  And yes, you can get it on your iPad.

Kevin: You recently launched HealthEd On Demand. What is it exactly?


Jill: HealthEd On Demand is a flexible, web-based platform that lets healthcare professionals provide personalized, high quality education and support for patients in seconds-extending the care they provide patients without extending their working hours.

Kevin: How does this benefit healthcare professionals?

jill_balderson1Jill: HealthEd On Demand can benefit healthcare professionals in many ways. First, it allows for more effective communication with patients-healthcare professionals can access a library of education and support materials that are certified by Health Educators and trusted by doctors. Then, they can share these resources with patients through a secure portal with just a few clicks (or taps!) They even have the option to add their own resources to the library.

Second, it provides healthcare professionals with tools to measure and maximize care. HealthEd On Demand automatically documents when materials are sent to patients and when they are accessed. The reports tool, for example, shows which materials are shared most often and viewed as most helpful. Healthcare professionals can also send group messages to patients for communications like screenings or seasonal health topics.

Third, it saves healthcare professionals time. They can have more focused office visits, because patients will have resources like instructions and educational support available in between visits. It also reduces the hassle of making photocopies or searching a supply closet or the web for patient information-not an insignificant chore in busy practices.

And finally, HealthEd On Demand is very easy to use-sign up takes less than five minutes. And it can be accessed from any device with a browser including smart phones and iPads.

Kevin: And how does it benefit patients?

jill_balderson2Jill: We’re finding that patients feel more engaged and supported with HealthEd On Demand. They get information and answers in an organized and easy-to-use format that comes directly from their healthcare professional, so they know it is trustworthy. And by giving patients the personalized support of educational plans that are tailored to their needs, they will be better equipped to reach their goals.

Kevin: Rather than making this a direct-to-patient portal, you decided to target healthcare professionals. Why?

jill_balderson3Jill: When we first started planning HealthEd On Demand two years ago we saw an abundance of direct to consumer content publishers. And while these serve a purpose by providing relevant, condition-based information, we did not see anyone creating a bridge between the provider and patient. To us, this seemed like a gap, as well as an opportunity.

In many ways, healthcare professionals are already acting as a content management system, delivering key information to patients. So we wanted to provide them with a tool that will increase retention rates (80% of information exchanged in a clinical setting is forgotten) and improve communication with patients-something providers tell us they want and need.

Kevin: HealthEd on Demand is a robust platform, how can it be offered as a free service?

jill_balderson5Jill: We are able to offer this as a free service thanks to the support of sponsors who provide some of the educational resources and templates. The platform can also be licensed to power private label solutions for larger healthcare provider organizations.

Kevin: Are there social components to HealthEd on Demand?

jill_balderson6Jill: At its roots, HealthEd On Demand is social. Healthcare professionals are able to see patient rankings and feedback on the materials, as well as patient progress, so they can gain a greater understanding of what works most effectively. They can also import resources for patients from the Web, such as a YouTube video of a patient sharing his or her experience with a disease or treatment. And by giving healthcare professionals the ability to add their own content, and share it with other professionals, we are creating a healthcare content community.

For patients, they are able to share valuable resources with family and friends, and most importantly, build stronger bonds with their healthcare providers.

Kevin: I know you just launched this year, but what has the feedback been so far?

jill_balderson8Jill: Feedback has been great. It seems that we’ve really filled a need with HealthEd On Demand. One of our internists recently told us that his patients tell him how useful they find the resources he sends them. He said it’s like an “extra measure of support once my patients leave the office.” It’s always extremely gratifying when we hear how we are making a difference in the lives of both healthcare professionals and patients.

Kevin: Are you still taking applications for membership?


Jill: Absolutely! Healthcare providers are always welcome to join online at

Jill Balderson
Managing Partner, HealthEd On Demand

A member of the HealthEd strategy team since 2005, Jill serves on the company’s executive leadership team as chief strategic officer. She’s responsible for leading HealthEd On Demand’s simple, web-based system that enables healthcare professionals to “prescribe” personalized health education action plans for their patients.

Jill’s background includes integrated marketing leadership roles in several industries, from pharmaceutical and consumer healthcare to financial services, travel, and technology. Prior to HealthEd, Jill was the digital marketing practice leader for DVC Worldwide, where she led strategic planning efforts for Web site and e-marketing campaigns for companies like Schering-Plough Consumer Healthcare, The Gillette Company, AT&T, and Pfizer Consumer Healthcare.

Jill once spent 30 consecutive days at sea without sighting land, navigating from Cape Cod to St. Lucia by the stars on a 134′ schooner.

Jul 14

e-Patient Connections 2011 is coming up quick. Over 2 days in September you’ll get insights and learning to last all year. You’ll also get a taste of the Pecha Kucha presentation style - presentations that are 6 minutes and 40 seconds long, using 20 slides for 20 seconds each. Watch the video below for an example, and visit the website to learn more or to register for the 2011 event.

At the 2010 conference, Kurt Mueller of Roska Digital discussed new technologies such as QR codes and optical recognition, and how they can be applied to the health space. Then he answers the question - are these new technologies fad or rad?


Watch video * Visit sponsor: Klick

These technologies have multiple applications - everything from selling products, to entertainment, to health and medical. Learn about where they came from as well as where they might be headed.

Thanks Kurt!

Jun 27

Big welcome to Charity Sunshine Tillemann-Dick who will be joining us at e-Patient Connections in 2011. In her talk titled Singing After a Double Lung Transplant, she’ll tell her story and if we’re lucky, share a bit of song. Visit the website for more information or to register.

Charity is an American-born soprano and a recipient of a double lung transplant. She has performed across the United States, Europe, and Asia in venues as diverse as the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC; Severance Hall in Cleveland, Ohio; Il Giardino Di Boboli in Florence, Italy; the National Palace of the Arts in Budapest, Hungary; the Tel Aviv Opera House in Israel; the American Embassy in Beijing, China; the United Nations in New York City; and the National Statuary Hall in the United States Capitol. She has collaborated and performed with noted conductors and musicians including Eva Marton, Bruno Rigacci, Joela Jones, Marvin Hamlisch, Bono, Zoltan Kocis, Joan Dornemann, and former Secretary of State Dr. Condoleezza Rice.Some of her operatic roles have included Titania in A Mid Summer’s Night Dream, Gilda in Rigoletto, Violetta in La Traviata, and Ophelia in Ophelia Forever. Charity has also performed for numerous presidents, prime ministers, members of Congress, and world dignitaries.

After receiving a diagnosis of Idiopathic Pulmonary Hypertension in 2004, Charity served as the national spokesperson for the Pulmonary Hypertension Association, working to raise awareness, increase federal research funding, expand stem cell research, and promote preventative and alternative medicine. In September of 2009, Charity received a double lung transplant at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio.

Since receiving the transplant, Charity has shared her amazing story and vocal talents at numerous conferences and events, including: TEDMED 2010 in San Diego, CA; the 6th National Learning Congress on Organ Donation, and the 2010 Empathy and Innovation Summit in Cleveland, OH. Charity has been featured on CNN with Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Glamour magazine,,, The Huffington Post, The Wall Street Journal Health Blog, the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the San Francisco Chronicle, and The Sunday Times (London). Her performances have been broadcast around the world on CNN, BBC, FOX, MSNBC, PBS, C-SPAN and NPR.

Charity received a Bachelor’s degree with high honors from Regis University in Denver, CO, where she was raised with her 10 brothers and sisters. She later studied music at the Peabody Conservatory at Johns Hopkins University and the Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest. She currently resides in Washington, DC and New York City.

Jun 23

We’ve all seen those apps that track what you eat or how much exercise you’re getting - losing weight is a topic of interest for so many that there are lots of those to be found. But when it comes to tracking for the purpose of learning how to better manage chronic illness, does the same motivation apply?

wellappsWellapps® GI Monitor for tracking symptoms associated with Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis is one app that hopes so. It’s available for free for iPhone, Android, and blackberry devices, and there’s an online version at The idea is that tracking factors related to disease management will enable knowledge about the correlation between symptoms, triggers, and active and allow for behavior changes that can help.

The WellApps® website provides a great overview of how to use the app, narrated by Brett Shamosh, co-founder and CEO WellApps®. An empowered patient himself, Brett was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis at age 16 and went on to develop the app in 2009 after a flare of the disease.

The interface is easy to navigate and it’s equally easy to enter data. You can log factors, such as symptoms or pain at the time they occur, or use the set time feature to log a factor after the fact. The app also lets you enter custom data, such as foods and symptoms, and to add notes.gitrackerchartusevideo

The data that you log can then be displayed as a simple graph in your online chart, allowing you to see the association between factors, such as a relationship between certain foods, and a higher level of pain the next day.

The app itself provides a daily “quality of life” indicator in the form of 1 to 10 rating called “My Status”. You can review a report of the data which makes up the status score, and print a version of the report from your online account. You can even email the report to your physician directly from your phone. From the website: “The data collected is compiled into easy-to-read reports for physicians, resulting in optimal patient treatment and reduced periods of active disease.”

Physicians who are WellApps® subscribers can go further - to enroll patients and monitor their data in real time. Talk about connected health! In this case, everyone is learning how to better manage the disease, with the patient squarely at the center of the process.

And it doesn’t stop there. WellApps® is driven by an even greater purpose - to improve the treatments for Crohn’s and Colitis. For this reason, while GI Monitor is free for patients, it does require agreement to register and permission to anonymously share data about symptoms. Seems like a small price to pay. With his co-founders, Edward Shin, MD and Paolo Teodorani, CTO, WellApps® is a fine model of participatory medicine at work.

Brett also reports on his own battle with the disease as well as other news and updates in health, technology, and innovation on the WellApps® blog which is listed under the heading of Latest News and Updates. For the latest on his personal story, read his recent post called “My Uninformed Life Changing Decision.”

To meet him and learn more about WellApps® join us at e-Patient Connections, September 20-21 in Philadelphia, Pa.

Jun 16

Don’t forget to register for e-Patient Connections 2011! You don’t want to miss a year’s worth of innovation and inspiration and applicable insights packed into 2 days, not to mention some personal stories like the one that’s told in the video below. Visit the website to learn more or to register.

Regina Holliday, patient rights arts advocate, spoke at the 2010 conference about her family’s experiences with the healthcare system during her late husband’s illness. Regina’s story has been shared widely, and she and her work have been featured on National Public Radio and in other media.

Watch the video below to see her talk and learn about the three paintings that she painted live over the 2 days of the show.


Watch video * Get Slides * Visit our video sponsor: Klick

Regina’s talk covers a lot of ground, highlights many obstacles to being empowered within the healthcare system, and shows how she’s chipping away at them one painting at a time.

Jun 10

e-Patient Connections 2011 - the must attend health communication and marketing event is only months away - and we’re reminiscent of last year’s event.  One of the many highlights from 2010 was hearing from Text4Baby: an interactive mobile health platform working together with the Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies Coalition, the CDC, and a host of other partners. This public-private partnership is taking a real run at lowering infant mortality rates.


Watch video * Visit our video sponsor: Klick

Text4Baby is founded on the idea that a broader audience can be reached by text message (90% of Americans have mobile phones) than over the internet or by other traditional means of providing information about health.  At the time that this video was recorded, over 75,000 moms were signed up for the service.

Signing up for the Text4Baby service is easy. Expectant or new moms just need to input their due date (or child’s birth date), cell phone number and zip code and they will receive 3 messages per week throughout pregnancy and for the first year of the baby’s life.

Messages are targeted to the stage of pregnancy so that they are relevant to what each mom is experiencing. And it doesn’t stop there - messages about many related health issues are included, such as about immunizations, drug and alcohol use, and mental health.

Over the course of the service (21 months from start to finish), a mom will be reached 256 times with helpful and targeted information.


May 20

At the 2010 e-Patient Connections conference, Dr. Ted Eytan of Kaiser Permanente shared stories about how participation changes things in healthcare. He talked about everything from patient access to physicians by email, to more control over personal health records, to looking at climate change as a health issue and changing the way they build their buildings. Kaiser is truly working to facilitate better health and increase participation.

And they’re getting results, even in preventative care. For example, if you’re a female Kaiser Permanente health plan member in Hawaii you’re one of the more than 80% who have gotten a mammogram. That’s the best rate for any health plan in the US.


Watch video * Visit sponsor: Klick

Physicians at Kaiser Permanente have been working electronically for the past 3 to 10 years.

In the 2nd quarter of 2010, among the 3.1 million members who are using My Health Manager:

  • 2.6 million emails were sent to doctors
  • 2 million prescriptions were filled
  • 5 million lab test results were delivered - in some cases to the patient receives them at the same time as the physician does.

When it comes to healthcare - more involvement is better!

The working agenda for the 2011 e-Patient Conference is now available - its shaping up to be a great show.  The super early bird rate expires at the end of the month so be sure to check it out!