Kerri M.

How does digital health support patients/caregivers to become more active participants in their health care?

Digital health allows patients to learn independently, discover trends in their disease, and connect with others who have similar health situations to find peer-to-peer support (ie. social media).Technology adds another dimension to heath care and chronic disease management, and allows patients/caregivers to become more engaged, educated and become active decision makers. It allows us to get a deeper understanding and enables us to understand our condition like our physicians do, but personally.

Share an experience where digital health had an impact, or could have had an impact, on you as a patient, caregiver or family member.

I started blogging my asthma journey early on and met a lot of friends who became crucial in the process of attaining the asthma control and care I have now, alongside social support–and are now among my best friends even outside asthma. One referred me to a research program which connected me to a Canadian researcher (who I am now remotely assisting with research!) as well as an outstanding, understanding and personable respirologist who stays on the edge of asthma care and WANTS me to engage.

The theme of the 2016 Infoway Partnership Conference is “A Conversation About Digital Health”. How do you believe you can contribute to the conversation?

I’m really into the Quantified Self movement, but I’m not a computer scientist. I’ve learned how to–as an average citizen–create solutions to monitor my asthma and discover trends and correlations using available software, but without having to code this myself and with having limited data analysis education. I think having the patient voice present is important because the solutions being created with tech are FOR us and need to be useful. I want to learn what’s coming next, so I can share.

How will you apply and share what you learn from Digital Health Week and the 2016 Infoway Partnership Conference?

I am a huge fan of live tweeting, and I’m also a blogger. I’d love to be present to engage & live tweet the 2016 Infoway Partnership Conference, and blog about my experiences. Sharing the patient perspective via Twitter and Instagram is important to me to allow more people who may be following elsewhere to engage more in the conversation, and to gain as many perspectives as possible. Blogging the “big picture” upon coming home helps me fully process, apply and bring it back to my community.