How does digital health support patients/caregivers to become more active participants in their health care?
Access to information online helps patients to understand their disease. I’ve researched metastatic breast cancer to get information about symptoms and treatments. I am comforted to know of other people ‘out there’ dealing with my disease and I’m encouraged to read about potential new treatments and clinical studies. I access as much of my own test results online so when I meet with the oncologist I am better informed and better prepared.
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 was leaving on a thirty trip to Europe this summer and had a blood test before I left. The tumor marker was higher than expected and I worried about whether a new treatment I’m on was having a negative effect, and whether I should cancel my travel plans. I searched out various user forums online and found that this drug – Faslodex – sometimes takes several months to have an effect and that often the tumor marker goes up at the outset. I was able to enjoy my vacation without worrying.
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 a retired business executive with extensive technology background. I’ve functioned for many years in a digital environment where we worked to make our customer experience positive, always keeping security and regulation front of mind. I’m an early adopter constantly looking of ways to make information and transactions easier and more accessible.
How will you apply and share what you learn from Digital Health Week and the 2016 Infoway Partnership Conference?
I’m currently a part-time instructor at BCIT and still have an extensive network in the insurance industry. I founded an organization in BC that has raised over $2M toward cancer research (Women in Insurance Cancer Crusade). I’m a comfortable public speaker and helped develop a pilot speakers bureau program for Canadian Blood Services. I can speak from both the business and patient perspective.