Sean Ahrens in an ePatient and software developer. He’s combining those experiences to build platforms and solutions for patients like him.
Today, Sean preaches his belief that we are experiencing a patient revolution; a revolution that is prompting a democratization of medicine where patients become more participatory in their care.
Sean is a sufferer of Crohn’s disease…and he’s aggravated. There is no cure or really effective treatment for Crohn’s today. And it’s his belief that physicians are designed to execute solutions, but not discover them.
When Sean asks his doctors about the effect of diet on Crohn’s, 5/6 of them reply with: “There is no clinical data to suggest diet has anyting to do with Crohn’s”
If you ask his fellow patients, it’s a completely different answer: “Diet plays a big part in my Crohn’s”
Consumers Are Now Producers
Traditionally, solutions came from a producer and sent on to a consumer. Today, though, consumers are the producers. They are developing their own messaging around brands and products.
In medicine, that means patients are producing their own treatment to their poorly understood conditions. Crohn’s End is a documentary featuring people with digestive conditions (Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Celiac disease, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis) who have opted to use alternative treatments when nothing else is working. They have listened to their gut and took a proactive approach to ending their condition.
They are producing their own treatments.
Real Relationships are Key
While forums are great, it is the real life connections and relationships that are crucial for patients. Sean’s project, Crohnology.com is basically the Facebook for Crohn’s sufferers. The difference is that it is based on an in-person Meetup group. It takes the interactions to an entirely new level and builds a deeper sense of community.