Barbara Ficarra talks with Dr. Alan Greene about physician attitudes towards increased patient engagement in health.
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Barbara Ficarra: What’s the overall feeling now do you think of physicians if patients go in hoax things on Twitter or on Facebook about maybe— Dr. Alan Greene: Well, I think that physician attitudes are in the process of changing. We get by and large that we’ve spent a lifetime studying health then have sort of the perspective is there. And there’s this—there’s a fear almost that if people go out, there’s so much bad information out there that might get misled. Barbara Ficarra: Right. Dr. Alan Greene: But the truth of the matter is a few internet studies has been doing so much of looking at what are the actual outcomes, and it turns out people are usually better off when they go search. People are skeptical. They do look at several places and they’re more likely to find good stuff that way than just going to one doctor for a couple of minutes. Barbara Ficarra: Right, and search more. Instead of just finding one site, go to a few different ones and get your information and then bring it to your doctors and collaborate together, patient-doctor— Dr. Alan Greene: It’s collaborative, it’s participatory. There's actually a new society for participatory medicine. It’s trying to teach doctors how to do this to really participate and also to give guidance for the patients who want to really be involved here. Barbara Ficarra: Right. It’s so great that it’s just changing. I mean it’s happening right now and it’s only just going to continue to get more— Dr. Alan Greene: Oh, it’s such an exciting time. It’s scary in some place because it’s changing, but it’s already so much better than it’s even been. Barbara Ficarra: Right. So DrGreene.com has—you have blogs as well where you— Dr. Alan Greene: Yeah, we have blogs and a community and live chat. You can ask questions in real time and then detail that first to some of the questions. There are thousands of pages of kid’s health content. Barbara Ficarra: Right. Now, with the conference today, the Health 2.0 conference, it is just a wealth of information and it’s a lot of technological stuff going on. And I know we kind of geared in towards that in the beginning, but just break this conference down a little bit for what the experts are learning here and what they’re bringing back to the patients. Dr. Alan Greene: It’s a really interesting conference. It’s two different groups that are together for the first time. One is the Health 2.0 people, the user-generated health, all the tools around that. Then there’s also the Center for Information Therapy, and that’s the idea that in every healthcare visit, people should be given information they can really use. It’s not just to write a prescription but also give them something to understand. And so, the have been a little bit fighting each other but really—and there is some valid competition there but for the consumer, we went on both sides. It is great guide because you get information on the visit plus you can have ways to go search on your own. Barbara Ficarra: Right. Dr. Alan Greene: And so, there’s so much energy here, so many little startups, big companies, healthcare organizations, insurers. At a time this year, attendance in medical conferences is pretty much down, maybe 15% to 20%, the mainline ones. And here, you’re bursting at the scenes because we’re right at the center of a big change. Barbara Ficarra: Yeah, definitely a big change. That is definitely packed. I didn’t even get a seat at a table yesterday. I was standing by the door, but it is great that actually the information and the technology department, it has to be intertwined. Dr. Alan Greene: Right. Barbara Ficarra: It’s working together. There can’t be really a separation. Dr. Alan Greene: There's a lot of the real wisdom, the untapped resources people because we all have experiences, things that we’ve learned, and the technology gives us a way to connect and gives us a way to take that sort of connected wisdom and build it into tools where you can automatically get things, too