I had a whirlwind weekend at the Moscone Center in San Francisco where I broadcast five and a half hours of live interviews with leading hematologists and hematologist/oncologists on the latest news in a variety of chronic conditions. The audience was patients who could ask questions by calling our studio or via email.
We covered chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) where there are now three life-saving drugs; multiple myeloma where there are now exciting combination therapies, hemophilia and bleeding disorders where regimens are being simplified, sickle cell anemia where monitoring is extending lives, cord blood transplant where the lives of many who now lack donors with current approaches may have new hope, lymphoma where there has been an explosion of research, and finally chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).
I had more than a passing interest in CLL as I have been a CLL survivor for 12 years and was excited to see that the big news from this 50th annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology was worldwide phase III validation of the combination therapy I received in a single center phase II trial 8 years ago.
So there was plenty to report and leading experts from university medical centers, including my own doctor in CLL, were delighted to come down to our interview room near the press room and give their perspective on the latest news, which often included their own high profile study results.
With a small electronic box, about the size of a tissue box, and two microphones and an Internet connection, I was able to transmit these programs to our studio in Florida and stream them live on our web site, www.patientpower.info. The replays are now distributed widely including on the prestigious Oncolink site and on several university medical centers sites and patient advocacy groups. All the content will also be featured soon on Microsoft’s www.healthvault.com.
This was the latest in my efforts to connect patients with chronic conditions with the experts who are making news in those conditions – as it happens – and to allow patients to ask questions in live interviews. It was thrilling, and we had great support from ASH, the society who put on the meeting.
I believe this bridging of the gap between patients and the doctors who educate their doctor will accelerate and to great benefit of patients. I am happy to play a small role.
You can see all 11 interviews at:
Let me know what you think and how we can improve on this service.
By the way, there were no pharma sponsors nor involvement in any of this. Frankly, I funded all of this as a service and a bit of an experiment. Medical centers were very helpful and may support this approach in the future.