I could smack myself for not noticing this earlier, but it happened while I was at the ESMO conference (the “European ASCO” cancer conference) in Madrid last month: Amy Dockser Marcus has another great piece on how medicine is truly starting to engage with patients as active contributors to improving healthcare. Woohoo!

The lede:

Scientists regularly sign up patients in clinical trials to test new treatments. Now, they are seeking patients to help them design some of those trials.

Patients and researchers can bring different perspectives to treating disease …

Screen capture of Wall Street Journal

It seems clear that medicine is starting to act on the Institute of Medicine’s mandate in Best Care at Lower Cost:

A learning healthcare system is anchored on patient needs and perspectives.

Doesn’t this dovetail deliciously with the presentation I blogged about on my own site, on involving patients earlier in the research process?? Imagine: Scientists asking patients what they think is important!

Clearly, science is starting to act on the realization that patients are no longer the passive beneficiaries of what scientists think.  (It also matches nicely Laura Landro’s front page WSJ piece in June, “Health-Care Providers Want Patients to Read Medical Records, Spot Errors”.

This is a major shift in the wind, and it’s spreading. Watch for more of this in the coming months.

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