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Huge Percentage of Cancer Patients Turning to Online Patient Communities for Support and Information, Transforming Patient-Physician Dialogue

Cambridge, MA and Seattle, WA (PRWEB) September 03, 2014

Aptel Research, a respected healthcare market research firm, and Patient Power, a leading producer of online educational content for cancer patients, have announced key results from the Patient Power Summer 2014 Survey, a comprehensive online survey of almost 700 US-based cancer patients’ and caregivers’ use of and experience with online health information and its impact. The key findings of the survey demonstrate the high level of online engagement of cancer patients and their frequent reliance today on online patient communities as a primary source of credible and up-to-date health information.

The survey is part of a new collaboration between Aptel Research and Patient Power in an ongoing effort to help healthcare companies better support and understand cancer patients and their changing “journey” today. This comes at a time when breakthrough therapies are being approved at increasing speed, more clinical trials are underway, and cancer patients in many conditions are living longer, and better.

The jointly conducted survey garnered responses from nearly 700 US-based users of Patient Power to reveal their use of and experience with online health information, its overall impact on their lives, and its specific effect on patient-physician dialogue.

The survey results indicate that over 75% of respondents look daily or weekly for health websites they rely on the most for credible and up-to-date information about their cancer, respondents overwhelmingly ranked Patient Power and other online patient communities and advocacy websites as their top choices, while pharmaceutical company and disease education websites were ranked last. Cancer center websites received a middle ranking. General health websites ranked lower.

  •          86% of respondents reported that online health information keeps them updated on the newest information and treatments, while for 84% it gives them a greater sense of control over their condition.
  •     90% of respondents discussed the information learned via the web with their physician.
  •     75% of respondents agree that health information via the web helps create a greater partnership with treating physicians.

In response to these findings, “There is now a growing vanguard of patients who seek credible information online to put them more in control of their cancer care. It is now clear their active discussions with their doctor, based on their own learnings, often lead to better, state-of-the art care and, I am betting, benefiting the less active patients sitting in the waiting room, as well. It’s a patient-driven sea-change in cancer care” said Andrew Schorr, Founder of Patient Power and a two-time cancer survivor.

Michele Derai, CEO of Aptel Research added, “When patients speak to their doctors, they get a lot of information about their disease, but they don’t know how it is going to impact their lives and they aren’t sure they’ve heard the whole story. Internet health information, particularly online patient communities that offer a connection to expert doctors and expert patients, fill this gap through sharing of the latest news and empowering personal stories. A doctor can’t tell you what it is going to be like to live with a condition and they could be behind the times in treatment for your cancer. That’s why more and more patients seem to be seeking information online. Patients increasingly feel, in cancer, you can’t afford to be wrong.”

Aptel Research ( is a strategic specialty marketing research and consulting company, which specializes in the life sciences industry. Aptel Research is dedicated to providing business-relevant insights that reflect the complexity of the healthcare market, and to helping healthcare companies integrate the patient and physician experience with their science to create patient-centric strategies and tactics for their brands.

About Patient Power ( Patient Power is an online information resource dedicated to educating patients living with cancer through video news programs featuring cancer experts and inspiring patients and caregivers, webcasts, transcripts, and live in-person meetings in partnership with leading medical centers, cancer medical societies and numerous cancer patient advocacy groups. It’s video interviews on cancer topics have been viewed over 1.5 million times.

For More Information contact:

Michele Derai, CEO Aptel Research 781-861-1477, mderai(at)aptelresearch(dot)com

Andrew Schorr, Founder, Patient Power 206-973-7390, andrew(at)patientpower(dot)info

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