Virtually Connecting at the Queens University Belfast ePatient Conference #qubept

After all the excitement from the ALTC Conference in Manchester, I flew back to Belfast to attend a conference on ePatient – The medical, ethical and legal repercussions of blogging and micro-blogging experiences of illness and disease (#qubept). It was a small conference of about 30 attendees. You would not have known how small it was by the very active twitter backchannel – which Marie Ennis O’Connor has storified here: Day 1 Storify, Day 2 Storify.

For Virtually Connecting, this conference represented our first experience outside of Educational Technology. Personally, I think the area of patient engagement is one that could benefit a lot from this type of short but powerful conversation. We did two hangouts, one at the beginning of the conference and another at the end.

Wondering what ePatients are? Watch the first video and learn a bit about what the conference was all about. The discussion included mentions about the need for improved digital literacy skills, which is something I try to address in my free course (which was mentioned a few times during teh conference). The pre-conference hangout stars:

Onsite: Rebecca Hogue, AnneMarie Cunningham, and Steven Wilson
Online: Autumm Caines, Kate Bowles, Marie Ennis O’Connor, and Terri Coutee

In the post-conference hangout we talked about the idea of needing to make a change from Patient-centered care to Patient networked care – and idea that was brought up during the second keynote by Julie Kennedy. In the after show (after the onsite folks left) Stacey Tinianov highlights the gap in patient voices, specifically those who are not digitally connected.

Watch the post conference hangout, starring:

Online: Suzan Koseoglu, Marie Ennis O’Connor, Stacey Tinianov, Alene Nitzky, and Annette McKinnon
Onsite:Rebecca Hogue, Cathy Ure, and AnneMarie Cunningham

What this experience has taught us is that Virtually Connecting has value outside of Educational Technology conferences. It has also help to point out a need within the ePatient community to help foster connections between ePatients. It also has highlighted the desire to connect patients to clinicians (e.g. physicians, nurses, etc).

I’m not sure yet what the next steps will be for Virtually Connecting within the ePatient space. I’m open to suggestions. Please leave a comment with your ideas.

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  1. Social media and ePatient blogging – a Virtually Connecting special issue – Rebecca J. Hogue

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