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Community as Part of the Prescription: Social Media in Diabetes Care
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Community as Part of the Prescription: Social Media in Diabetes Care

Brenda Schmidt, MS, MBS, moderates a discussion on the diabetes online community and the opportunity for social media in type 1 and type 2 diabetes care. She is joined by panelists Hope Warshaw, MMSc, RD, CDE, BC-ADM; Thomas C. Hawkins, MD, MS; Amy Tenderich, MA, and Kerri Sparling.
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Brenda Schmidt, MS, MBS, moderates a discussion on the diabetes online community and the opportunity for social media in type 1 and type 2 diabetes care. She is joined by panelists Hope Warshaw, MMSc, RD, CDE, BC-ADM; Thomas C. Hawkins, MD, MS; Amy Tenderich, MA, and Kerri Sparling.

Amy Tenderich views social media as both a place for open communication as well as advocacy that allows the patient community to unite under a collective voice. She explains that online forums have become a critical method for patients to learn and better understand the disease from peers who share similar experiences.

Not only do these forums open communication lines from 1 patient to another, but it also provides a platform for patients to voice their opinions and thoughts to the pharmaceutical companies that develop the medications and devices for the patients, as well as to the FDA, payers, and various other stakeholders in order to better understand what it is that real patients want and need.

“People wanted to share their experiences in the real world, they wanted to ask each other questions about how they were titrating, dosing and about whatever effects they were experiencing, so there’s a great opportunity on the therapy side for people to learn from each other,” Tenderich said.

However, Warshaw believes that amongst the large patient population that exists in the Diabetes Care community, the engagement with these online forums is minimal. Sparling believes that the minimal representation of individuals diagnosed with type 2 diabetes mellitus may be due to the social stigma attached to the disease. The panelists discuss how patients can become more engaged with the diabetes care community, both online and in the real world.

 
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