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To be or not to be : E-patient or I-Patient

I see a growing community of people entering the “arena” of the e-patient.

Looking to the e-patients White Paper for me this more and more rises the question when does one names him of herself a e-patient.

For now i am curious to your opinion in this, but i let me give you a hint of my opinion in this matter :

  • An e-patient is a (ex-) patient able to advocate patients rights, needs, experiences and able to advice healthcare institutions in a neutral way on steps to be made in REshaping healthcare, so more an ambassador-role.
  • An i-patient is a patient who uses the internet for information, sharing moods, questions experiences etc.

For now i will let it rest there, lets see if we can get some discussion about this 😉




Lucien Engelen

5 replies

  1. Quick response: one of both categories make no sense as nowadays almost all patients (in Western societies at least) will use the internet to look up information, if only to look for visit times etc. So for me the question would be more, how to call the group of patients that share experience/knowledge with other (potential) patients and therewith influence offerings and volumes of health care providers. e-patient sounds most natural to me. The ambassador role goes beyond the usage of e-tools.

  2. p.s. from a marketing perspective it’s HARMFUL to have two overlapping memes. One will surely win, and the presence of a different one will only slow that down. So I propose that we in the academic / analyst world should develop a taxonomy of subtypes. For instance I recently realized that a potent subtype is the "Mama Lion" – a parent who becomes an Engaged, Empowered advocate (Equipped and Enabled by the internet) because of a threat to his/her child.

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