Patient design, instead of being patient-centric, should guide healthcare leaders in designing products, facilities, or technologies for patients.

TORONTO and PHILADELPHIA CREAM, September 12, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — JMIR Publications published”Patient Design: The Importance of Including Patients in Healthcare Design” in the Journal of Internet Medical Researchwho pointed out that patient design, instead of patient orientation, should guide healthcare leaders in designing products, facilities, or technologies for patients.

Importantly, the document is co-authored by a doctor and a patient. Doctor Bertalan MeskoMD, PhD, Director of The Futuristic Medical Instituteand “e-Patient Dave” of Bronkart, a leading voice in the global online patient community, shared real life examples in their article to highlight the importance of patient design.


The authors argue that health care in the 21st century has gone through a paradigm shift, as defined by Thomas Kuhn in his 1962 classic, The structure of scientific revolutions. Yet the model by which clinicians are trained, care is delivered, and care delivery is designed has not changed significantly, even though we call it “patient-centred”.

The rise of the internet and digital health brought an end to that era.

From joining online patient communities to using a range of digital health sensors, patients are bringing new value to the table. For example, the #WeAreNotWaiting movement is a community of people with diabetes who are taking the management of the disease into their own hands, organizing themselves and developing apps, platforms and other solutions to help each other. They created the open-source “DIY pancreas” software that automatically provides patients with the right doses of insulin based on their blood sugar levels. The software was entirely created by the patient community without any input from healthcare professionals. Significantly, it is the second most bifurcated app on GitHub, as each user can tailor it to their own body and preferences. This is the true power of the patient: the ability to take care of themselves.

The authors concluded in their JMIR Publications Research Output that we are at the end of the period in history when physicians know important scientific facts and medical knowledge that patients cannot.

Before 1900, doctors in medical schools weren’t even exposed to patients, but by the end of the 20th century, the internet allowed knowledge to flow. Today, in the 21st century, a plethora of personal health devices give patients access to more information than their doctors have.

The possibility of truly participatory medicine is on the horizon…increasingly empowered patients living on their own priorities, in partnership and consultation with physicians as needed.

To realize the new potential of medicine, it must be optimized around the desires and priorities of the ultimate stakeholder–the party that has the most at stake in how it all plays out: the patient. Patient design is the approach that can make this happen.


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Key words – Patient, Patient Design, User Design, Patient Centered, Patient Focus, Digital Health, Future, Empowerment, Involvement, Participatory, Engagement, Participation, Patient Centered, Patient Centered

JMIR Publications is a leading, born-digital, open-access publisher of more than 30 scholarly journals and other innovative science communication products that focus on the intersection of health and technology. Its flagship newspaper, the Journal of Internet Medical Researchis the world’s leading digital health journal in terms of content and visibility, and it is the largest journal in the field of medical informatics.

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