There’s something seriously wrong with a health care system that makes patients wait a month or more just to get a doctor’s appointment. Fed up with this information bottleneck all too common in the U.S., a new breed of “ePatients” is crowdsourcing treatment databases online and using mobile technology to access and share health information. “People are recognizing that they can and need to take an active role in managing their health instead of just sitting by and going to doctor’s appointments,” says Sean Ahrens, a leader of the ePatient movement who was diagnosed with the inflammatory condition known as Crohn’s disease at age 12. His startup, Healthy Labs, launched a site called Crohnology last year that lets people with Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis record and share treatments--including medications, dietary changes, even alternative medicine--in a structured database.
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