Former Google Chief Health Strategist Launches Online Community for Cancer Patients

“Smart Patients” is Applying Lessons from Google to its Cancer-Focused Social Network

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., April 18, 2013 -- Smart Patients, an online community for cancer patients and caregivers, launched publicly today after a preview at the at the TEDMED 2013 conference in Washington D.C. Members of Smart Patients use the free site to learn from each other about treatments, search for clinical trials and the latest science regarding their diagnoses, and share best practices from the patient’s perspective.

Smart Patients was founded by Roni Zeiger, M.D., former Chief Health Strategist at Google, and Gilles Frydman, who in 1995 founded the Association of Cancer Online Resources (ACOR), the world’s largest collection of online cancer communities.

“I learned a tremendous amount during my six years at Google, from creating an online personal health record to using the web for health search. I discovered that patients are highly motivated to share knowledge and often search for clinical trials and new research when they have a life-threatening diagnosis,” said Dr. Zeiger. "Our goal at Smart Patients is to help cancer patients get better care by learning from each other in an online community with social networking and search technology. Many patients with cancer become extraordinarily knowledgeable about their specific disease, and when they get together in a network, the learning that happens is impressive.”

Partnerships with Smart Patients

Smart Patients is launching with several partners who will help seed the community. One of the company’s early partners is The Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation, based in San Carlos, California. “We are honored to be partnering with Smart Patients. It is a perfect fit with our philosophy that educated and empowered patients live longer,” said Bonnie Addario, Founder and Chair of the Foundation.

Cancer Commons, a nonprofit, open science initiative linking cancer patients, physicians, and scientists in Rapid Learning Communities, is also partnering with Smart Patients. “It's critical to bring patient data as well as patient wisdom to our research teams, to accelerate the development of personalized cancer therapies. We're excited to work with Smart Patients to close that loop,” said Sarah Greene, Executive Director of Cancer Commons.

Smart Patients will tap into the knowledge of networked patients to help speed the development of needed cancer treatments. Smart Patients is working with Oncosec Medical to incorporate patient input into the design of upcoming clinical trials of Oncosec’s skin cancer treatments. “We’re excited to learn from the Smart Patients community. We believe that by incorporating patient feedback into the design process of our clinical programs, we will improve the speed and efficiency of our trials,” said Punit Dhillon, CEO of OncoSec.

Another partner, WorldOne Interactive, has assembled the leading engagement platform for physicians, including Sermo, the largest online physician community in the United States. “Partnering with Smart Patients aligns with our mission to support the physician decision journey and improve patient outcomes. Oncologists, in particular, are interested in patient experiences and clinical outcomes. Providing physicians the opportunity to hear and learn from a robust network of patients having educated discussions on clinical trials and the latest science is a powerful educational tool," said Jake Coniglio, SVP Global Strategy & Corporate Development.

Smart Patients’ business model is to conduct occasional voluntary surveys and share anonymous insights from patients with partners in the healthcare industry to help them provide better care and incorporate the patient perspective into the design of future clinical trials. The site has no advertising or marketing.

About Smart Patients

Smart Patients is an online community for cancer patients and caregivers. The community includes a clinical trial search engine that presents trial data from ClinicalTrials.gov in a patient-friendly format. The community platform has been in private beta testing since January 2013 and is now open to all cancer patients and caregivers. To learn more visit us at www.smartpatients.com.

Smart Patients’ Partners

The Lung Cancer Foundation ( www.lungcancerfoundation.org )
Cancer Commons ( www.cancercommons.org )
Oncosec Medical ( www.oncosec.com )
WorldOne Interactive ( www.worldone.com )