BOSTON, Feb. 15, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- WEGO Health, a network of more than 100,000 patient leaders, today unveiled WEGO Health Experts, the first on-demand digital matching platform to pair health care organizations with patient influencers who are part of the growing sharing economy. The platform is designed to eliminate the barriers companies face when trying to find patients with the time, skills and expertise to consult on health-related projects.
In its 10-year history, WEGO Health has partnered with health care companies, research foundations, government agencies and others to leverage the knowledge and influence of highly engaged patients managing chronic and complex conditions. With the launch of WEGO Health Experts, any health care organization can now tap the company's vast patient network on-demand.
"Hyper-connected and engaged patients can be among the most valuable assets in health care, but until now it's been a slow, one-off process to capitalize on their expertise," said Jack Barrette, WEGO Health founder and CEO. "With WEGO Health Experts, we're bringing thousands of highly skilled patient experts into the sharing economy and connecting the health care industry to a massive, untapped workforce."
Patients who can be hired as consultants through WEGO Health Experts have professional experience that is particularly relevant to health care companies, including backgrounds in research, software engineering, information technology, digital marketing, and business strategy. One expert, Bob Tufts, is a Princeton graduate and Columbia MBA who worked as a Wall Street analyst for 20 years before being diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2009. Following his battle with cancer Tufts founded My Life is Worth It, an online campaign that advocates for affordable cancer care.
Patients like Tufts are often among the most active members of health-related social networks. In a 2016 survey, WEGO Health found that its members each engage an average of 15,000 followers per month. They are three times more likely than a typical health consumer to use a health app and five times more likely to write an online review.
Experts in Action
"Recruiting the niche patient population we needed for a research initiative would not have been possible without WEGO Health," said AJ Avedon, research consultant at Brandtrust, a research and strategy firm based in Chicago. "Collaborating with a patient expert enabled us to recruit the cohort we needed much faster and at a fraction of the cost of traditional channels."
"I'm excited about the opportunities this platform affords patient influencers like myself who want to raise awareness within our communities," said Leanna Mullen, a patient expert hired by Brandtrust to crowdsource its research initiative. "Through WEGO Health Experts, I can leverage my trusted connections to patients and execute meaningful campaigns."
Expert Commentary: Health Care is Ready for Sharing Economy
"A growing level of trust in digital interfaces has been one of the key drivers for the sharing economy," said Arun Sundararajan, professor, Robert L. and Dale Atkins Rosen Faculty Fellow at New York University's Leonard N. Stern School of Business, and author of The Sharing Economy. "WEGO Health is an early innovator in bringing this emerging model of crowd-based collaboration to the health care industry, where platform-based solutions are poised for rapid growth."
For more information and to access WEGO Health Experts as a company or influencer, visit http://www.wegohealthexperts.com.
About WEGO Health
WEGO Health is a mission-driven company dedicated to transforming health care by harnessing the experience, skills and insights of health care influencers. We are the world's largest network of patient and caregiver thought leaders, consultants and influencers, comprising more than 100,000 individuals across virtually all health conditions and topics. Our network collaborates with startups, life sciences companies, non-profits, agencies, government and all types of organizations across health care. WEGO Health offers enterprise and on-demand solutions that allow organizations to leverage patient expertise in the design, development and promotion of their products and services.
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SOURCE WEGO Health