“It’s not just about the doctor — there is so much other stuff to do. And sometimes, you feel alone or overwhelmed and you need to just talk to people”
– Participant, Atlas of Caregiving Care Map Workshops, February 2016
It’s often said that the majority of the ‘care’ in ‘healthcare’ is provided at home, by family caregivers — not in a doctor’s office or medical institution. It’s this care, and these family caregivers, that we seek to better understand and support through the Atlas of Caregiving research and tech-enabled approach.
And, over the course of the Atlas of Caregiving Pilot, Roni Zeiger MD, Founder and CEO of Smart Patients, an online community for caregivers and patients, has provided us important insights on the intersection of caregivers, healthcare, and technology. As part of our behind-the-scenes introduction to some of our Atlas of Caregiving advisors, collaborators, and partners, I spoke with Dr. Zeiger about his work.
Roni Zeiger [RZ] I’m a doctor, patient, parent, and firm believer that we can make healthcare much better by working more collaboratively with patients and families. I work part time as an urgent care doctor and full time in the “digital health” world. From 2006-2012 I had the privilege of working at Google where I served as Chief Health Strategist. For the last four years I’ve been building online communities for patients and families. I’m learning everyday how much patients and families can help each other with their health and wellbeing and am now committed to making peer support part of the healthcare system.
Learning about the importance of community to family caregivers, and how appropriate technology can support this core human connection, is a key step in helping make family caregiving easier and more effective. We appreciate Dr. Zeiger’s time and thoughts today, and throughout our pilot research!