Portraits of resilience: How patients and caregivers cope through the COVID pandemic

Portraits of Resilience: How Patients and Caregivers Cope through the COVID Pandemic By Richard Tsai The word “storytelling” invokes a pleasant image of listeners around a campfire, listeners from any era and any culture. It could, however, just as accurately evoke an image of brain chemistry that creates direct experience and even changes behavior: I originally discussed this concept in an earlier post, “Why Storytelling Builds Brands.”1 Research shows that people remember stories better than mere facts and that the brain can store more information and retrieve it more easily when it is in story form.2 Storytelling [...]

Collaborating with Rare Disease Patient Advocacy Organizations

Collaborating with Rare Disease Patient Advocacy Organizations By Judy Chandler MPH, CHES The first Rare Disease Day took place on February 29, 2008, chosen because February 29 is a “rare date.” Since then, it has continued to occur on the last day of February. Inspire will participate in this year’s worldwide awareness effort to help inform the general public and policy makers about the impact of rare diseases on patients’ lives at the annual Rare Disease Day at National Institutes of Health with a poster and exhibit booth on February 28. Defined as affecting less than 200,000 [...]

The Case for Online Consumer Recruiting

The Case for Online Consumer Recruiting Over the past few years, recruiting for consumer healthcare market research has undergone a drastic change. In the past, pharma clients would take their business questions to their research vendors, who could easily leverage panel companies to fill the desired project samples and ultimately deliver successful insights back to their clients. As the industry has shifted its focus to oncologic conditions, rare diseases, orphan drugs and otherwise underserved populations, vendors are struggling to access these small, unique patient populations, resulting in partial, or even total, failures in fielding. I recently addressed [...]

Rare Disease and Social Media: Making Connections

Rare Disease and Social Media: Making Connections Being Alone and Disempowered Keeping illness, pain and suffering a secret for years is the reality for many people with rare diseases.  Now, on social media, they are writing about it, sharing the desperation and the hurt.  And they are finding each other in the process. Joy Aldrich kept her diagnosis of Charcot-Marie-Tooth a secret from everyone (including her physician) for 33 years.1  Dawn Nellor, a patient with pulmonary sarcoidosis, describes one reason for this, “The behavior of past appointments with physicians…have numbed me to their raised eyebrows and [...]