Today, in an open, live-streamed webinar, PCORI —the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute —made a big announcement. Executive Director Joe Selby, MD started with a reflective observation:We went in thinking this would be about clinical research. We came out realizing it was about patient networks. 

I've been calling 2013 the year of the ePatient and I'd say today's announcement from PCORI further validates the assertion.

This funding and focus paves the way for online communities, ePatient groups, disease-specific groups, healthcare providers and even payors to gain funding to for their own evidence-based research. That is, in turn, critical in validating some of the intrinsic and immediately observable benefits of patient communities and patient-identified therapies.

From PCORI:

 

Two innovative features of this initiative are

PCORI’s expectation that health systems, clinicians and patients will play key roles in governing the direction and uses of the networks that this funding will support, and that the interests of patients will be central to decision-making about the network’s structure, function, and uses.

 

 

via Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute to Invest Up to $68 Million to Develop a National Patient-Centered Clinical Research Network | Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute.