The health information provided includes thousands of articles on health conditions and treatment options and multimedia offerings like videos and podcasts.
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Explore This IssueJuly 2013
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“Depending on what interests you as a patient or as a consumer, and depending on what your learning preference is, you’re going to be able to find the answers you’re looking for in a way that you want to learn,” Abrahamson says.
The website created for each client carries the branding of the institutions and the practices, he says. Clients pay an annual licensing fee.
The content is created in-house and is on a two-year review cycle, Abrahamson says. “It’s not only scientifically accurate, but it’s accessible and actionable by the patient so that they can understand it,” he says. “It helps them make a decision, it helps them manage their care.” To make sure the material is accessible, the content developers use an assessment that takes into account 22 distinct literacy factors, such as the use of simple language and use of the active voice, Abrahamson says.
Vivacare: Dr. Becker started this company in 2007, but says he has been developing patient-education programs since 1995.
Vivacare works mostly with independent medical practices. The educational content comes from Vivacare, medical publishers, and other organizations. Its initial focus was in dermatology and neurology, but since then it has expanded to 15 specialties. Dr. Becker estimates that only about 30% of the material in rheumatology is generated in-house by Vivacare. The remainder comes from the National Institutes of Health, patient support groups, and professional organizations, such as the ACR.
Vivacare is free to physicians. Upon enrolling, they gain access to a variety of patient handouts, videos, and patient support tools that are personalized with the doctor’s name at the top of the page. This content can be displayed on the practice’s website, shared on a mobile device, or printed. Information is available on over 100 rheumatology topics.
Vivacare provides enrolled physicians with a snippet of code that, when inserted onto their website, creates an index of patient-education titles and a search function.
The company generates revenue from pharmaceutical or device companies that either pay Vivacare to “sponsor” a disease-education program or to display information about a specific medication. The medication information is meant to support a patient who has been prescribed the product by providing information on how to take the medication and what to expect from treatment.