Over the past decade, patient community platform WEGO Health has steadily built the world’s largest network of health experts and patient influencers. Today, the company unveiled WEGO Health Experts, the first on-demand digital matching platform to pair health care organizations with influential patient leaders 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.
With more than 100,000 patient leaders, who collectively reach millions of other patients and caregivers through their social channels, WEGO Health has created a resource for the a sharing economy resource unlike any other. Its new platform will enable thousands of hyper-connected and hyper-engaged patient leaders to join the sharing economy, earn extra income and fill a significant gap in the health care workforce.
In its 10-year history, WEGO Health has partnered with nine of the top 10 pharmaceutical companies 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.