Thomas William Ferguson

Last updated

Thomas William "Tom" Ferguson (July 8, 1943 April 14, 2006) was an American medical doctor, educator, and author. He was an early advocate for patient empowerment, urging patients to educate themselves, to assume control of their own health care, and to use the Internet as a way of accomplishing those goals. [1]

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or simply America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe. Most of the country is located in central North America between Canada and Mexico. With an estimated population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the most populous city is New York City.

Contents

Personal life, education, and career

He was born in Ross, California and grew up in Coos Bay, Oregon. He eventually settled in Austin, Texas, hometown of his wife Meredith Mitchell Dreiss. He obtained a bachelor's degree from Reed College in Portland, Oregon and a master's degree in creative writing from San Francisco State University. He then went to Yale University School of Medicine, graduating in 1977 with an M.D. degree. However, he never had a medical practice. [2] Instead he became a prolific writer about patients as medical consumers and about the doctor-patient relationship, "arguing that informed self-care was a jumping-off point for better health and made for a richer, fairer, if nontraditional, partnership between physicians and their patients." [2] He studied and wrote about the empowered medical consumer beginning in 1975, and about online health resources for consumers beginning in 1987. "He urged patients to educate themselves and share knowledge with one another, and urged doctors to collaborate with patients rather than command them. Predicting the Internet's potential for disseminating medical information long before it became a familiar conduit, he was an early proponent of its use, terming laymen who did so 'E-Patients'." [1] He researched and promoted the popular use of electronic resources including the Internet to gather information and cope with medical conditions. [3] [4] In 1993 he organized the world's first conference devoted to computer systems designed for medical consumers.

Ross, California Town in California in the United States

Ross is a small incorporated town in Marin County, California, United States, just north of San Francisco. Ross is located 1.5 miles (2.4 km) west-southwest of San Rafael, at an elevation of 36 feet. The population was 2,415 at the 2010 census. The town is bordered by Kentfield and Greenbrae to the east, Larkspur to the south and San Anselmo to the north.

Coos Bay, Oregon City in Oregon, United States

Coos Bay is a city located in Coos County, Oregon, United States, where the Coos River enters Coos Bay on the Pacific Ocean. The city borders the city of North Bend, and together they are often referred to as one entity called either Coos Bay-North Bend or Oregon's Bay Area. Coos Bay's population as of the 2010 census was 15,967 residents, making it the most populous city on the Oregon Coast. Oregon's Bay Area is the most populous urban area on the Oregon Coast with a 2018 population estimate of 32,107

Austin, Texas Capital of Texas

Austin is the capital city of the U.S. state of Texas and the seat of Travis County, with portions extending into Hays and Williamson counties. It is the 11th-most populous city in the United States, the fourth-most-populous city in Texas, and the second-most-populous state capital city. It is also the fastest growing large city in the United States and the southernmost state capital in the contiguous United States. As of the U.S. Census Bureau's July 1, 2018 estimate, Austin had a population of 964,254 up from 790,491 at the 2010 census. The city is the cultural and economic center of the Austin–Round Rock metropolitan statistical area, which had an estimated population of 2,168,316 as of July 1, 2018. Located in Central Texas within the greater Texas Hill Country, it is home to numerous lakes, rivers, and waterways, including Lady Bird Lake and Lake Travis on the Colorado River, Barton Springs, McKinney Falls, and Lake Walter E. Long.

Ferguson Awards

In 2002 he gave some "distinguished achievement awards" to leading individuals and organizations in the emerging area of "e-patients" and participatory medicine [5] :

Gunther Eysenbach Canadian medical researcher

Gunther Eysenbach is a researcher on healthcare, especially health policy, eHealth, and consumer health informatics.

The Journal of Medical Internet Research is a peer-reviewed open-access medical journal established in 1999 covering eHealth and "healthcare in the Internet age". The editor-in-chief is Gunther Eysenbach. The publisher is JMIR Publications.

MEDLINE is a bibliographic database of life sciences and biomedical information. It includes bibliographic information for articles from academic journals covering medicine, nursing, pharmacy, dentistry, veterinary medicine, and health care. MEDLINE also covers much of the literature in biology and biochemistry, as well as fields such as molecular evolution.

Academic appointments [2]

University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences university

The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) is a public medical school in Little Rock, Arkansas. It is part of the University of Arkansas System and consists of five colleges including one graduate school, seven institutes, a statewide network of community educational centers, and the UAMS Medical Center.

The Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan American think tank based in Washington, D.C. It provides information on social issues, public opinion, and demographic trends shaping the United States and the world. It also conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, media content analysis, and other empirical social science research. The Pew Research Center does not take policy positions, and is a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts.

Partial list of publications

<i>Whole Earth Catalog</i>

The Whole Earth Catalog (WEC) was an American counterculture magazine and product catalog published by Stewart Brand several times a year between 1968 and 1972, and occasionally thereafter, until 1998. The magazine featured essays and articles, but was primarily focused on product reviews. The editorial focus was on self-sufficiency, ecology, alternative education, "do it yourself" (DIY), and holism, and featured the slogan "access to tools". While WEC listed and reviewed a wide range of products, it did not sell any of the products directly. Instead, the vendor's contact information was listed alongside the item and its review. This is why, while not a regularly published periodical, numerous editions and updates were required to keep price and availability information up to date.

Illness and death

He exemplified his own philosophy when he was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 1991. "He relentlessly pursued strategies for both self-care and the newest research and experimental practices for controlling this aggressive cancer ... Between relapses and debilitating treatments, he led a migration of medical consumer information to the internet, lectured widely on the emerging field of 'health informatics,' and earned a global reputation as a true innovator and pioneer in the field." [7] He died April 14, 2006, while undergoing treatment in Little Rock, Arkansas. [1]

Related Research Articles

Health On the Net Foundation A not-for-profit organization founded in 1995 under the auspices of the Geneva

Health On the Net Foundation (HON) is a Geneva, Switzerland-based not-for-profit organization which promotes a code of conduct for websites providing health information and offers certificates to those in compliance.

Health informatics discipline at the intersection of information science, computer science, and health care

Health informatics is information engineering applied to the field of health care, essentially the management and use of patient health care information. It is a multidisciplinary field that uses health information technology (HIT) to improve health care via any combination of higher quality, higher efficiency, and new opportunities. The disciplines involved include information science, computer science, social science, behavioral science, management science, and others. The United States National Library of Medicine (NLM) defines health informatics as "the interdisciplinary study of the design, development, adoption and application of IT-based innovations in health care services delivery, management and planning". It deals with the resources, devices, and methods required to optimize the acquisition, storage, retrieval, and use of information in health and bio-medicine. Health informatics tools include computers, clinical guidelines, formal medical terminologies, and information and communication systems, among others. It is applied to the areas of nursing, clinical medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, public health, occupational therapy, physical therapy, biomedical research, and alternative medicine, all of which are designed to improve the overall of effectiveness of patient care delivery by ensuring that the data generated is of a high quality.

Consumer health informatics (CHI) is a sub-branch of health informatics that helps bridge the gap between patients and health resources. It is defined by the American Medical Informatics Association as "the field devoted to informatics from multiple consumer or patient views". The Consumer Health Informatics Working Group (CHIWG) of the International Medical Informatics Association (IMIA) define it as "the use of modern computers and telecommunications to support consumers in obtaining information, analyzing unique health care needs and helping them make decisions about their own health".

Telehealth is the distribution of health-related services and information via electronic information and telecommunication technologies. It allows long-distance patient and clinician contact, care, advice, reminders, education, intervention, monitoring, and remote admissions. Telemedicine is sometimes used as a synonym, or is used in a more limited sense to describe remote clinical services, such as diagnosis and monitoring. When rural settings, lack of transport, a lack of mobility, decreased funding, or a lack of staff restrict access to care, telehealth may bridge the gap.

eHealth is a relatively recent healthcare practice supported by electronic processes and communication, dating back to at least 1999. Usage of the term varies. A study in 2005 found 51 unique definitions. Some argue that it is interchangeable with health informatics with a broad definition covering electronic/digital processes in health while others use it in the narrower sense of healthcare practice using the Internet. It can also include health applications and links on mobile phones, referred to as mHealth or m-Health.

A personal health record (PHR) is a health record where health data and other information related to the care of a patient is maintained by the patient. This stands in contrast to the more widely used electronic medical record, which is operated by institutions and contains data entered by clinicians to support insurance claims. The intention of a PHR is to provide a complete and accurate summary of an individual's medical history which is accessible online. The health data on a PHR might include patient-reported outcome data, lab results, and data from devices such as wireless electronic weighing scales or from a smartphone.

eMedicine is an online clinical medical knowledge base founded in 1996 by Scott Plantz MD FAAEM, Jonathan Adler MD MS FACEP FAAEM, a computer engineer Jeffrey Berezin MS. The fundamental concept was to create a large repository of professional level medical content that could be both updated and accessed continuously to assist in clinical care and physician education. The eMedicine website consists of approximately 6,800 medical topic review articles, each of which is associated with one of 62 clinical subspecialty "textbooks". Pediatrics, for example, has 1,050 articles organized into 14 subspecialty "textbooks" ; the emergency medicine volume has 630 articles and internal medicine is near 1,400. If the remainder of the specialty textbooks are added to the total 6800+ articles were created in eMedicine. In addition, the knowledge base includes over 25,000 clinically multimedia files. To create this online content over 11,000 board certified healthcare specialists were recruited and managed in a first generation, proprietary learning management system (LMS). To provide some perspective on the amount of content that was created it is estimated that, if hard-copy printed out, it would total over 1 million pages.

An e-patient is a health consumer who participates fully in his/her medical care, primarily by gathering information about medical conditions that impact them and their families, using the Internet and other digital tools. The term encompasses those who seek guidance for their own ailments and the friends and family members who go online on their behalf. E-patients report two effects of their health research: "better health information and services, and different, but not always better, relationships with their doctors."

Gary L. Kreps is a communication scholar. He is a university distinguished professor of communication at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, United States, where he directs the Center for Health and Risk Communication. He served as chair of the Department of Communication from 2004 to 2013, and held the Eileen and Steve Mandell Endowed Chair in Health Communication from 2004 to 2010. He served on the governing board of the Center for Social Science Research, and has served as a long-time faculty affiliate of the National Center for Biodefense and Infectious Diseases, the Center for Health Care Ethics and Policy, the Center for International Medical Policies and Practices, the Center for Health Information Technology, the Center for Health Intervention Research, the Center for the Advancement of Wellbeing, and the Center for Climate Change Communication at Mason.

"Health 2.0" is a term introduced in the mid-2000s, as the subset of health care technologies mirroring the wider Web 2.0 movement. It has been defined variously as including social media, user-generated content, and cloud-based and mobile technologies. Some Health 2.0 proponents see these technologies as empowering patients to have greater control over their own health care and diminishing medical paternalism. Critics of the technologies have expressed concerns about possible misinformation and violations of patient privacy.

Health information technology (HIT) is information technology applied to health and health care. It supports health information management across computerized systems and the secure exchange of health information between consumers, providers, payers, and quality monitors. Based on an often-cited 2008 report on a small series of studies conducted at four sites that provide ambulatory care – three U.S. medical centers and one in the Netherlands – the use of electronic health records (EHRs) was viewed as the most promising tool for improving the overall quality, safety and efficiency of the health delivery system. According to a 2006 report by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, broad and consistent utilization of HIT will:

Connected health is a socio-technical model for healthcare management and delivery by using technology to provide healthcare services remotely. Connected health, also known as technology enabled care (TEC) aims to maximize healthcare resources and provide increased, flexible opportunities for consumers to engage with clinicians and better self-manage their care. It uses readily available consumer technologies to deliver patient care outside of the hospital or doctor's office. Connected health encompasses programs in telehealth, remote care and disease and lifestyle management, often leverages existing technologies such as connected devices using cellular networks and is associated with efforts to improve chronic care. However, there is an increasing blur between software capabilities and healthcare needs whereby technologists are now providing the solutions to support consumer wellness and provide the connectivity between patient data, information and decisions. This calls for new techniques to guide Connected Health solutions such as "design thinking" to support software developers in clearly identifying healthcare requirements, and extend and enrich traditional software requirements gathering techniques.

Informatics for Consumer Health (ICH) is a government initiative coordinated by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) within the National Institutes of Health (NIH). ICH focuses on a coordination of health information, technology, and health care delivery that empowers providers to manage care and increases the ability of consumers to gain mastery over their own health. The ICH online initiative involved stakeholders from various sectors—commercial IT, government, health care, education, research, and advocacy—exchanging ideas and resources to bridge information technology and health care with the goal of improving behavioral support for all consumers. The Informatics for Consumer Health field is related to health informatics, medical informatics, consumer health informatics, eHealth, and health information technology.

Health 3.0 is a health-related extension of the concept of Web 3.0 whereby the users' interface with the data and information available on the web is personalized to optimize their experience. This is based on the concept of the Semantic Web, wherein websites' data is accessible for sorting in order to tailor the presentation of information based on user preferences. Health 3.0 will use such data access to enable individuals to better retrieve and contribute to personalized health-related information within networked electronic health records, and social networking resources.

The online encyclopedia Wikipedia has, since the late 2000s, served as a popular source for health information for both laypersons and, in many cases, health care practitioners. Health-related articles on Wikipedia are popularly accessed as results from search engines, which frequently deliver links to Wikipedia articles. Independent assessments have been made of the number and demographics of people who seek health information on Wikipedia, the scope of health information on Wikipedia, and the quality of the information on Wikipedia.

Health information on the Internet any use of Internet to publish or share health information

Health information on the Internet refers to all communication related to health done on the Internet.

Infodemiology is a term coined by Canadian researcher Gunther Eysenbach. Eysenbach defines infodemiology as a new area of science research that focuses on scanning the internet for user-contributed health related content, with the ultimate goal to improve public health

Health data is any data "related to health conditions, reproductive outcomes, causes of death, and quality of life" for an individual or population. Health data includes clinical metrics along with environmental, socioeconomic, and behavioral information pertinent to health and wellness. A plurality of health data are collected and used when individuals interact with health care systems. This data, collected by health care providers, typically includes a record of services received, conditions of those services, and clinical outcomes or information concerning those services. Historically, most health data have been sourced from this framework. The advent of eHealth and advances in health information technology, however, have expanded the collection and use of health data—but have also engendered new security, privacy, and ethical concerns. The increasing collection and use of health data by patients is a major component of digital health.

References

  1. 1 2 3 New York Times, April 24, 2006
  2. 1 2 3 Medscape, May 11, 2006
  3. Hoch, D; Ferguson, T (August 2005). "What I've learned from E-patients". PLoS Med. 2: e206. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0020206. PMC   1182328 . PMID   16060721.
  4. The Ferguson Report, March 1999
  5. Ferguson, William. "Distinguished Achievement Awards". The Ferguson Report.
  6. Telos Press TELOS 15 (Spring 1973)
  7. Austin-American Statesman, quoted at Medscape, May 11, 2006