A group of women suffering from a rare disease used social media to turn clinical research on its head, persuading researchers to take up their cause and initiate studies to shed light on a rare and potentially deadly illness that remains poorly understood. by Lisa Zamosky, iHealthBeat Contributing Reporter
Researchers increasingly are turning to social media to overcome the challenge of recruiting participants for clinical studies. Online patient communities, Facebook and other tools can help trial organizers promote their studies and maintain a pool of potential participants. by Lisa Zamosky, iHealthBeat Contributing Reporter
HHS Chief Technology Officer Todd Park touted the potential of open data to drive innovation to improve health and the health care system. Meanwhile, U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin discussed how information and technology tools can "bring health to where people are." by Kate Ackerman, iHealthBeat Managing Editor
The "Free the Data" movement, a national effort to encourage innovation in health care, has sparked a similar campaign to make California health data more easily available. But state laws and regulations may require some extra effort in the Golden State, experts say. by David Gorn, iHealthBeat Contributing Reporter
A new report suggests ways legislators and policymakers can create a welcoming policy environment for telehealth. Although the report is tailored for California, officials at the Center for Connected Health Policy say it can serve as a model for other states. by George Lauer, iHealthBeat Contributing Editor
The use of electronic health records for clinical research holds a promising future. While this branch of research will not completely replace clinical trials, it will make major contributions in comparative effectiveness research and help boost recruitment for clinical research. By John Sharp
The American Red Cross has embraced social media and mobile technology as a way to communicate with the public during an emergency. Meanwhile, Texas health care providers have found that telehealth technology can help them provide care after a disaster strikes. by Kate Ackerman, iHealthBeat Senior Editor
As we work toward grand and hopeful visions for health care reform and health IT subsidies, let's not lose sight of the small victories that occur daily on the ground. This year, we've seen challenges overcome on several fronts that remind us that actual progress is being made. By Thomas H. Lee M.D.