The relationship between patients and doctors is fundamentally changing. Transparency in medical records, patients’ accessibility to health information online, online social media driving patient-to-patient conversations…these are at the base of the future of healthcare.

This, according to a thought-provoking report addressing the evolving nature of patients vis-à-vis physicians in the National Health Service (NHS) in the U.K. These factors are also driving change in health and health care in the U.S.

The Talking Cure: Why Conversation is the Future of Health Care
is an essay published in mid-May 2008 by two smart guys at Demos.
As the National Health Service in the U.K. approaches its 60th birthday, the Demos research organization launched The Healthy Conversations project (now known as The Talking Cure) to engage stakeholders in and outside of the NHS in a dialogue of how to move patients to the center of health in the U.K.

One of the benefits of operating (somewhat) globally is the reach that one’s eyes and ears have to health milieus outside of the U.S. A client in the U.K. sent this heads-up along to me, for which I am thankful (you know who you are).

Here is Demos’s rationale for launching the Talking Conversations in health care project:

“We know that the doctor-patient relationship is changing. Sources of health information have multiplied and the GP’s monopoly on knowledge is wobbling. But as we move from paternalism to ‘patient-centred’ how should we think about professionalism and expertise? What are the advantages and challenges of patients and the public playing a more active role in their own healthcare? As the questions patients ask of their doctors become more complicated, how do conversations with doctors need to change?”

Health Populi’s Hot Points: Demos calls itself The Think Tank for Everyday Democracy. That’s exactly the space where the health reform discussion belongs. Everyday, Democracy. 24×7, for all citizens.

Take a look at The Talking Cure. While its stories are informed by the patients and clinicians in the NHS, its implications are enlightening and applicable to the U.S. Patients at the center of a health system: what a novel idea!

, a health-social media start-up, comes out of beta today. It’s a prime example of person-to-person health story-sharing. Trusera’s new tagline is, “Come Experience the Power of Been There.” Here is another online community where people are finding empowerment and solutions…another aspect of The Talking Cure journey, the future of health care.