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An e-patient (also known as Internet patient, or Internet-savvy patient) is a health consumer who uses the Internet to gather information about a medical condition of particular interest to them, and who use electronic communication tools (including Web 2.0 tools) in coping with medical conditions. The term encompasses both those who seek online guidance for their own ailments and the friends and family members (e-Caregivers) who go online on their behalf. e-Patients report two effects of their online health research: "better health information and services, and different (but not always better) relationships with their doctors." 
As use of the term e-Patient has evolved, there has been less emphasis on Internet access and technology, and a contention that the "e" in "e-patient" stands for "empowered, engaged, equipped, enabled."
e-Patients are increasingly active in their care and are demonstrating the power of the Participatory Medicine or Health 2.0 / Medicine 2.0. model of care. They are equipped, enabled, empowered, engaged, equals, emancipated and experts.
- Equipped with the skills to manage their own condition.
- Enabled to make choices about self-care and those choices are respected.
- Engaged patients are engaged in their own care
- Equals in their partnerships with the various physicians involved in their care
- Expert patients can improve their self-rated health status, cope better with fatigue and other generic features of chronic disease such as role limitation, and reduce disability and their dependence on hospital care.
Based on the current state of knowledge on the impact of e-patients on the healthcare system and the quality of care received:
- A growing number of people say the internet has played a crucial or important role as they helped another person cope with a major illness.
- Since the advent of the Internet, many clinicians have underestimated the benefits and overestimated the risks of online health resources for patients.
- Medical online support groups have become an important healthcare resource.
- “…the net friendliness of clinicians and provider organizations—as rated by the e-patients they serve—is becoming an important new aspect of healthcare quality.”
- This is one the most important cultural medical revolution of the past century, mediated and driven by technology.
- In order to understand the impact of the e-patient, clinicians will likely need to move beyond “pre-internet medical constructs.” Research must combine expertise from specialties that are not used to work together.
- It is crucial for medical education to take the e-patient into account, and to prepare students for medical practice that encompasses the e-patient
 See also
- Masters K, Ng'ambi D, Todd, G (2010). ""I Found it on the Internet:" Preparing for the e-patient in Oman". SQU Med J 10 (2): 169–179. doi:10.3923/jms.2010.169.175.
- Fox, Susannah; Fallows, Deborah. 2003. Health searches and email have become more commonplace, but there is room for improvement in searches and overall Internet access.
- deBronkart, Dave, E-Patients: Empowered, Engaged, Equipped, Enabled. 2010 talk.
- Eysenbach G Medicine 2.0: Social Networking, Collaboration, Participation, Apomediation, and Openness. J Med Internet Res 2008;10(3):e22
- Hoch, Dan; Ferguson, Tom (August 2005). "What I've Learned from E-Patients". PLoS Med 2 (8): e206. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0020206. PMC 1182328. PMID 16060721. Retrieved 2012-03-20.
- Finding Answers Online in Sickness and in Health, 5/2/2006, Pew Internet.
- Eysenbach G (2003). "The impact of the Internet on cancer outcomes". CA Cancer J Clin 53 (6): 356–71. doi:10.3322/canjclin.53.6.356. PMID 15224975.
- Jacobson P (2007). "Empowering the physician-patient relationship: The effect of the Internet". Partnership: the Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research 2 (1). ISSN 1911-9593.
- Ahmad F, Hudak PL, Bercovitz K, Hollenberg E, Levinson W (2006). "Are Physicians Ready for Patients With Internet-Based Health Information?". J. Med. Internet Res. 8 (3): e22. doi:10.2196/jmir.8.3.e22. PMC 2018833. PMID 17032638.
- Crocco AG, Villasis-Keever M, Jadad AR (June 2002). "Analysis of cases of harm associated with use of health information on the internet". JAMA 287 (21): 2869–71. doi:10.1001/jama.287.21.2869. PMID 12038937.
- Feder, Judith; Sands, Daniel Z. (2008-02-25). "A Reader and Author Respond to "ePatients: Engaging Patients in Their Own Care"". Medscape Journal of Medicine 10 (2): 46. ISSN 1934-1997. PMC 2270894. PMID 18382715.
- Ferguson, Tom; Frydman, Gilles (2004-05-15). "The First Generation of E-Patients: These New Medical Colleagues Could Provide Sustainable Healthcare Solutions". British Medical Journal 328 (7449): 1148–1149. doi:10.1136/bmj.328.7449.1148. ISSN 0959-8138. PMC 411079. PMID 15142894.
- van Woerkum CM (1 April 2003). "The Internet and primary care physicians: coping with different expectations". Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 77 (4 Suppl): 1016S–1018S. PMID 12663310.
- Podiatry Online: Accommodating the Internet-Savvy Patient
- Susannah Fox, Pew Internet & American Life Project (2004-09-27). "Today's E-Patients: Hunters and Gatherers of Health Information Online".
- Laura Landro, Senior Editor, The Wall Street Journal (June 13, 2007). "The Growing Clout of Online Patient Groups" (PDF).
- Rimer BK, Lyons EJ, Ribisl KM, et al. (July 2005). "How New Subscribers Use Cancer-Related Online Mailing Lists". J. Med. Internet Res. 7 (3): e32. doi:10.2196/jmir.7.3.e32. PMC 1550655. PMID 15998623.
- Meier A, Lyons EJ, Frydman G, Forlenza M, Rimer BK (2007). "How Cancer Survivors Provide Support on Cancer-Related Internet Mailing Lists". J. Med. Internet Res. 9 (2): e12. doi:10.2196/jmir.9.2.e12. PMC 1874721. PMID 17513283.
- The rise of the e-patient, Lee Rainie from the Pew Internet and American Life Project presentation at the Medical Library Association, Oct 7, 2009
- E-patients With a Disability or Chronic Disease, from the Pew Internet and American Life Project
- Association of Cancer Online Resources (ACOR), an aggregate of e-patient online communities for knowledge-sharing about cancer.
- E-Patients Prefer eGroups to Doctors for 10 of 12 Aspects of Health Care. 1999 article by Dr. Tom Ferguson.
- Time Magazine article: "When the patient is a Googler" – Mary Shomons response – Trisha Torreys response
- Who Cares Booklet by the Federal Trade Commission, a guide to health information
- Infographic: The Empowered E-Patient summary of data focusing on e-patients developed by the Path of the Blue Eye Project, an educational initiative for health marketing communications professionals