Each of us has been, at some time in our lives, a patient in the medical system. But some people have such extensive patient experience that their thoughts can translate to meaningful expertise. Jack Barrette is helping these patients turn their expertise into action as Founder and CEO of WeGo Health, a social network that empowers over 100,000 patient leaders to help others and to drive health innovation.
A healthcare marketer “even back when healthcare marketing was considered tacky and seedy” as he explains it, Jack has long believed that great communication between patient and the system is essential to effective market success. He has brought this idea to life by making a market for patients who are both seeking information and open to providing it to the very healthcare system players who try to serve them. In a world that is finally seeing the value of Real World Evidence, there is nothing more real world than integrating from the beginning the patient’s own thoughts and inputs into the process of product development, product launch, and customer service. Still, It is weirdly novel to have a company built around patients as the experts (rather than everyone else); Jack has been singularly focused on building exactly that.
Jack has been in the healthcare world as operator, marketer and leader and has been on a clear track to the WeGo vision since his early days leading Yahoo’s original efforts to compete with WebMD’s consumer-focused plan. Even then he saw the promise of two-way communication in the emerging Internet/social media realm and how valuable it could be to not just patients, but product manufacturers, pharma and physicians. By helping patients become advisor activists, they help not only themselves, according to Jack, but elevate the entirety of the marketplace.
Thanks, Jack, for visiting us at the Tech Tonics Podcast!
We are grateful to AARP Market Innovation for sponsoring this episode of TechTonics. AARP’s Market Innovation team works to spark innovation in the market that will benefit the quality of life for people over 50.”
Jack Barrette says
Lisa and David, if folks listen to your terrific intro, that alone will go a long way to resetting the role of patients from test subjects to peer professionals in healthcare. Thanks for your thoughtful questions and the skillful editing.
Lisa Suennen says
So great to have you on, Jack! Lisa
Shirley Weir says
I love the term “peer professionals”
Lisa Suennen says
It is a good term!
Robert Larrett says
We have plenty of patient feedback, plus rigorous science.