A friend of mine who is passionate about how women are treated by the health care system has capped off about five years of health care advocacy by launching a site where women can go to find good information, forums, audio and video clips of physicians explaining common conditions that affect women, and share stories. Michelle had a hysterectomy (probably unnecessary in retrospect) that plunged her into a hormone-related depression and forced her to become a more knowledgeable consumer of health care. Once she recovered, she turned her anger at the system into a business.
The site is called EmpowHer.com and it released its beta this week, already loaded with podcasts and videos by the country's foremost physicians. But it won't be anything unless women actually get on it and share their stories, building up that second store of information — the patient's point of view.
I'm an advisor to the company because I believe there can't be too much unbiased information available, and the best way to get it is through user-generated content. Three types of users will generate content: providers, patients, and health educators.
Not in the beta, but coming soon, is a large database of free or low-cost health-related events — held by hospitals, by the Red Cross, by all the disease-releated nonprofits who are constantly offering information but can't get it out to the people who need it.
EmpowHer needs help from its users to be all that it can be. If you are a woman, go join it and make a contribution of your own health care story.