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Dave  deBronkart

Dave deBronkart

"e-Patient Dave"


Dave deBronkart, known on the internet as e-Patient Dave, is the author of the highly rated Let Patients Help: A Patient Engagement Handbook and one of the world’s leading advocates for patient engagement. After beating stage IV kidney cancer in 2007 he became a blogger, health policy advisor and international keynote speaker. An accomplished speaker in his professional life before cancer, deBronkart is the best-known spokesman for the patient engagement movement, attending more than 600 conferences and policy meetings in 19 countries and testifying on Capitol Hill for patient access to the medical record under the Meaningful Use incentive program. deBronkart is the author of the forthcoming book Superpatients: Patients Who Extend Science When All Other Options Are Gone. Read More >

A co-founder and chair emeritus of the Society for Participatory Medicine, e-Patient Dave has appeared in Time, U.S. News, USA Today, Wired, MIT Technology Review, and the HealthLeaders cover story “Patient of the Future.” His writings have been published in the British Medical Journal, the Society for General Internal Medicine Forum, iHealthBeat, and the conference journal of the American Society for Clinical Oncology. In 2009 HealthLeaders named him and his doctor to their annual list of “20 People Who Make Healthcare Better,” and he’s appeared on the cover of Healthcare IT News and the Australian GP magazine Good Practice.

His TED Talk titled “Let Patients Help” went viral and for years ranked in the top half of the most viewed TED Talks of all time with more than a half million views. In 2012, the National Library of Medicine announced archiving his blog in its History of Medicine Division. deBronkart was the Mayo Clinic’s 2015 Visiting Professor in Internal Medicine. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

Sizzle Reel

TEDx: Let Patients Help!


Social Media is a Pipeline of Patient Needs and Perspectives

Digital Health Days Interview

Walking Gallery Jacket

Speech Topics

e-Patients: Empowered, Engaged, Equipped, Enabled

This is Dave's classic topic, delivered hundreds of times in 18 countries. “There’s something in your lung.” With those words Dave deBronkart began an unwanted odyssey: metastatic kidney cancer had spread silently throughout his body. Online, he read that his median survival time was 24 weeks. Laugh, Sing and Eat Like a Pig is Dave’s story in his own words: excerpts from his cancer journal and later writings as he discovered the e-patient movement – “Empowered, Engaged, Equipped, Enabled” – and became its best-known blogger, speaker, and government policy advisor. The true story of “e-Patient Dave” will inspire you and fill you with a sense that a new world is beginning, a world in which empowered patients partner with medical professionals, to truly help heal healthcare.

Patient Experience, Empowerment, Engagement: A Business Leader’s View

As co-founders of the Society for Participatory Medicine, Dave deBronkart and his doctor are international thought leaders on partnering with patients, and deBronkart authored of one of 2017’s highest-impact articles in Patient Experience Journal. With humor and insight, he’ll share lessons learned from his many patient experiences and his business career about the value of hearing customer perspectives. He’ll tie them to business outcomes in three domains: customer experience, business and social change, and cultural transformation.

A Futurist Looks at AI in Healthcare

What’s the matter with Watson? Famously, IBM Watson failed to improve cancer care, blowing hundreds of millions in the process. Dave was part of the earliest meeting that found cracks in Watson’s intellectual armor – cracks that turned out five years later to be its “cause of death.” He’ll discuss the fatal flaws that made the Jeopardy genius stumble in oncology and how we should think differently about medicine’s AI-enabled future.

The Opioid Crisis: Integrating Behavioral & Primary Care

Since 2012, Dave been a patient voice in the Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality (AHRQ)’s project to merge behavioral and mental health into primary care, the Integration Academy. The project has renewed urgency in the era of surging opioid deaths. Beyond opioids, all behavioral and mental health problems dramatically affect the patient’s role in health and care: Who can perform any job well if they have mood problems or worse? In this extremely current time-sensitive talk, Dave will share the perspectives of the academics, clinicians and financial experts he has worked with and specific next steps providers can take.

Beating Pre-Diabetes with Apps & A Course at the Y

Type 2 diabetes is a major concern under accountable care and population health – but deBronkart living proof that change is possible. He got that diagnosis in his 60s and beat it by successfully changing his behavior, aided by e-health apps. He will share the story of how he changed his diet, walked a lot, then ran a mile (for the first time in his life!), became a 5K runner, and wound up with a cover story in a diabetes journal. As always, he tells it with humor amid the insights, and and emphasis on the patient’s perspective on a chronic diagnosis.

Patient Empowerment Around the World

From New Zealand and Australia to Switzerland, Stockholm and Dubai, Dave has the privilege of learning from audiences and sponsors in hundreds of events in 18 countries. OpenNotes, patient rights, transparency and cultural trends all vary widely, from the best (New Zealand’s avid adoption of e-health) to countries that openly advertise “Don’t google it – trust a professional!” What can we learn from the different stages of this rolling wave of social change?

Healthcare Consumerism

Books & Media


Let Patients Help!