The HealthTree online portal has opened a free online patient resource that connects multiple myeloma experts from around the world with patients to help them better understand their disease, so doctor visits can be better spent on personalized care.
More than 120 myeloma specialists are expected to participate in HealthTree University (HTU), which offers a comprehensive curriculum that currently consists of more than 200 video lectures spread over 14 courses, delivered by 71 of those experts.
"When patients are first diagnosed with cancer, each has to reinvent the wheel to catch up with their disease," said Jenny Ahlstrom, founder of TheCrowdCare Foundation and HealthTree.org, in a press release. “The addition of HealthTree University makes it possible for patients to quickly learn about myeloma from top home myeloma experts so they can use clinic time to discuss their treatment plan.
"In the future," said Ahlstrom, a myeloma patient, "we hope that HealthTree University can serve as a model for educating patients about other diseases."
HTU lessons begin at three ascending levels of Myeloma Basics. In that first foundational course, topics include What is Multiple Myeloma? How long will I live? what are the signs and symptoms? and What is a monoclonal protein and how is it detected?
Patients can track their progress and advance to more complex lectures. In addition to Getting Started, general courses include Building Your Healthcare Team, Becoming an Empowered Patient, Beginning Myeloma Treatment, Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation, Precursor Conditions, Treatment of Relapsed and Refractory Multiple Myeloma, Bone Disease of the Myeloma, Multiple Myeloma Marker Testing and Monitoring, Myeloma Genetics and Precision Medicine, Drug Classes, and COVID-19 and Multiple Myeloma.
Patients can take quizzes to reinforce their knowledge and bookmark lessons for later use. They can also take notes to earn points for attending myeloma events or for a discount on telemedicine consultations.
To reflect ongoing advances in myeloma research, HTU will regularly add new content and courses.
"As an educator, I recognize that knowledge is extremely powerful," said Cynthia Chmielewski, director of HealthTree University. "HealthTree University provides people with knowledge about all aspects of myeloma, enabling them to actively participate in their care and make informed decisions."
Visit this site to view a recorded tutorial webinar on HealthTree University.
HealthTree.org is a digital community tool that helps myeloma patients explore treatment options, find clinical trials, and contribute their anonymous medical information as data that helps advance multiple myeloma research and care.