The founder of Carenity answers our questions
Published 23 Apr 2019 • By Josephine O'Brien
"We have learned a lot, made some mistakes too, however we are constantly improving our services to make them as responsive as possible to patients' needs.”
What do you remember about the day Carenity was launched eight years ago? What was your state of mind?
A great moment of emotion and serenity. The emotion of seeing a project come to life and also a feeling of serenity because I was convinced of the usefulness of the site for our future users.
What was your goal at the time?
Create a social network for patients and their families. As a family member of a patient, I know that it is difficult to access quality information. And that the decisions to be taken, often within short deadlines, are complex. Connecting people affected by the same diseases promotes mutual support and information sharing.
And today, is the objective still the same? What lessons have you learned and how has Carenity evolved?
The objective is unchanged. We have learned a lot, made mistakes too, and are constantly improving our services to meet patients' needs as much as possible. The platform now has more than a thousand pathologies, whereas we started with 12 pathologies in 2011.
Why is the company called Carenity?
It is the juxtaposition of "Care" and "Nity" for community.
In eight years, the Carenity team has grown, the site has been created in the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, Germany and the United States, the platform has undergone significant improvements.... Which event or stage marked you the most?
There have been many highlights over the past eight years. Two events come to mind: the creation in early 2019 of the company's first subsidiary in Boston, USA. And when we passed the 100,000 mark. There, I thought that the service we offer is really useful, beyond our expectations. And more generally, I am always very moved when I receive testimonials from patients or families who tell us how Carenity has transformed their lives.
In eight years, we learn, we evolve... but from which objective or value have you never deviated?
When creating a company or service, you have to be able to listen and adapt. But above all, you must remain faithful to your commitments and values. At Carenity we share the values of transparency, mutual aid and caring where the human being is at the centre of everything.
Many Carenity members have participated in surveys shared with stakeholders in the health sector. What has been the impact of these surveys?
Being able to collect patients' opinions "in real life" is a major step forward for science and therefore for patients. More than 300 studies in 8 years have made it possible to develop new products and services to improve the quality of patient care. We have also raised awareness among public authorities about the burden of certain diseases.
What are the challenges for the next few years? Where do you see Carenity in eight years?
There are many challenges. We will intensify our efforts to offer services that better meet patients' needs, while respecting data confidentiality and users' rights. We will continue our internationalization. Most importantly, we will ensure that patients' opinions are better taken into account by medical research, healthcare providers, industry and health authorities. The scope for progress is enormous.
Thank you to Michael for answering our questions.
And where do you see Carenity in eight years? Tell us in the comments!