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Project Details

A map of Europe showing MS sufferers' locations

MS Reports

Social networking for people with multiple sclerosis

By shift.ms

Project URL: shift.ms/resources/ms-reports/
Project Twitter: @shiftms

Organisation URL: shift.ms

  • Community Engagement
  • Health
  • Social Exclusion
  • Audiovisual
  • Social Software

MS Reports is a project for people with multiple sclerosis to record interviews with the experts, academics and researchers working to advance the treatment of their own condition. It is the latest project from Shift.ms, a social network which, just as LiveStrong does for cancer, brings positive language and patient-empowerment to a patient community.

Advertising agency media planner George Pepper founded the young, UK-based network upon his diagnosis with the disease at age 22. Although MS is the most commonly diagnosed neurological condition for those in their 20s and 30s, he found himself without access to social support or peers with whom he could share experiences online.

The site he set up to plug the gap now has 5,500 members worldwide. The community is setting new standards for producing creative, user-led content made for and by a patient community (it has produced short films, publishes a magazine, has a page for video uploads, etc.).

The citizen journalism project sees 'MSers' use their smartphones to film interviews with leading medical researchers: to create original content for the site and to turn the table on the customary power-dynamic between patients and clinicians. ‘We believe MSers have the best insight into their own condition and will therefore ask key questions about MS research, which researchers may not have thought of,’ says the team.

The reportage will build a video library of expert knowledge, and, by allowing researchers and patients to talk directly, will empower patient communities and help them to influence the research agenda.

The Wellcome Trust has funded Shift.ms to scale the project across the UK and into new patient communities.

Image courtesy of MS Reports

Last updated: 19th of September, 2014

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