Autoimmune Disease: The Silent, Invisible Epidemic

Rainbow sun over road hills
A May 2022 NIH Report on autoimmune research makes clear why the AIID epidemic remains invisible & silent.

There is a silent, invisible epidemic–as large as cancer or heart disease–of autoimmune and other chronic immuno-inflammatory diseases (AIIDs). Patients have battled for adequate medical treatment since such diseases were first identified. Amid vague, silent symptoms, many struggle for years for a diagnosis. Many have trouble even getting doctors to acknowledge they are sick, much less figure out what is wrong. Even worse, patients must coordinate their own care across multiple, siloed specialists. Once diagnosed, there is little guidance on matching drugs (some very costly) to individual patients. Underlying this broken system is a severe underestimation of AIID prevalence, no national data collection and a concomitant lack of research funding. Compare AIIDs to cancer, which affects fewer people but has a single specialty, abundant funding & research since the early 20th C.

The COVID-19 pandemic sidelined care for chronic disease patients. While a step in the wrong direction, it highlighted just how many people slip through the cracks of the medical system. The growth of digital health prompted by the pandemic may help mend this fragmented system. Telemedicine & virtual-first care (V1C) can increase access, facilitate care coordination, improve patient outcomes and lower costs. This short deck is a trailer for our coming State of Autoimmunity 2023 Report. We discuss how the pandemic advanced digital health. We also discuss the May 2022 NIH Report, Enhancing Autoimmune Research, which shows why the autoimmune epidemic continues to be invisible. Check out our slides below and stay tuned for more posts to come!

Authors: DrBonnie360, Ellen M Martin, Emily Burns & Ellie Duvall

We approach these thought leadership posts from our multi-lens perspectives

  • DrBonnie360: Digital health consultant, clinical dentist, Wall Street analyst, patient & advocate.  
  • Ellen M Martin: Consultant, editor, life science finance/IR/marcomm, autoimmune caretaker.
  • Emily Burns: Digital health equity research intern, Public health associate, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.
  • Ellie Duvall: Digital health equity research intern, Physiological Sciences Undergraduate Student at UCLA.

Strategic Consulting & Professional Services

We provide professional consulting services to investment, emerging and established companies. We bridge silos and fill gaps to help our clients improve healthcare and reduce costs for AIID patients. Informed by patient and caretaker perspectives, we urge investors & clients to integrate the best of digital, conventional and functional medicine.

  • We help our clients leverage digital innovations into V1C for AIID patients. 
  • Our subject matter expertise includes: oral health, microbiome, autoimmune patient journeys, competitive landscape analysis, strategic positioning & messaging, digital health, and self-hacking.
  • We have decades of experience in finance, marketing and communications for dozens of healthcare and life sciences organizations, emerging and established.
  • Our backgrounds include clinical dentistry, osteology, biotech IR/PR, marcomm, content creation, strategic consulting, and autoimmune advocacy.

Contact us to help you map your market landscape and understand patients unmet needs. We also can help you clarify and articulate your company’s market position and differentiators. Long before COVID-19, we were facilitating virtual sessions. We also create compelling content: articles, blog posts, collateral, e-books, web copy and white papers. Our Autoimmune Connect/DrBonnie360 website showcases our own content.

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