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Smart Patients FAQ

What is Smart Patients?

Smart Patients is an online community for patients and families with over 10,000 active members which was created with two primary goals: 1) to make high quality peer support more widely used in healthcare, and 2) to help the healthcare system learn from patients and families to serve them better.

What communities does Smart Patients serve?

Smart Patients has dozens of online communities for conditions ranging from Alzheimer’s disease to childhood illness to various cancers:

While bariatric patients can join any community, the community that was created with them in mind is the Healthy Weight community.

What is Smart Patients’ business model and why are we promoting this product over other similar products?

Many community platforms use ads, recruit patients into clinical trials for a finder’s fee, and/or rent access to patient data. Smart Patients does not. More details are available about the Smart Patients’ business model at:

How is the site monitored and by whom?

The Smart Patients team is responsible for managing the community and monitors all activity on the site. All new members have their posts reviewed before they go live, until it is clear they are constructive participants. Each community created by Smart Patients is seeded with known patients.

How do I get more information about Smart Patients?

For details about the community in general please contact Kathryn Burn at

If you have questions specific to Kaiser Permanente Southern California, please contact Dr. Karen Coleman at

How do I access Smart Patients?

This online community is for patients and their family members only. If you are a patient or a family member then you can join the community directly by going to the website:

If you are a provider or another professional working with patients and their families, please email Kathryn Burn at for guest access.