LifestyleFacts.org – Coming Spring of 2015
Marc Braman, MD, MPH
President, Lifestyle Medicine Foundation
Truly helping those we serve in the most effective way possible. This is what it is all about, right? We want to help people have the health and vitality to fully engage with, and enjoy, life. Lifestyle Medicine does more than other fields of health care to accomplish this, treating the cause of disease and not just the symptoms. But our health care system is built for ever-increasing pills and procedures to treat symptoms, not causes. This is very frustrating for those of us seeking to practice what health care should be.
So how do we incorporate scientifically-proven, lifestyle medicine into practice? The Lifestyle Medicine Foundation’s new LifestyleFacts.org website is going to provide a very tangible means for providers everywhere to do just that. Inspired by the great work of Michael Greger, MD, and NutritionFacts.org, the Foundation is developing content for the scope of Lifestyle Medicine. Providers everywhere will be able to “prescribe” Lifestyle Medicine education, allowing patients to access the educational component of “first line therapy” that is convenient and of the highest quality.
But there is so much health information out there. The internet is swimming with an overwhelming flood of it. What is different about LifestyleFacts.org? Two big things.
- Real Lifestyle Medicine is fundamentally different in that “lifestyle” is the primary treatment modality. It is talked about, handled, and applied as the dominant therapy, receiving the vast bulk of time, attention, and energy. It is used in therapeutic dosage. Medications or other therapies are “adjunct”. This turns the typical medication-based paradigm on its head.
- It’s about people. Period. Money is the means to the end of helping people the most in the most effective way possible. Patients and consumers are very confused. 99% of the health information out there is commercially driven – either direct sales of products, or using the information as bait to bring people to their site so they can mix in all kinds of advertising. Or, the best of them try to sell quality information that essentially supports the current backwards paradigm. We believe we need to get back to this thing called “patients”.
LifestyleFacts.org will be the go-to resource on the web to empower lifestyle care. The future of health care is online resources shared by both providers and patients – where everyone is reading off the same fact-based page for any given condition. LifestyleFacts.org will be one of the pillars in this next-gen health care world. Providers and patients will be empowered to take care “out of the box” and into real life.
We are working on building the most functional tools into LifestyleFacts.org. Personal accounts that allow people to track what they have watched will allow reporting back to providers who have prescribed Lifestyle Medicine Education or obtaining credit for employer wellness programs. Curriculum sets will allow people to watch a series of short videos to gain a specified knowledge base on a given topic. Community functions will allow people to more fully engage effectively with lifestyle change instead of it just being them against the world. And we look for input and suggestions from the Lifestyle Medicine community for what we should do that will be most useful. So please, send us suggestions! This site and project is about your practice.
We want to express a large amount of appreciation to Dexter Shurney, MD, MPH, Chief Medical Officer of Cummins, Inc, and to Cummins for their support and engagement on this project. We look forward to seeing how this content plays a role in Cummins redesign of health care to a “treat the cause” basis. We also want to acknowledge and thank our core expert panel:
Michael Greger, MD and NutritionFacts.org (including sharing their video content with LifestyleFacts.org)
Virginia Gurley, MD, MPH – expert in sleep medicine and all things circadian
Jerry Morris, PsyD, MBA, MSPharm – expert in behavioral health and integration of disciplines
Edward Phillips, MD – expert in exercise science
And we are looking forward to engaging with other experts in the broad scope of Lifestyle Medicine as we seek to bring the world’s best science into the lives of those we serve.
One unique video that we are getting professionally produced is an Introduction to Lifestyle Medicine video. As you know, people are always asking, “So what exactly is Lifestyle Medicine?” We all need a well-done, short video that we can direct people to, link our websites to, etc that explains the concept of Lifestyle Medicine well in under four minutes. This video will be available for all in March.
Final Note and Opportunity to Make a Difference
The LifestyleFacts.org project and many others acknowledge a great need for a shared database of relevant, current science on the topic, and component topics, of Lifestyle Medicine. Because the pieces of Lifestyle Medicine are scattered in behavioral science, nutrition science, sleep science, etc, Lifestyle Medicine is professionally handicapped. The Foundation is committed to filling this void by the creation of a shared, scientific research database. This system we are setting up will be a structure in which health care professionals, students, residents, and others can contribute to this shared database. The development of the field requires that we have a functional, tangible, shared scientific foundation for everything we do.
Volunteers are a critical component to compiling the research into a usable system and the Foundation continues to recruit volunteers for populating the database. The database will be available for contributions beginning Summer 2015. Love the idea but are too busy to help build the database personally? Your tax-deductible donations will support the staff needed to manage the database and it’s development. Donate today!
Stay in the Loop
The beta version of LifestyleFacts.org is expected to come online in late Spring. To stay in the loop on this, and other game-changing Lifestyle Medicine projects the Foundation is working on, sign up for our newsletter here