ATLANTA, GA and SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire -05/15/12)- Connecting the 1.3 million American adults with rheumatoid arthritis to the most influential individuals driving the online conversation around the disease, SharecareNow, powered by WCG, today announced "SharecareNow 10 - Rheumatoid Arthritis." The list recognizes the patients, doctors, advocates and authors giving daily strength, knowledge and encouragement to the rheumatoid arthritis community online.
The release of the SharecareNow 10 - Rheumatoid Arthritis list coincides with Arthritis Awareness Month, a nationally recognized month sponsored by the Arthritis Foundation to increase awareness of the disease, bring together people affected by it through various events, and raise donations for the organization.
"The online influencers we've recognized are engaging with people across the country affected by rheumatoid arthritis and providing access to credible and potentially life-saving information through their blogs, forums, websites and articles to help increase awareness for the disease," said Jeff Arnold, chairman and CEO of Sharecare. "If individuals are aware of the symptoms related to joint inflammation and understand the severity of rheumatoid arthritis, our hope is that they'll consult a physician as soon as possible to seek the proper care and treatment they need."
While more than 50 million adults in the United States live with some form of arthritis,(1) rheumatoid arthritis accounts for approximately one percent of the nation's population, and almost three times as many women are affected with the condition than men.(2) In fact, for the past 15 years, arthritis and rheumatic conditions have been the most common cause of disability for U.S. adults.(1)
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic disease and one form of inflammatory arthritis that causes the immune system to attack the body's own tissues, specifically the thin membrane that lines the joints.(2) This can cause stiffness, swelling, pain or redness, and warmth in the joints.(3) Even though there is no cure for rheumatoid arthritis, evidence shows that the best way to avoid joint destruction, organ damage and disabilities is to consult a physician and be diagnosed in the early stages of the disease in order to receive aggressive treatment.(4)
To be included in the SharecareNow 10 - Rheumatoid Arthritis list, influencers must have demonstrated a consistent impact on rheumatoid arthritis-specific conversations online over the past year. An individual's influence is measured and quantified through a proprietary algorithm based on more than 40 individual metrics, including rheumatoid arthritis relevance, syndication, presence and reach. These influencers are then ranked from most to least influential based on a unique scoring structure.
The following top influencers make up the SharecareNow 10 - Rheumatoid Arthritis list:
1. Kelly Young - rawarrior.com
2. Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy - rheumatoidarthritisguy.com
3. Carol Eustice - arthritis.about.com
4. Ashley Boynes-Shuck - midatlanticarthritis.wordpress.com
5. Dana - waters-edge.blogspot.com
6. William C. Shiel, MD - medicinenet.com
7. Scott Zashin, MD - webmd.com
8. Nancy Walsh - medpagetoday.com
9. kvnj - mdjunction.com
10. Lisa Emrich - brassandivory.org
A downloadable version of the SharecareNow 10 - Rheumatoid Arthritis list can be found here: http://www.sharecare.com/static/sharecare-now-rheumatoid-arthritis-top-ten-infographic. Additional information, including bios and the methodology behind the influencer list, is available at http://now.sharecare.com.
About SharecareNow, powered by WCG
SharecareNow, powered by WCG was developed in partnership with Sharecare, an interactive social Q&A platform, and WCG, a market-leading digital communications agency. Sharecare Now, powered by WCG is an online platform developed to access real-time analytics on various health topics, conversations and influencers, and to use these insights to meaningfully impact the conversation through strategic engagement. The platform allows health and wellness professionals, organizations and brands to leverage the most accurate data, solutions and best practices to participate in the social service of expert health and wellness content and communities.
Launched in 2010 and based in Atlanta, GA, Sharecare is an interactive, social Q & A platform that allows people to ask, learn and act upon questions of health and wellness. Created by Jeff Arnold and Dr. Mehmet Oz, in partnership with Harpo Studios, Remark Media (MARK), Sony Pictures Television, and Discovery Communications, the company's innovative approach provides the consumer access to a wide array of health and wellness experts ranging from hospitals to doctors, specialists to non-profits, to healthcare companies and active health consumers, creating a thriving community where healthcare knowledge is built, shared and put into practice.
Founded and led by chairman and CEO Jim Weiss, WCG is focused on integrated business solutions in the areas of innovation, change and growth for the world's leading companies and brands. WCG serves clients through a network of offices in San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Austin, Los Angeles and London. For more than a decade, WCG's seasoned professionals have specialized in providing analytics, content, engagement and strategy to a diverse set of clients across the consumer, technology, healthcare and pharmaceutical industries. For more information, please visit http://wcgworld.com.
(1) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Arthritis-Related Statistics: Disability / Limitations and Arthritis. http://www.cdc.gov/arthritis/data_statistics/arthritis_related_stats.htm. Accessed May 7, 2012.
(2) Arthritis Foundation. Rheumatoid Arthritis: Who Gets Rheumatoid Arthritis?. http://www.arthritis.org/who-gets-rheumatoid-arthritis.php. Accessed May 7, 2012.
(3) WebMD. Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis. http://www.webmd.com/rheumatoid-arthritis/guide/rheumatoid-arthritis-symptoms. Accessed May 7, 2012.
(4) Arthritis Foundation. What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?. http://www.arthritis.org/types-what-is-rheumatoid-arthritis.php. Accessed May 7, 2012.
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WCG on behalf of Sharecare