The former chief health strategist at Google, Dr Roni Zeiger, has launched an online community for cancer patients and caregivers called Smart Patients.
The site encourages members to learn from each other about different treatments, search for clinical trials and the latest science relating to their diagnosis, and to share best practice from a patient perspective.
The site was founded by Zeiger and Gilles Frydman, who founded the Association of Cancer Online Resources (ACOR) in 1995.
"I learned a tremendous amount during my six years at Google, from creating an online personal health record, to using the web for health search," explained Zeiger.
"I discovered that patients are highly motivated to share knowledge and often search for clinical trials and new research when they have a life-threatening diagnosis.
"Our goal at Smart Patients is to help cancer patients get better care by learning from each other in an online community with social networking and search technology. Many patients with cancer become extraordinarily knowledgeable about their specific disease, and when they get together in a network, the learning that happens is impressive."
The site has been launched with a number of partners, including The Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation, the not-for-profit 'open science initiative' Cancer Commons, biotech Oncosec Medical and the digital healthcare marketing agency WorldOne Interactive.
Commenting on the partnership, WorldOne Interactive's SVP of global strategies and corporate development, Jake Coniglio, said: "Partnering with Smart Patients aligns with our mission to support the physician decision journey and improve patient outcomes.
"Oncologists, in particular, are interested in patient experiences and clinical outcomes. Providing physicians the opportunity to hear and learn from a robust network of patients having educated discussions on clinical trials and the latest science is a powerful educational tool."
The founders intend to use the website to conduct occasional voluntary surveys in order to share anonymous insights from patients with partners in the healthcare industry, they have also opted to include no advertising.