“The problem I was trying to address was not-for-profits like the Cancer Society were spending a heap of time and money on developing resources for patients.”
“What I could see from working on the phone support line was that the information wasn’t available to people when they most needed it...especially the time between diagnosis and treatment.”
The problem was how to get the information to people when they were searching for it, Anna says.
“Then the internet came along and it became very apparent this was the answer to the problem.”
At the same time, former New Zealand Doctor editor Carmel Williams was developing an online news service and Anna decided to work alongside her.
A generous grant from Researched Medicines Industry (now Medicines NZ) allowed Anna to get started, approaching the not-for-profits to offer the information service. She would take the information they were creating and shape it into a centralised resource of easy-to-read patient information that could be delivered by health professionals.
Because not everyone had access to the internet, Anna explains Everybody was initially delivered as a CD. This also enabled her to maintain control over the quality of the content but it had its challenges.
Anna laughs as she recalls her second year as “good in terms of my personal development”.
“I could not afford to have a CD made so taught myself how to make CDs.”