Information Sharing, Collaboration in MS Care Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic: Mitzi Joi Williams, MD

Discussing the willingness to share data during the pandemic, the founder and CEO of Joi Life Wellness Group Multiple Sclerosis Center spoke to the positive effect of collaboration in the MS field. [WATCH TIME: 2 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 2 minutes

“When you think about the scientific community, people are very protective of their data from their studies before it gets published [or] cited in some journal…But [during the pandemic] you saw people in real time getting up and saying, ‘This is what we have in our registry, please feel free to share. We're all trying to learn from each other.’ And so, everyone did learn from it.”

Sharing of information and data is often something that researchers shy away from ahead of publication. But during the COVID-19 pandemic, with so many unknowns about the virus itself, as well as its effect on immunocompromised patients, this practice was challenged. Instead of being “protective,” experts were more willing to disclose current registry data, creating a sense of community, particularly in the field of multiple sclerosis (MS). 

Mitzi Joi Williams, MD, board certified neurologist and MS specialist, and founder and CEO, Joi Life Wellness Group Multiple Sclerosis Center, commented on this collaboration that continued in 2021, also pointing to the benefits of Twitter and other social media, as well as monthly webinars and conferences, in helping to spread the word and disseminate the latest data. Williams spoke on her own knowledge of COVID-19, noting that much of it did come from colleagues within the US, as well as across the world. 

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