Why We Need a Patient Co-op

Savvy Cooperative is….a cooperative, or a co-op!

As a co-op, we are owned by our members, which in our case, are the patients and loved ones who use Savvy. We know this is not the normal model — patient ownership?! So let’s break down what we do, and why we do it as a co-op.

What Does Savvy Do?

Savvy Cooperative empowers patients to be part of the solution to improve healthcare by facilitating the seamless collaboration between patients and professionals in order to develop better, patient-centric solutions, faster.

For too long, patients haven’t had a voice or active part in healthcare innovations. They’ve been the vehicles of innovations, not the drivers. We need their bodies to test new drugs, health data to learn trends, behavior to understand where to be profitable — yet we notoriously have not stopped and really connected with patient and co-designed these solutions with them.

Savvy set out to change this. Patients are experts on their experiences, and we’re bringing them to the front lines to share their insights and collaboratively co-design solutions.

We facilitate patient collaboration by providing a marketplace between — what we call — the Savvy Crowd (healthcare consumers, patients and loved ones) and Savvy Companies (market and scientific researchers, pharma, healthtech and other professionals). Savvy Partners may request help from the Savvy Crowd in a variety of ways. This may include, but is not limited to:

  • online surveys

  • in-person/online focus groups

  • in-person/phone interviews

  • product testing

  • scientific research studies

  • opportunities to serve as a patient partner on a research team or advisory panel

  • speaking opportunities

The Savvy Crowd will get paid for these efforts. Which is pretty awesome. But wait…there’s more!


As patients ourselves (both Jen & Ronnie grew up with chronic illness), we’ve been around the block. We’ve got a pretty high bar and lofty goals for the type of organization we wanted to create. We want Savvy to:

  • Restore power back (or for the first time) to patients

  • Be an organization that the patient community trusts

  • Assemble a network of patients that are so engaged and motivated that professionals would never again go without working with patients

  • Use a business model that mirrors our mission

Enter the co-op! In our last post, we defined what a co-op is: an organization that is owned by its members, where each member has an equal vote in co-op decisions and can share in the co-op profits, based on their contribution. This is where our mission aligns beautifully with the co-op:

Savvy’s mission is to:

  1. Elevate the voice of patients and loved ones

  2. Make sure patients and loved ones are fairly valued

Savvy is a patient-owned co-op, thus giving them:

  1. An equal voice in the organization

  2. Fairly values their contribution

How Will the Co-op Work

First of all, we have not yet rolled out our co-op membership (coming soon!). When we do, patients and loved ones will be eligible to join as members. They will not be required to join to use the service, but there will be perks to being a member. In exchange for a small membership fee (price TBD — help us determine!), Savvy Members will:

  1. Be an actual owner of the Savvy

  2. Have a vote in co-op matters

  3. Earn what are known as ‘dividends’, which are rewards for participation in the co-op, helping it function and grow

  4. Be an active part of the movement to restore power back to patients

We knew this is tricky to understand (it’s tricky to explain!) — we are looking to create more resources (eg. images, videos, etc) to help explain this concept. If you’ve got a brilliant idea, or artistic talent, holler at us!

Thanks for your continued support on this journey! We are excited to be getting close to rolling out our membership….ooooo, the anticipation!

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Originally posted on, July 26, 2017

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