What happens when a patient with a chronic illness like diabetes or alcoholism decides to “take a day off?” There really is no such thing as a day off. Chronic illnesses demand chronic attention. Family, friends and caregivers who help patients stay true to their treatment regimen can be as important as the medication and treatment itself. Many health-minded apps can also help people achieve certain short-term goals, such as weight loss and fitness routines. A report from the eHealth Initiative shows that successful social media take this an important step further. By creating sustainable communities, they offer a variety of tools to empower healthcare consumers over the long term. Key benefits include breaking down the walls of patient-provider communication, improving access to health information, and providing a channel for peer-to-peer communication.