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Do It Collaboratively To Save The World – Health 2.0

May 26, 2009

I believe the power of crowd.  I think it is the reason that people can keep improving and moving forward.  Most of us already knew Web 2.0 and some applications around it.  However, there are still too many things unknown or unsolved in the world.

Regarding to those unknown/unsolved things, I am sure that, as human beings, we are more desperate to find the cure for many diseases.  Scientists can explore more possibilities for curing those diseases with the help of improved technology and latest findings.  However, more and more unsolved/uncured diseases are found at the same time.  Maybe there is a way to collect all the information and to share the knowledge for people that can utilize those resources to solve these incoming problems.  I believe it is the concept of Health 2.0 that can help people to solve those problems in the future.

From the definition of Wikipedia, Health 2.0 is the participatory healthcare characterized by the ability to rapidly share, classify and summarize individual health information with the goals of improving health care systems, experiences and outcomes via integration of patients and stakeholders.

Information updates/Communication tool: People can use RSS, podcast, Blog, Twitter, or Google to update the situation to stay informed.  Medical officers and pharmaceutical reps can also use certain tools to communicate with each other efficiently.

Example – American Well:
American is a tool that makes patients and physicians save their time for each other, which provides an immediate health service to patients.

Education: People can use Podcast, Flicker, YouTube, or Blog to learn about health knowledge, information, or the application of medical tools.

Example – Healthocrates:
Healthocrates is an Internet based wiki medical resource, which offers the medical information for everyone who can make the online connection.

: Professors, MD students, Doctors, or Nurses can utilize Google, Wiki pages, or some Web 2.0 tools to use in daily practice for medical professionals or to share the latest medical research results to share the information. On the other hands, patients can also utilize the power of Web 2.0 to offer the review of medical care services in order to share the information and force these medical service improve.

Example – HealthGrades:
HealthGrades is the leading Healthcare rating organization, providing ratings and profiles of hospitals, nursing homes and physicians to consumers.

Data sharing: People can share their medical information online to help medical professionals conduct researches to move forward and can use their information to make their customized disease history, resulting a fast medical operation time.

Example – CollabRx:
CollabRx builds and operates Virtual Biotechs for foundations and patients who urgently seek cures for their diseases. For physicians and their patients, CollabRx collects their information to increase the database of certain disease in order to find the cures.

Privacy: The patient’s medical history are saved online and could possibly be exposed.  It is convenient for people to save the data or information online, but it is somehow unsecure for everything online.
Quality: The quality of user-generated content is always an issue for Wiki page.  Yes, people will say that people can always find something wrong and fix it right away.  It’s the process of Web 2.0 that utilizing everyone’s effort to make things better.  But we are not sure that people make contribution to the contents have the specific knowledge regarding to our health.  For viewers without medical backgrounds, they can mislead by the wrong contents made by people without specific knowledge or background as well.

In the end, I still believe that the concept of Health 2.0 will be a good way to help people improve and solve the problems.  I understand it’s not perfect, but nothing is really perfect.  What we can do as human beings is to find the better way to keep moving forward.  And the approach of 2.0 is a way to keep people moving forward.  In the future, we are definitely expecting the concepts of Health 3.0, 4.0, or even 5.0 to help us solve those problems.

Health 2.0 from Wikipedia
A Quick Introduction to Health 2.0 by Christopher Ritter
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David Yu

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