Web 2.0 in Healthcare

Generated ImageI’ve been watching the Web 2.0 meme for a number of years. I run an online community site that could be said to fit into the Web 2.0 realm. At first, the term Web 2.0 stuck me as a clever bit of ironic marketing: traditional software comes in nicely packaged releases, therefore wouldn’t it be fun to pretend the next ‘version’ of the www has just been released. Well, the marketing worked and the term has gradually come to represent some of the newer and more interesting trends in website construction and use.

 If you want a quick summary of Web 2.0 in Healthcare or ‘Health 2.0’ as it’s now being termed, check out this video from the recent Health 2.0 Conference:

The IMIA has recently set up working group to look at how Web 2.0 is affecting healthcare. There is a portal site at: http://differance-engine.net/imia20/and a new Ning social network: http://imia20.ning.com/

The Medical Librarian’s Association also have a Web 2.0 group and have recently released the results of their  into Web 2.0 usage amoungst librarians: http://sns.mlanet.org/blog/2007/09/24/what-mla-members-told-us-about-social-networking/

There’s also a recent ‘Blog Carnival’ to celebrate Web 2.0 in Health Informatics going on: http://healthinformatics20.blogspot.com/

If you want to keep up-to-date with Web 2.0 in Healthcare, Bertalan Meskó’s Scienceroll is the blog to watch.

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Published by

Dr Chris Paton

Dr Chris Paton is the Group Health for Global Health Informatics at the University of Oxford.

8 thoughts on “Web 2.0 in Healthcare”

  1. Thank you, Chris, for the kind words!

    Actually, the first blog carnival about web 2.0 and medicine is Medicine 2.0 (at medicine20.wordpress.com). You could also contribute to that carnival with your articles.

  2. Health 2.0 is derived from the term Web 2.0, which implies a 2nd generation/release of the Internet.

    The ‘2.0’ part was established within computer programming – as a new edition of a an application is released, it is common practice for the programmers to add an incrementing number at the end of a program’s name, to label the new version.

    Web 2.0 implies the ‘2nd release’ of the Internet, which of course is not based on anything concrete. The Internet being made up of millions upon millions of interconnecting computers running lots of various programs, but is more of a concept to describe the type of programs/applications/functionality one can now locate on the Internet.

    The Internet was initially complied of mainly static pages of data. Soon to follow was email, web forums and chat rooms where discussions could take place. Web 2.0 refers to a trend on the Internet that saw a step forward in the way users conduct communicate over the Internet, which includes the use of blogs, videos, podcasts, wikis and online communities where people with common interests get together to share ideas, media, code and all types of information.
    Web 2.0 technologies such as social networking, blogs, patient communities and online tools for search and self-care management look as though they will permanently alter the healthcare landscape indefinitely.

    As with Web 2.0, there is a lot of debate about the meaning of the term ‘health 2.0’. The Wall Street Journal recently attempted to define Health 2.0 as:

    “The social-networking revolution is coming to health care, at the same time that new Internet technologies and software programs are making it easier than ever for consumers to find timely, personalized health information online. Patients who once connected mainly through email discussion groups and chat rooms are building more sophisticated virtual communities that enable them to share information about treatment and coping and build a personal network of friends. At the same time, traditional Web sites that once offered cumbersome pages of static data are developing blogs, podcasts, and customized search engines to deliver the most relevant and timely information on health topics.”

    While this traditional view of the definition imputes it as the merging of the Web 2.0 phenomenon within healthcare. I personally believe it’s so much more. In my opinion, Health 2.0 goes way beyond just the permeant social networking technology to include a complete renaissance in the way that Healthcare is actually delivered and conveyed.

    Source – http://www.rxpop .com/

  3. Thanks Chris. This is a really good summary of the various ways in which the term Health 2.0 is understood. I’m currently writing an article on the subject and whilst I’d found examples of each of these different understandings of Web 2.0 I was struggling a bit to bring it all together in my head. I will of course be referencing your blog.

    Kind Regards
    Iain

  4. I read through some of the IMIA website and thought you might be very interested in an open-source software platform called Jumper (www.jumpernetworks.com). Its like a cross between Sermo, the Semantic Web, and Google but it runs on your Inranet so it is ideally suited for healthcare and is HIPAA compliant.

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