According to a January 2008 study titled How America Searches, Health and Wellness:
- In the past 12 months, 59% of adults reference the internet to find or access health and wellness information.
- 67% of adult searchers use general search engines as an online tool or resource for health information and only 7% referred to online drug advertisements.
- 36% of adult searchers use online health information to see what other consumers say about a medication or treatment
Because of statistics like those above, the concept of ‘Health 2.0’ has increased its usage and importance. Simply, Health 2.0 = the merging of social media into healthcare. However, others see the movement of Health 2.0 as something much wider and farther reaching. Even Google image searching shows a variety of more complex definitions. I’d be interested to see how you all define it for yourselves or for your practice.
Examples of Health 2.0
- Carol.com , started in 2006, is the marketplace for care, allowing hospitals and providers to ‘bid’ for consumers’ care
- Vitals.com, allows patients to review their current doctor’s or a potential doctor’s reviews and ratings
- DoubleCheckMD, allows consumers to check for potential drug interactions quickly and easily
- American Well , creates a healthcare marketplace where consumers and physicians come together online to acquire and provide convenient and immediate healthcare services
- WiserWiki, a medical and healthcare information wiki edited exclusively by physicians
- Clinfo Wiki, a wiki devoted to clinical informatics
- Ask Dr. Wiki, allows those with a medical background to publish review articles, clinical notes, pearls and/or medical images to the wiki. The main focus has been on Cardiology and Electrophysiology, but they have expanded to other areas.
- DiabetesMine, a blog all about diabetes
- HealthMatters (Healthline), a collection of weblogs by professionals, covering different aspects of health, wellness, treatments, and recent advances
- WebMD, provides health and health-related information
- ICYou, the source of healthcare videos and videos related to health information
- Cleveland Clinic on Google Video
- TauMed, a virtual health community where one can search and share information on a variety of health topics
Health 2.0 researchers warn that patients should be cautious about posting personal health-related information through unsecured social media as health insurance providers could gain access to this information, as well as potential employers.
Social Media combined with health information, patients and user-generated content can be used for:
- User-generated health ratings for hospitals and doctors
- Bridge the gap between doctor and patient
- Bring communities together in new, innovative ways
- Establishing patients as opinion leaders
- Managing health and managing community health in new ways
For specific case studies and more information, view this report titled: The Wisdom of Patients: Health Care Meets Online Social Media prepared for the California Healthcare Foundation by Jane Sarasohn-Kahn.
Questions to Ponder
- Is Health 2.0 helpful or harmful?
- Is the content trustrworthy? Does it matter? Will consumers take the information at face value?
- Why are patients labeled as consumers? What does this mean/say about how health 2.0 is being approached?
- What are the ethical concerns?
- What are the privacy concerns?
Can’t wait to read your insights in the comments. =)