How Health2.0 Is Changing The Healthcare?

Health 2.0 is the use of a specific set of Web tools (blogs, Podcasts, tagging, search, wikis, etc) by professionals in healthcare including doctors, patients, and scientists, using principles of open source and generation of content by users, and the power of networks in order to personalize health care, collaborate, and promote health education. The “2.0 in Health is mirroring the wider Web 2.0 movement which emphasizes user-generated content, usability, and interoperability for end users. While the “2.0” was originally associated with concepts like collaboration, participation, and social networking, in recent years the term “Health 2.0” has evolved to mean the role of Software as a service and cloud-based technologies and their associated applications on multiple devices.

Advances in digital medicine have already started to move patients from the margins of the medical system to its center. Most of the push for adopting electronic health records has come from institutions anxious to cut costs and reduce medical errors, but the biggest gains will come in the shape of better treatments for difficult diseases. It is easy to be skeptical about such online communities. A fatal illness cannot be cured by posting tweets about it. And for many people, nothing will replace the personal relationship between a patient and his doctor. But it is very clear that patients are going online to get more information on their illness, to see what other consumers think of new medications and to get emotional support from fellow sufferers.

What medicine community can do about it is by going online and sharing proper factual information about diseases and their cures, instead of patients getting information provided by some other fellow patient which can be full of errors, they can rely on information provided by doctors, nurses, medical research centers, etc. The implication of Social media in healthcare changes the traditional patient-doctor dialogue to dialogues between doctors-patients, patients-patients, and doctors-doctors at a phenomenal speed. Patients and physicians interact via social media to promote awareness about diseases, precautions and other health-related information with each other. Patients use social media to meet their health-related wants, needs, and preferences.

Websites like AttendingDR and ADRPatients offer platforms for both physician-physician and patient-physician moderated health-related conversations. Even doctors, who may seem to have the most to lose from patient-centered digital medicine, increasingly support the move online. Many of them are themselves keen users of social media.

According to a research by Neil Seeman, who runs a health-strategy innovation group at the University of Toronto’s Massey College, thinks that “The most influential health blogs on the web, are those that offer people with chronic illnesses medically relevant and accurate information. One post from a trusted surgeon blogger, he says, now has a far more immediate impact on improving surgical care globally than a peer-reviewed trial published in a prestigious journal.” This revolution in healthcare suggests that those who hesitate to use social media in healthcare will experience a disadvantage in communicating the true value they deliver.

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