Medicine 2.0: Social Networking, Collaboration, Participation, Apomediation & Openness

In a very significant development for eHealth, a broad adoption of Web 2.0 technologies and approaches coincides with the more recent emergence of Personal Health Application Platforms and Personally Controlled Health Records such as Google Health, Microsoft HealthVault, and Dossia. “Medicine 2.0” applications, services, and tools are defined as Web-based services for health care consumers, caregivers, patients, health professionals, and biomedical researchers, that use Web 2.0 technologies and/or semantic web and virtual reality approaches to enable and facilitate specifically 1) social networking, 2) participation, 3) apomediation, 4) openness, and 5) collaboration, within and between these user groups. The emergence and broad adoption of Web 2.0 technologies and approaches coincides with the more recent emergence of Personal Health Application (PHA) Platforms (also called Personally Controlled Health Record [PCHR] platforms or “health record banks”) such as Google Health, Microsoft HealthVault, and Dossia, where data is—at the request of the consumer—pulled from various sources (including electronic health records). In his Journal of Medical Internet Research article, Gunther Eysenbach imagines that the combination of both trends—Personal Health Records combined with social networking may lead to a powerful new generation of health applications, where people share parts of their electronic health records with other consumers and “crowdsource” the collective wisdom of other patients and professionals. Further, he posits that advances in genetic medicine will personalize and tailor health information, based on data stored in personal health records. Finally, he discusses developments in biomedical research (“Science 2.0”) and scholarly publishing which apply the same principles of participation and collaboration across different points along the continuum of knowledge production and dissemination. The author and editor of The Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR) provides introduction to the journal's publishing of a Medicine 2.0 theme issue and a sponsored conference on “How Social Networking and Web 2.0 changes Health, Health Care, Medicine, and Biomedical Research”, to stimulate and encourage research in these five areas.

Find the full article: http://www.jmir.org/2008/3/e22/