The Wisdom of Patients: Health Care Meets Online Social Media

Social media on the Internet are empowering, engaging, and educating health care consumers and providers. While consumers use social media -- including social networks, personal blogging, wikis, video-sharing, and other formats -- for emotional support, they also heavily rely on them to manage health conditions. The collective wisdom harnessed by social media can yield insights well beyond the knowledge of any single patient or physician. The outcome of this development is “Health 2.0” -- a new movement that challenges the notion that health care happens only between a single patient and doctor in an exam room. This report, prepared for the California Healthcare Foundation, details how innovative collaborations online are changing the way patients, providers, and researchers learn about therapeutic regimens and disease management. It examines the benefits and concerns regarding Health 2.0 and it also includes an extensive listing of health media resources.

The report is available: