Trick or Treat: Assessing Health 2.0 and Its Prospects for Patients, Providers and Society
Recent advancements in information and communication technologies do not stop at the borders of the healthcare sector. Therefore, this essay portrays the emergence of the topical phenomenon of Health 2.0. This concept combines latest Web 2.0 technologies with healthcare-related content. After introducing a common definition of Health 2.0, the essay elevates its core characteristics of social networking, participation, apomediation, openness and collaboration. These key features help to illustrate the prominent role of Health 2.0 applications in today’s societies with two striking case examples. First, the social networking platform PatientsLikeMe.Com shows how shared patient experiences contribute to improved health self-management and support clinical knowledge. Second, Microsoft HealthVault demonstrates the potentials and limitations of web-based personal health record systems. Ultimately, this essay closes by transparently assessing the benefits and risks of Health 2.0 on the patient level, provider level and system level. Taking a societal perspective, levers for healthcare policy to encourage Health 2.0 adaption are suggested.
KeywordsAmyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Medical Professional Electronic Health Record Health Information Technology Personal Health Record
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