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The Wisdom of Patients: Health Care Meets Online Social Media - CHCF.org

Posted Nov 18 2008 12:13am

The Wisdom of Patients: Health Care Meets Online Social Media - CHCF.org: "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 Internet has evolved from the information-retrieval of “Web 1.0” to “Web 2.0,” which allows people who are not necessarily technologically savvy to generate and share content. The collective wisdom harnessed by social media can yield insights well beyond the knowledge of any single patient or physician, writes report author Jane Sarasohn-Kahn. 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.

Using examples, this report describes how the Web is becoming a platform for convening people with shared concerns and creating health information that is more relevant to consumers. Social networks, ranging from MySpace to specific disease-oriented sites, are proliferating so rapidly that new services are already under development to help health consumers navigate through the networks."

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