There was an interesting editorial published this past week in the BMJ titled " How should health be defined? " by Jadad and O’Grady. The basic idea of the article is that while health was defined in 1948 by a panel of experts that changed our notions of health and illness, is it time for a new definition?
Jadad and O’Grady suggest that use of the Internet may be a viable means of engaging people from around the world. The authors created a definition of health blog to test out their idea. We’ve seen that public engagement in the 21st centry may look very different when/if the right conditions are in place. President-elect Barrack Obama seems to be using his change.gov website to solicit ideas and spur discussion on policy issues. Whether or not this type of enagement will work for broader topics like the definition of health is yet to be seen.
I’m cautiously optimistic and hopeful that we can begin to change how patients and the broader public participates with the health care system.