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Disease 2.0

Posted Jul 02 2009 5:34am

The growth of Internet in the past decade has resulted in several new  technologies in information technology highway.In the recent years,web 2.0 has dominated the Internet,which is utilization  of collaborative tools like blog,forums,tweeter and also wikipedia,unlike in the past wherein only a static page with multiple weblinks served the source of information.

This has also an direct impact on Health information outflow,wherein now physicians and also patients can get information about disease and treatment much earlier then in past without Internet technology.

However,it is interesting to note that the disease patterns have also changed-the growth of population,air travel and cross border movement has resulted in several new strains of virus,the recent example is H1N1 swine flu,which has an impact on young and healthy adults.

The World Health Organization has confirmed 77,201 cases of H1N1 as of July 1, with 332 deaths.

Although treatment of this condition is still under research,it is interesting to note that prevention is the only best method of management.Simple techniques like avoiding travel to areas under suspicion of infection,washing hands regularly,taking care while coughing and immediate medical attention in case of respiratory distress could help in some ways.

But, for long term management of this disease and also for any other future outbreaks,other strategies need to be assessed.Using web 2.0 techniques of collaboration,Google Maps mash up technology could be some of the steps taken to prevent the spread of this outbreak.

Rhiza’s web-based mapping product ,Insight , is helping Dr. Niman- a biomedical researchre get official and unofficial data into the tracking system faster while giving researchers and the public many options for viewing the data in a useful and understandable way.

Although these technologies are still in the early phase of development,it is quite interesting to note that the virus also mutate to form their own 2.0 version.This requires aggressive surveillance to prevent future outbreaks.

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