In an alternate universe, there’s a world exploring the innovations of Web 2.0 in healthcare more generally (and, from my eyes, with a little less focus on the individual person and their contributions to the conversation) which has been termed “Health 2.0.” It seems all the rage, after all, to put some decimal numbers after something to make it seem cool and hip!
Health 2.0 has its own conference upcoming, and its own blog, The Health Care Blog. Health 2.0 seems to more about transforming the healthcare system to take advantage of new technologies, and buzz surrounding them, by both patients and their providers.
E-patients, on the other hand, to me really has always had a focus on understanding how an informed, empowered individual can really be a collaborative partner in their own health care and wellness. Yes, technology can help enable that relationship (and certainly has been a driver of empowerment in the 1990’s), but technology has been kicking around healthcare for decades. Technology alone (in any form, 1.0, 2.0, whatever) isn’t enough. Changing doctors’ and decision-makers’ attitudes toward the whole relationship seems to me to be key.
Web 2.0, Health 2.0, whatever you call it, that seems more to be the pretty packaging you can put something around it to help market it. People aren’t just “co-developers” in this relationship — they are true partners. People don’t want their intelligence “harnessed.” They want to engage in a two-way dialogue and conversation with their providers.
Thanks, John! Your observations fit right in with what my colleague Mary Madden & I wrote last fall: “Despite all of this commotion over collaboration, participation and emancipation from static information, remnants of the linoleum-like Web 1.0 user experience still lie beneath the colorful rug of Web redux.”
Please don’t get mad that I might be calling your site “linoleum-like” if it still relies on BBS or listserve technology, but if participatory media is our future, we should also recognize that it’s also our past.
Here’s the URL (how’s THAT for old school?) for the article: “Riding the Waves of Web 2.0” http://www.pewinternet.org/PPF/r/189/report_display.asp
Consumers need a respected managerial peer identity in the matter — as they have in other key areas of modern life. CAREGIVER/MANAGER, which can include both care-giver and self-care, fits the bill. Media/Internet-media can play a pivotal role in providing a modern reflection and interpretation sufficient for consumers to see themselves as empowered to navigate and make informed decisions as peers of the traditional medical/clincal players in healthcare. In the identities of parent, student, manager, etc. we have clarity as to what that role means and how it looks. Media and marketers need to step up to the plate so consumers can see themselves as MANAGERS and navigate from that pivot — as respected peers in the matter of their own and family/friend’s healthcare.