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.