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Home » Media Watch » Conferences » Doctors 2.0 & You


Keywords: Mobile health, Health 2.0, participatory medicine.
Citation: Finn NB, Sulkunte G. Doctors 2.0 & You. J Participat Med. 2011 Jul 25; 3:e35.
Published: August 1, 2011.
Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

Doctors 2.0 & You was held in Paris, France, June 22-23, 2011.

Conference sponsor: Basil Strategies, an eHealth eMarketing social media consultancy located in France.

Attendees included: Managers of programs and services for doctors (pharmaceutical and technology industries).

Keynote speakers: Lucien Engelen and Arie Krusman.

Main objective: Doctors 2.0 & You is an annual European conference dedicated to understanding the physician’s perspective on use of new technologies and how physicians use these technologies to collaborate with colleagues, patients, payers, government, and industry. Sessions focused on the most current developments around:

  • What sorts of collaborative tools physicians are using;
  • Business models for these tools;
  • Identifying the key success factors; and
  • Ethical, regulatory, and legal considerations.

Session topics included:

  • “Empowering Doctors and Patients”: It’s easy to assume that digital health is all about encouraging patients to access information and communicate online. However, several speakers emphasized that, on balance, patients have been much more progressive in their adoption of the web than the providers and that the pressing issue today is to help health care professionals acknowledge and adopt digital tools, so that they are better prepared for the informed patient.
  • “Obstacles and Fears About Digital Communication”: This panel focused on the all-too-common fear that digital communication requires a techie geek-type person which presents a primary obstacle to adoption of the web for health information and communication by many. The panelists emphasized that it is important to take the “geek” factor out of people’s perception of digital communication.
  • “Evaluation and Measurement”: It was apparent from discussions at the conference, that health care organizations are still not clear how to evaluate success properly. Commercial organizations either evaluate social media by attributed product sales (very difficult to measure and possibly unsustainable) or simply by the number of “likes” or fans they attract. Not a very useful way of measuring the value of social media in health care.
  • “The Role of Government”: At one point the conference organizers launched an audience poll to ask the audience to what degree they thought government should be involved in digital health. Answers ranged from “none at all” to the majority opinion that “government should pay for, regulate, and control all online health content.”

Other key topics and takeaways:

  • There is an increase of health care demand; shortage of healthcare workers, relative decrease of health care budgets; explosion of health care cost, information overload.
  • Current organizational funding and legislation structures hinder innovation.
  • Health care consumers are not fully aware of opportunities and threats of Health 2.0, which include too much misinformation and misuse of personal information; a digital divide that will increase health differences; and not enough accountability.
  • It is the government that must remove obstacles to Health 2.0.

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Copyright: © 2011 Nancy B. Finn and Gangadhar Sulkunte. Published here under license by The Journal of Participatory Medicine. Copyright for this article is retained by the authors, with first publication rights granted to the Journal of Participatory Medicine. All journal content, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. By virtue of their appearance in this open-access journal, articles are free to use, with proper attribution, in educational and other non-commercial settings.