Medicine 2.0: definition

In Evidence-Based Librarianship, Web 2.0 & all that on August 8, 2008 by Danielle Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The UBC Academic search Blog has also blogged on an open source paper by Hughes et al in JMIR about web 2.0 and more specifically, ‘Medicine 2.0’.

Have you heard of ‘Medicine 2.0’? I have not. Apparently, there are between 100,000 and 400,000 mentions of it on the internet (depending which search engine is used). Health 2.0 was found to be more popular, with 0.5 to 1.7 million mentions of it on the internet.

Because even the term ‘web 2.0’ is quite new–apparently, it has only been around since 2004, we can expect a myriad of definitions for it, as well as [topic name] 2.0, this paper suggests. My belief is that slapping ‘2.0’ after a topic is a way of making it sound shiny and new.

They come up with the following definition for Medicine 2.0:

Medicine 2.0 is the use of a specific set of Web tools (blogs, Podcasts, tagging, search, wikis, etc) by actors in health care including doctors, patients, and scientists, using principles of open source and generation of content by users, and the power of networks in order to personalize health care, collaborate, and promote health education.

We are therefore stakeholders in not only Web 2.0, but also Medicine 2.0! But what does this mean? Well, for starters, they point out that more research is needed in Medicine 2.0 (such as studies on blogs or wikis). Best practice models can grow out of this. Hint: we need to be conducting said research.

What we need is more authority control over what we call whatever is happening in medical or healthcare information online. Medicine 2.0, Health 2.0, or MedInfo 2.0? Some folks are even changing the number, I suppose to suggest that whatever they have is more advanced than the rubbish we’ve got. How shall slick marketers be dealt with? And how is Medicine 2.0 to be differentiated from ‘eHealth’ and similar terms? Right now, the definition seems to depend on one’s personal opinion or preferences!

To conclude, McLean et al’s paper, in the MJA is a nice, accessible (and open-source) one that tries to summarise medicine’s presence on the web, and provides a useful glossary at the bottom.


3 Responses to “Medicine 2.0: definition”

  1. And don’t forget Library 2.0… It is all rather naff, isn’t it? Web 2.0 is arguably meaningful, because it refers to a new set of tools on the web which fundamentally changed the way we interact with the internet and each other (online). All these other ‘2.0’s – they’re just a bit silly and rather gimmicky, don’t you think?

  2. […] cambrian explosion, health 2.0, revolution health, web 2.0 Following on from Danielle’s post about just what is health 2.0, and whether it’s a fad or perhaps something meaningful and […]

  3. […] Eating our own dogfood (my personal favourite), Rickroll, and yes, Web 2.0 itself.  Do you recall our attempt to define Medicine/Health 2.0?  Yes, wasn’t that fun?  I am still not sure when the version […]

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