Web 2.0 in Health Care – Where’s the Value

March 6, 2007

Today I was interviewed by Government HealthIT regarding Web 2.0 adoption in Healthcare. If you have been reading my blog, you know my answer is – gradual adoption, wait and see.  Some of the reasons for this is that Web 2.0 is a disruptive technology and especially so toward healthcare.  Specifically, health care organizations, especially hospitals and medical practices are risk adverse (read liability crisis). Healthcare typically view information as authoritative and works hard at controlling that authority through clinical trials and the peer review process. This way health care information is owned by authoritative sources which maintain the public’s trust.  Web 2.0 promotes that content is owned by all and that truth is achieved through social networking (e.g., Wikipedia).  At the same time, healthcare has always been a collaborative science and for decades, patient advocacy movements, such as, cancer survivors, have interacted online in social networks.

Conclusion: Web 2.0 concepts have been present in healthcare for a long time but at the same time the technology is perceived as a threat. A contradiction? No, just a social trend which will take time to sort out.

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