Healthcare and Emerging Rich Web Technologies

May 29, 2008

In this post on the European site, OBBeC, subtitled, “The WEB 2.0/Semantic Web Challenge and Opportunity
gives a good overview of Web 2.0 in health care. It describes both how social networking and semantic technologies are an opportunity and a caution for health care. He notes that adoption of these web technologies is slower than in other industries because “the care process is fundamentally more complex” in health care. There are the usual concerns about privacy but also health care’s dependence on a face-to-face process. The driving forces of Web  2.0 in health care are seen as the need to aggregate the volumes of information physicians must wade through and the “power patients” becoming more commonplace.

Three specific semantic technologies are noted:

  • semantic wikis
  • semantic blogs
  • semantic desktop

While there isn’t time to describe these here, it does show the potential for moving into the complex world of Web 3.0 to simplify our knowledge gathering and distribution.

The author cautions that these technologies could lead to “over reliance on external information, a process of disintermediation between patients and healthcare professionals and erosion of the patient-physician relationship.”

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