Social Networking Enabling Healthcare via Web 2.0

February 13, 2007

Jack Mason on the IBM Healthnex blog discusses the potential for social networking in healthcare with possibilities like using tools inherent in Digg.com and Google and others,  to become “a mother-of-all-healthcare-data mashup unlock the molecular basis of diseases, it could also function as a global biosurveillance system, so that we could better predict, track and thwart outbreaks of infectious diseases or pandemics.”  One could accuse Jack of hyperbole but it is true that the potential for social networking in healthcare has yet to be fully realized.

He also notes a new Web 2.0 term, new to me at least, “Maybe what we learn from Web 2.0 about collective intelligence and crowdsourcing in other spheres will help us get over the cultural hurdles that might impede a global network for electronic healthcare innovation.” Crowdsourcing is defined as a business model dependent on volunteers and low paid amateurs. Sounds like linux, Firefox or even Wikipedia.  What is the potential for crowdsourcing in healthcare?

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