[Doctors 2.0] Participatory Medicine

Towards Better Use of Digital Tools

by Lucie Frontière

[Doctors 2.0] Participatory Medicine
[Doctors 2.0] Participatory Medicine

Social networks have changed the relationship between patients and their doctors, and new digital hardware and software tools - apps, connected objectives, etc - continue to hit the market. Medical practitioners need to seize hold of them, strengthen this link and help stimulate further innovation.

"In 2011, we introduced the idea that virtual communities would have an impact on the doctor-patient relationship", recalls Denise Silber, founder of the 'Doctors 2.0 & You' event - this year held on 5-6 June in Paris. Since then the situation has evolved considerably and now people all over the world have understood the importance of these changes. "What’s changed in the last twenty years is how much technology has penetrated people’s everyday lives", underlines Larry Chu, an American medical practitioner and Director of the Anaesthesia Informatics and Media Lab at the University of Stanford, USA. He sees it as perfectly normal that the health sector is being impacted. "With smartphones, almost everyone has a computer in his/her pocket. This is an immense opportunity for healthcare practitioners and they need to grab hold of it", he argues. However, Denise Silber laments the lack of initiatives in France: "French people are open and active as users, but innovation in digital health is lagging behind, even though the potential is there". She recognises that the legal issues around data confidentiality do not encourage people to set up their own digital business, but she thinks that basically it’s now up to the State to simplify the procedures for setting up companies.

Development prospects
Communities, blogs, social networks and platforms are all growing in number and increasing in importance with doctors, who have in fact "always accorded a great deal of importance to networks," points out Roberto Ascione, a health sector consulting, media, and communications specialist...


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