Health 2.0: participated health

Health 2.0 and its web 2.0 approach

by Roberto Ascione

Health 2.0: participated health
Health 2.0: participated health

The evolution of information and communication technologies has facilitated the emergence of new paradigms of communication which are rapid, dynamic, liquid - in the postmodern sense of the word - based on the active participation of users who, in their innumerable interactions, take part in the generation of discourse, and of sense.

Internet, and especially the next generation Web, with its applications (platforms, podcasts, RSS feeds, social networks) - and implications – have accelerated and facilitated the process of access to information and tools for its construction, hence rendering the Internet an open and democratic setting.

Therefore, this development has conferred to the web user not only the role of consumer but the role of information producer as well, and the Internet has been elected as a Civic Network – in the social network sense – in which the net-CITIZENS live, work and interact with people and services as in the non-virtual reality.

The paradigm shift occurred in the last decade - one that has seen the shift from broadcasting to multipoint casting (i.e. from the means of one-way mass communication, to those interactive that are typical of new media, and ending with reticular systems) - has effectively shifted the social dynamics from the observation plan to the participation plan contaminating languages and logics of the diverse systems and the various actors of the social plot.

Health - such as good, primary and essential - it has certainly not escaped this process and has become, indeed, one of the key themes of the Network.

In fact, logic of changeable and collaborative space, typical of social networks is penetrating, roughly in a deeply way according to reality, even in socio-health contexts which online are becoming environments of structured interaction among doctor/ patient and patient / patient.

Here we are in the Health 2.0 era. Personalised search, closeness to the communities, intelligent tools, and data integration within content are the four main points on which the next generation health is based on, that aims to become, therefore, the tool to facilitate and accelerate not only the health information retrieval and access but, also, its production and use that expands into real online services capable of "making" health.

Medical journals and scientific societies, government and institutional organisations are gradually adopting the new Web 2.0 tools and are experiencing their use in the updating and sharing of information, on medical education, and on management of clinical cases.

Established on the collaborative structure of the web – thanks to social networks both of the  professional and consumer target, blogs, wikis, audio and video sharing platforms, mobile devices - Health 2.0 is changing both the physician approach to medicine and to their patients, and the consultation relation that patients have with health professionals and the experience with other Net users.

Times have changed, and significantly so have paradigms...

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