Medicine 2.0

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  • Updated.jpg This entry is out of date, and will not be updated, February 2018


See also Blogs | Evidence-based web 2.0 | Health 2.0 | Liability and the health librarian | Social media policies | Twitter | Web 2.0

Medicine 2.0 is a term (or phrase) that is used to describe a movement, a newer generation of medicine (or approach to health care delivery) and a trademarked conference spearheaded by Gunther Eysenbach. In a Journal of Medical Internet Research article in 2008 "Health 2.0 and medicine 2.0: tensions and controversies in the field" the authors compared health 2.0 and medicine 2.0. The terms differ considerably from the older, broader term eHealth because of an emphasis on social networking, information technologies and e-patients. The authors suggest that medicine 2.0 examines the use of web 2.0 technologies in medicine whereas health 2.0 deals primarily with patient applications. However, more clarity is needed in the use of these terms. For more information about the use of these terms, see the systematic review on definitions of both health 2.0 and medicine 2.0 in the JMIR by Van De Belt et al, 2010).

Types of web 2.0 use in healthcare

The following are examples discussed in the medical literature:

Purpose Description Case example in academic literature Users
Staying informed Used to stay informed of latest developments in a particular field RSS, Podcasts and search tools (BMJ, 2006) All (medical professionals and public)
Medical education Use for professional development for doctors, and public health promotion for by public health professionals and the general public How podcasts can be used on the move to increase total available educational time (Sandars, 2007) or the applications of these tools to public health (Crespo, 2007) All (medical professionals and public)
Collaboration and practice Web 2.0 tools use in daily practice for medical professionals to find information and make decisions Google searches revealed the correct diagnosis in 15 out of 26 cases (58%, 95% confidence interval 38% to 77%) in a 2005 study (Tan, 2006) Doctors, Nurses
Managing a particular disease Patients who use search tools to find out information about a particular condition Shown that patients have different patterns of usage depending on if they are newly diagnosed or managing a severe long-term illness. Long-term patients are more likely to connect to a community in Health 2.0 (Ferguson, 2007) Public
Sharing data for research Completing patient-reported outcomes and aggregating the data for personal and scientific research Disease specific communities for patients with rare conditions aggregate data on treatments, symptoms, and outcomes to improve their decision making ability and carry out scientific research such as observational trials (Frost, 2008) All (medical professionals and public)

Definition of medicine 2.0

The definition of medicine 2.0 is somewhat problematic suffering from various opaque concepts. However, the medical literature seems to describe it using the following five themes: participants such as patients and physicians, the impact on collaboration and information practices, the ability to provide personalized health care services, its use in medical education and its associated methods and tools. The body of research suggests that there are about 15 papers that address medicine 2.0 directly and many other eHealth papers that do so indirectly.


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