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Evidence-based: Web 2.0 in Medicine

Saturday, September 12, 2009 at 03:09 PM EDT

There are more and more articles published in peer-reviewed journals that focus on how web 2.0 can be used in medicine:

The National Board of Physicians has developed specific ethical guidelines for web sites devoted to health issues and specifically for physician-authored content. The National Board of Physicians acknowledges that physicians can present themselves, their office, and their specific practice on their web site, notwithstanding any restrictions otherwise applicable to advertising.

We are using collaborative technologies, in the realm of Web 2.0, to develop a web-based knowledge sharing medium for fostering a community of pediatric pain practitioners that engages in collaborative learning and problem solving. We present the design and use of a web portal featuring a discussion forum to facilitate experiential knowledge sharing based on our LINKS knowledge sharing model.

We selected a random sample of 25 out of 769 Multiple Sclerosis patient-generated videos and analyzed their corresponding 557 comments for health information. 320 comments met the inclusion criteria and 70 contained personal health information (PHI). Comments with PHI were sub-characterized for the type of medical information (i.e., diagnosis, date of diagnosis, medication, among others). In this descriptive study, we present the strata within this content and postulate some of the corresponding patient risks and ethical challenges associated with Patient-Generated Content found in YouTube video comments.

Social software and Web 2.0 provides new opportunities for participation and collaborative knowledge construction in peer support and self-care to live well despite transient or permanent health problems. Opportunities include many to many interactions to share and accumulate knowledge and experiences from several perspectives. We are conducting a study to create a collaborative environment for peer support and knowledge construction related to a rare condition.