Thursday, April 24, 2008

Interview on the MaRS site on Medicine 2.0

The submission deadline for the Medicine 2.0 congress is about 1 week away and we have already received some highly interesting abstract submissions and panel proposals. By all accounts, I expect this to be a very exciting conference (to my knowledge, it will be the first academically oriented conference on Web 2.0 applications in health).

Meanwhile, the MaRS Centre (a state-of-the-art Centre bringing together scientists and entrepreneurs, which will be the venue for the conference) has posted the first part of a longer interview with me on Medicine 2.0 (Archived by WebCite® here). It is a "dumbed down" version of what I actually said, but perhaps this is a good thing, as my original answers tend to be more lengthy and cryptic. My original answer to the question of what Medicine 2.0 is was as follows:

What is Medicine 2.0?
There is no generally accepted definition, but for the purpose of defining the scope of the Medicine 2.0™ world conference, which we are hosting on Sept 4-5th at the MaRS Centre in Toronto, I described Medicine 2.0 in my blog as Web-based applications, services and tools for health care consumers, caregivers, patients, health professionals, and biomedical researchers, that use Web 2.0 technologies as well as semantic web and virtual reality tools, to enable and facilitate specifically social networking, participation, apomediation, collaboration, and openness within and between these user groups. In other words, Medicine 2.0 refers to Web 2.0 technologies that facilitate end-user participation and collaboration on a massive scale. These powerful technologies, combined with general demographic, economic and societal trends, together form the perfect storm to challenge the traditional system of medicine (and also biomedical research). In a broader sense I therefore refer to Medicine 2.0 as “second generation medicine” without the unnecessary legacy and hierarchical structures that are stifling innovation and progress in our field. From a health care systems perspective, Medicine 2.0 also stands for the notion that health care systems need to move away from hospital-based medicine, focus on promoting health, provide healthcare in people's own homes, empowering consumers to take responsibility for their health. Medicine 2.0 implies a new, better health system, which emphasizes collaboration, participation, apomediation, and openness, as opposed to the traditional, hierarchical, closed structures within health care, medicine, and even biomedical research.

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