A 10-Point Plan for Options (Without Being Overwhelmed)

Health 2.0 101

The popularity of user-generated content has increased on social media sites, and this effect has spilled over to the health industry. Millions of people are now going online to give their contribution to a wide range of health care topics ranging from extraction of wisdom teeth to the avian-flu pandemic or using acupuncture to deal with infertility. This is what is known as Health 2.0 or user-generated health care.

To some degree, that is not new as there have already been online support groups which have existed since the early 1990s. However, the content has evolved, and we now have videos, blogs, and numerous contributors. According to one research firm, more than 20% of Americans have contributed some information on health-related content. The hype that surrounded web 2.0 has raised the awareness of new possibilities thus there has been an increase in new users and new content.

The increase in user-generated content is in part due to the wider internet trends and the fact that people have more access to the tools for coming up with content. Tools like webcams and the digital camera have made it simple for people to take photos and upload them and. But, there are other factors which have led to this increase. People with numerous chronic diseases like depression, diabetes are interested in getting some good hints from other people that have conditions that are similar. Today, any area of medical knowledge is too extensive for just about any single physician to know all of it. Some patients who may not get all of the data from their doctor prefer to go online, joining a forum to learn more from other people with similar conditions.

There are lots of discussions on health- related issues online and it is unusual as health is a sensitive issue that people don’t just discuss with anyone. Individuals aren’t aware of how permanent info is online; as they say, the web never forgets. There’s the risk of malicious folks abusing one’s personal data. Some sites try to mitigate this risk by requiring the use of pseudonyms. Another concern with this user-generated content is misinformation. A lot of health details can confuse some folks. User-created content is useful, and it’s helped people, but one has to utilize the info in addition to consulting their doctor.

Most of the user-generated content is accurate because if one individual shares information that is erroneous, other people may correct it. Some people have employed user-created content as their greatest source of hope. If one is diagnosed with a rare form of cancer; they can get support from other folks across the planet who may recommend physicians and can offer exact information about the therapy.

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