Defining Health 2.0

April 30, 2008 at 3:12 am 9 comments

According to a January 2008 study titled How America Searches, Health and Wellness:

  • In the past 12 months, 59% of adults reference the internet to find or access health and wellness information.
  • 67% of adult searchers use general search engines as an online tool or resource for health information and only 7% referred to online drug advertisements.
  • 36% of adult searchers use online health information to see what other consumers say about a medication or treatment

Because of statistics like those above, the concept of ‘Health 2.0’ has increased its usage and importance. Simply, Health 2.0 = the merging of social media into healthcare. However, others see the movement of Health 2.0 as something much wider and farther reaching. Even Google image searching shows a variety of more complex definitions. I’d be interested to see how you all define it for yourselves or for your practice.

Examples of Health 2.0


  • , started in 2006, is the marketplace for care, allowing hospitals and providers to ‘bid’ for consumers’ care
  •, allows patients to review their current doctor’s or a potential doctor’s reviews and ratings
  • DoubleCheckMD, allows consumers to check for potential drug interactions quickly and easily
  • American Well , creates a healthcare marketplace where consumers and physicians come together online to acquire and provide convenient and immediate healthcare services


  • Wikipedia
  • FluWiki
  • WiserWiki, a medical and healthcare information wiki edited exclusively by physicians
  • Clinfo Wiki, a wiki devoted to clinical informatics
  • Ask Dr. Wiki, allows those with a medical background to publish review articles, clinical notes, pearls and/or medical images to the wiki. The main focus has been on Cardiology and Electrophysiology, but they have expanded to other areas.


  • DiabetesMine, a blog all about diabetes
  • HealthMatters (Healthline), a collection of weblogs by professionals, covering different aspects of health, wellness, treatments, and recent advances
  • WebMD, provides health and health-related information

Social Networks


  • ICYou, the source of healthcare videos and videos related to health information
  • Cleveland Clinic on Google Video
  • TauMed, a virtual health community where one can search and share information on a variety of health topics

Online Forums



Health 2.0 researchers warn that patients should be cautious about posting personal health-related information through unsecured social media as health insurance providers could gain access to this information, as well as potential employers.


Social Media combined with health information, patients and user-generated content can be used for:

  • User-generated health ratings for hospitals and doctors
  • Bridge the gap between doctor and patient
  • Bring communities together in new, innovative ways
  • Establishing patients as opinion leaders
  • Managing health and managing community health in new ways

For specific case studies and more information, view this report titled: The Wisdom of Patients: Health Care Meets Online Social Media prepared for the California Healthcare Foundation by Jane Sarasohn-Kahn.

Questions to Ponder

  • Is Health 2.0 helpful or harmful?
  • Is the content trustrworthy? Does it matter? Will consumers take the information at face value?
  • Why are patients labeled as consumers? What does this mean/say about how health 2.0 is being approached?
  • What are the ethical concerns?
  • What are the privacy concerns?

Can’t wait to read your insights in the comments. =)

Entry filed under: Case Studies and New Orgs/Campaigns, Health 2.0, Identity Crisis, Interesting Articles, Public Health, Social Marketing, Useful Tools. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

Free Rice: Mixing Online Learning and Entertainment with Giving Nominated Neighbor: Len Edgerly shares his love for social media, art and his motto to: TLFC

9 Comments Add your own

  • 1. A Look At Science 2.0… « SocialButterfly.  |  May 5, 2008 at 1:04 am

    […] 5, 2008 Last week, I published a post on Health 2.0, based on a couple research studies that were recently […]

  • […] Defining Health 2.0 (SocialButterfly) […]

  • […] Health 2.0: SocialButterfly’s own post sparked by recently released research studies, regarding the developments in the growing Health 2.0 field, offering numerous examples and resources. […]

  • 4. Mike Presson  |  May 9, 2008 at 2:16 pm

    Nice post here. Great set of resources related to Health 2.0. I agree with your questions to ponder. I think Health 2.0 is definitely helpful, but as you mention, like most things online, information must be taken with a grain of salt. You often never really know who you’re talking to. However, I think in most situations people are simply looking for an emotional connection or support from someone else who they can easily relate to and with that, the anonymity almost doesn’t matter. It’s sometimes hard to get that type of support from loved ones because they are not directly dealing with the disease/condition.

  • […] read here on SocialButterfly related to defining Health 2.0. I found this post most valuable because of the examples of online resources related to Health 2.0, […]

  • […] 20, 2008 I will come out and say that I am excited about the Health 2.0 movement….but I do not want to overlook serious issues of privacy and security of personal […]

  • 7. David  |  May 26, 2008 at 3:44 am

    You may want to visit RareShare – – It was recently launched to build awareness for rare medical disorders. The Site is organized into micro-communities where users can interact and share information.

  • 8. Tom O'Keefe  |  June 2, 2008 at 7:09 pm

    Great resource on health 2.0!! As the web has evolved into 2.0 we have come to expect more personalization from our online services. Where else is the personal touch more important then in health care? With that health 2.0 has recently (thanks to Web 2.0) started to emerge in earnest, as is obvious from the list above.

    We at infoMedMD are building an intelligent health care application which integrates computer logic with medical symptoms to arm patients with personal medical information before visiting a doctor.

  • 9. Jim Tobin at Ignite Social Media  |  June 24, 2008 at 5:39 pm

    Great post. Very thoughtful. Nice list. Thanks for sharing all this hard work.



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