Thursday, September 17, 2009

Medicine 2.0'09

The Medicine 2.0'09 conference is happening now (September 17-18) in Toronto, Canada - Peter is adding materials mainly to the 'official blog' for the event at There are also many other people tweeting the event - search Twitter using the #med2 hashtag

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Sunday, February 01, 2009

PeRSSonalized Medicine; Health Blogs Observatory

Are Health 2.0 applications like buses - you wait for ages for something decent, then they all start coming along at once? This weekend saw the launch of two new applications - PeRSSonalized Medicine, from Bertalan Mesko's Webicina portal, and the Health Blogs Observatory, from Ivor Kovic and colleagues.

I wonder - is it any coincidence that they both originate out of eastern Europe (Hungary and Croatia, respectively)?

Bertalan explains the genesis of PeRSSonalized Medicine in a post on his Scienceroll blog. It was based in a discussion of why so few doctors use Web 2.0 tools (in my view, the question could be expanded to all health professionals, including nurses). He has created a free tool to help "track medical journals, blogs, news and web 2.0 services really easily and creates one personalized place where they can follow international medical content without having a clue what RSS is about". The nice thing about it is that is not 'one size fits all', but allows for a degree of personalisation of what content to follow (albeit from a list that the site provides - but hopefully this will expand over time, and Berci invites suggestions for additional resources).

The Health Blogs Observatory aims to provide a directory of health-related blogs (and Informaticopia is in there already), but also to "conduct annual surveys of health bloggers and their blogs to gain better insights into the state of health blogging", something Ivor has already done and published on (

They are both worthwhile ventures - visit, contribute, collaborate, and help them grow.

Of course, you can follow both of them via RSS feeds, on Twitter, etc. - eg, and

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Saturday, September 06, 2008

Reflections on the Medicine 2.0 Toronto experience

One of the criticisms made during the bloggers panel was that instant reporting/blogging of this sort of conference doesn't give much opportunity for reflection. Therefore as I have some time before flying back to the UK and its raining today in Toronto I thought I would do some general comments on the conference and the wider experience, including some of the social events, of my trip to Toronto.

Travel and accommodation

Getting here was a long flight - with a sting in the tail. Work had booked me onto a FlyGlobespan flight as they have recently started doing direct flights from Bristol to "Toronto". A delayed take off was followed by a long period on the tarmac at Dublin to take on more fuel and passengers. The flight itself was fairly standard cattle class - and eventually arrived at Hamilton International Airport. I had no idea that it was so far from the city itself or that I would be landing on a bank holiday (Labour Day), and therefore many of the transport links were not working or were infrequent. Two buses and several hours later I arrived in Toronto and found the Delta Chelsea hotel - that largest hotel in Canada with 1700 rooms. The time zone differences meant that it was about 03.00 for my body but only 22.00 for the people around me! The hotel staff and just about every other Canadian I have met has been very friendly and welcoming and the city feels very safe.

Sightseeing & social

I spent a day wandering around Toronto while acclimatising. My second day was the highlight of my sightseeing as I'd book a guided tour of Niagra Falls with Toronto Tours. Judy the slightly eccentric guide/driver took a party of about 20 people along the (bumpy) expressway to the Niagra district giving a humorous, and possibly scurrilous, commentary along the way. We stopped at the picturesque (ie set up for tourists) town of Niagara on the Lake and wandered about before the coach drive towards the falls themselves. Several people were dropped off for a helicopter ride - but the cost of 100 dollars (about £50) for a 9 minute flight put me off. Those not on the helicopter went to the Whirlpool rapids before continuing to the town of Niagara Falls, Ontario, which is a bit like Blackpool on the lake but we had a nice buffet lunch at the Sheraton - included in the tour price. After lunch we got closer to the American falls and had a boat trip on the Maid of the Mist which takes you very close to the much larger Canadian Falls. This and the time for wandering, on this very hot day, gave me areal opportunity to try out my new camera & I took loads of pictures & some video of the falls from just about every angle. The ride back to Toronto was broken with a trip to Lakeview Winery for a tasting in the vineyard.

Back in Toronto Peter introduced me to the C'est What Brew Pub/restaurant to prepare for the conference itself. On the Thursday evening Peter and I were joined by Margaret Hanson (US) & Chris Paton (NZ) for a nice meal at a little restaurant close to the hotel and on the Friday a larger group eat in the revolving restaurant at the top of the CN Tower, which provided some spectacular views over the city and the lake while enjoying excellent company.


The conference was a great opportunity for academics and innovators from around the world to discuss and demonstrate the impact of Web 2.0 technologies such as blogs, wikis and social networking, on medicine and healthcare.

Many of the participants were using the applications under discussion to share information and ideas, and I’ve never been to a conference where there was so much concurrent use of blogging, twittering and electronic social networking to embellish the face to face interaction a conference such as this provides – and share those thoughts with the rest of the wired world.

Despite the hype in the promotion for the conference many of the presentations were not that different from material being presented at similar health informatics events five years ago. The areas of potential and risk have been well rehearsed and were further developed at this conference with up to the minute tweaks. I particularly enjoyed the panel discussion on Methodological Issues and Challenges in eHealth Research with Judy Proudfoot, Lisa Whitehead and Caryl Barnes from Australia as many of their comments any observations were relevant to my own research. This emphasised the international nature of the issues and showed that many of us are grappling with similar issues. The NHS league tables and star rating systems were held up by Joan Dzenowagis from the World Health Organisation as shining examples – of how not to do it.

The most challenging and therefore useful, motivating and exciting session was by Maarten Den Braber and Jen McCabe talking about the Nexthealth model trying to look at healthcare in the future as far as Web 4.0. their ideas seemed as if they had arrived from Mars when compared with the earthbound work of some others. I will be following up their ideas in other fora (or planets).

The other fora which I have identified include:
* The conference social network on Crowdvine
* A discussion on Twitter
* Peter Murray blogging on
* Berci Mesko at ScienceRoll
* John W. Sharp
* Jen McCabe Gorman at Health Management Rx
* Neil Versel
* Kate Jongbloed

and Gunther has now uploaded all of his 800+ photos to Flickr (and would help labeling all the names.

All in all I found it a useful and stimulating conference and have just heard from Gunther that the evaluations were all very positive as well so hopefully we can look forward to a similar event next year.

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Friday, September 05, 2008

Medicine 2.0 conference - Day 2

The second day starting with parallel sessions. I attended a panel discussion on Methodological Issues and Challenges in eHealth Research with Judy Proudfoot, Lisa Whitehead and Caryl Barnes.

Lisa described a systematic review of methodological and ethical issues in eHealth research.The issues fall into sampling, ethics and reliability and validity with many issues around moving these from paper systems to online systems. The size of samples may or may not overcome issues of bias. Some of the potential produced around tracking IP addresses and pages visited but difficulties in getting a random sample led to the use of propensity scoring. Unsolicited email gets low response rates which were compounded by technical issues of browsers and passwords, security measures, computer anxiety etc. Ethical issues related to obtaining consent, protecting anonymity and security particularly in opportunistic research. Particular issues arose in using forums and similar collaborative tools. Using the web as sources raise issues around the level of disguise, perceived privacy and questions about whether researcher are lurkers. Further considerations need to be given to reliability and credibility related to linguistic competence, cultural differences, repeat participation and misinterpretation of self. Further problems with construct validity based on psychometric properties were also highlighted. Some questions arose about whether online samples or "real life" samples are "real" and maintaining participation.

Judy Proudfoot from the Black Dog Institute developed further on the sampling issues, based on research she is leading on people with Bipolar disorder undergoing an online education program. The difficulties with recruiting and low response rates have led to requirements for mixed methods but still doesn't provide random sampling. They are currently looking at whether the use of mobile phones might help with recruitment. A question about unsolicited emails and texts, and compliance with regulations led to further discussion.

The next section was led by Caryl Barnes who examined ethical issues which arose as part of an evaluation study on an online support program 'HealthSteps for Bipolar disorder". The road of the study through an Ethical Committee and the underlying moral codes covering privacy/confidentiality, informed consent, randomisation, risk/benefit ratio etc and most problematically the Duty of Care which led to a "red flag" system which led to withdrawal and contact with the patients clinician if life threatening/suicidal tendencies were identified. Some compromises with the commercial company running the program during the course of the study, they also found that not enough identifying details had been collected. They found that many participants had not read the Participant Information Sheet and this led to lots of further questions.

Lisa then covered some of the measurement issues based on a qualitative and quantitative survey of the health of tertiary students, examining whether there were difference between online and postal responses illustrated with copious statistics. The online and postal groups were close in the number of respondents, gender, ethnic origin, overseas students etc. Online participants were more likely to drop out as different measures were completed page by page and some did not complete all of them, but this level was not significant. Online respondents were seen to have higher fatigue scores than those who completed the survey via a postal system.

A variety of questions and comments from the floor then widened the debates and highlighted some of the current challenges for good new guidelines setting standards for behaviour in this area.

After coffee the next session I attended was about consumer empowerment, patient-physician, relationship and sociotechnical issues. The first presentation was by Luis Fernandez Luque from Norway. He described the number of blogs, web sites, videos and social networks etc where people are sharing information about their health conditions. He has studied these to find out whether these should be recommended to other patients. Over 100 were invited to the study and 29 completed surveys were received. He found patient generated content was rated highly for emotional support, but there were concerns about drug companies and others putting information up in this format. Many of the respondents considered changing their treatment or doctor based on information their had received from sites with patient generated content. They did not consider their privacy a problem and posted photos and a range of personal information. 17% published complaints about their doctors - mostly without identifying them. Existing codes are aimed at health professionals so he suggested the need for a code for epatient bloggers. He played a You Tube video of a patient with Multiple Sclerosis who is creating and publishing a video blog who had sent a message to the conference. Questions again raised issues around protection v empowerment and arguments about the creation and compliance with a code of ethics.

The next presentation was by Joanne Mayoh a doctoral student talking about - "Will the development of Web 2.0 technology result in a preference for quantity over quality?" She set out the use of the Internet to search for health information. Issues of Information and IT literacy meant that vast quantities of (possibly inaccurate) information can lead to greater distress than in other areas. She argued that wikis blogs and social networking as well as increasing quantity could also improve quality through Darwikinism particularly through the process in wikipedia and similar sites. Becoming as accurate as encyclopedias and challenging the criteria being used to judge the quality of online health information. Therefore she is focusing on the balance between online quality or public ability enhancing peoples skills in assessing the quality of information. She challenged the points made in the Times article "Ten ways to wind-up your GP" and what the response of the GP should be to people who bring print outs from the Internet. Her work with support groups members with chronic illness have low levels of Web 2.0 knowledge and what she can do to improve this. Questions discussed different routes to education both for patients but also for GPs.

The next presentation "Women wading through the web" by Sheryl Mitchell was about a toolkit Womens College Hospital has produced to help women find and evaluate information for this target group. She demonstrated the womenshealthmatters web site, and showed how the learning from this have led to the development of the toolkit. Well documented concerns about patients ability to evaluate online information was reprised and useful tools selected and tested, and reminded me of the work we did with the NMAP project which became Intute: Health and Life Sciences.

The final presentation of the session was by Cornelia Van Uden-Kraan from Twente University who talked bout her work examining empowerment by participation in online support groups via discussion groups. She highlighted the difficulties and lack of tools for the measurement of empowerment. Her team carried out qualitative and quantitative data collection to identify what processes and outcomes contributed to empowerment amongst participants in online support groups, which were similar between different diagnostic groups although the level of activity did vary.

After lunch I attended the theme Semantic Web (Web 3.0), Open Source. The first presentation was about PRESCO an attempt to develop an open source social network and architecture. He was presenting for colleagues who had found a variety of benefits for low and middle income Spanish speaking countries.

They were followed by Maarten Den Braber and Jen McCabe talking about the Nexthealth model trying to look at healthcare in the future and the balance between patient & professional, bricks & mortar & virtual & then the 4Cs. I got so involved in this presentation and the ensuing discussion that I didn't atke many notes - but I will find links on the web and add them as I found this the most interesting session of the conference.
* Nexthealth on the way
* Next Health Elevator presentation

The final plenary was Risk 2.0 by Joan Dzenowagis,(WHO) Kevin Clauson and a missing colleague from Microsoft which used an audience response system. They highlighted the blurring of legal & ge boundaries & lack of control. The amount of poor information found by search engines led to a question to the audience to identify what people thought would help, and then moved on to Internet safety, data scandals and trust. This was then applied to health records. She used lots of examples from the UK about data risks and hospital rating systems. She also discussed Wikipedia and its rules and guidelines, and the ways in which PR/drug companies try to manipulate it. She highlighted risks of open editing & identified problems in identifying liability. She also talked about changes in publishing models and their possible effects.

Kevin Clauson then followed with risk benefit analysis for professionals and patients. He saw risks of liability for professionals interatcing with patients online. He highlighted emails and blogs as greatest risks because of the tone and the way in which specific individuals can be identified. The Dr Lindeman/Dr Flea case highlighted in the bloggers panel yesterday. He discussed ethics & blogging, social networking sites. He tried to balance the negatives and risks with potential benefits. The risks to pharmaceutical companies made up the next part of his presentation, moving from direct-to-consumer marketing (which is only allowed in the US & New Zealand) across the web, with worries about off label claims, but could be a cheap advertising option. He concluded with issues about risks for patients inherent in blogs etc being hosted by pharmaceutical companies, and using personal health information. He also talked bout a study of drug accuracy and completeness in wikipedia. Some good topics,including economic and social change issues were raised in the question and answer session.

The conference then closed with thanks to organisers.

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Thursday, September 04, 2008

Medicine 2.0 Conference opening day

The first Medicine 2.0 conference has opened today in the MARS Centre, Toronto.

After a couple of days of sightseeing (the Niagra Falls trip was spectacular) we are finally getting down to business. This post is being written "on the fly" during the day so I apologise for any typos or other formatting errors.

Thanks should initially go to Gunther Eysenbach for the organisation. He is the Senior Scientist at the Centre for Global eHealth Innovation, Toronto and Editor/Publisher, Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR)

The venue seems well setup with easy access to the wireless network & good coffee. It is quite interesting to meet many people face to face which I have only previously met online.

Peter opened the conference on behalf of IMIA & other hats who thanked Gunther & talked about what IMIA is, in particular the IMIA Web 2.0 Task force and CHIRAD. He looked forward to the programme with presenters from over 15 countries & the conference teams use of Web2.0 including Crowdvine &the online paper rating system.

Gunther described how he tested the Canadian healthcare system by breaking his wrist & instantly changing his status on Facebook. More seriously he used his experience to talk about the potential of getting access to his medical record & have some connectivity with the healthcare system & making contact with peers who had similar injuries. He gave a high level overview of some of the relevant systems focusing on the interaction between evidence based medicine & personal health information - and the bypassing of the gatekeeper. I'm still not sure his definition of Apomediation via collaborative filtering approaches will become reality this week - but it is certainly one of the directions we may be moving in. The idea behind a Personal Health Record 2.0 has potential for the consent to store or consent to view debates we have been having in the UK. He highlighted some questions which he challenged the attendees to address during the conference & asked what are the specific requirements in healthcare. He hoped we would provide a critical view and not blindly follow the needs of the venture capitalists. He gave the housekeeping notices and thanked the sponsors.

The first keynote speaker was Pat rich - the Director, CMA Online Content. He spoke about Asklepios & what they are trying to achieve with it. He started with an overview of the CMA & talked about their movement into online resources including and chronic disease tracking shared by patients and Doctors. He explained the rational for setting up the social networking site - many of them already blogging, posting videos etc - based on US data & then dividing the numbers by 10. He talked about the value of informal discussion - based on the doctors lounge idea - coming from surveys of their members. The rationale for a secure physicians only site was presented. The need to avoid US hosting & lay grounds rules rather than moderation eg politely criticising the president was seen as important. The initial pilot was on Ning & then opened up to 125 physicians in the pilot. They then worked with a web services company and launched it a couple of weeks ago and already have 150 members. He described how people are setting up groups on it for discussions of a range of topics. He talked about the plans for the future and monitoring systems. He finished with the unanswered questions they are still trying to find out with the site and highlighted the need for evaluative research. Questions touched on the economic model behind it and the profile of users, which included "sponsored areas",and the possibility for guest access for colleagues from other countries. A good questions raised the potential for "unintended consequences".

The second keynote was by Michael Massagli from patientslikeme based on comments from the sites users, particularly those in the amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) group. He described the site and how it is used by those with particular conditions to find others who have similar experiences. The graphical representation of structured and unstructured data and the potential for discussion through forums, private messages etc. The analysis of the user generated massages showed a "hard core" of people who greet new members & others where specific phrases indicated users were basing their comments on the posted profiles & how comments fitted into wider patterns. Much of the analysis is in his paper Social Uses of Personal Health Information Within PatientsLikeMe, an Online Patient Community: What Can Happen When Patients Have Access to One Another’s Data so used his presentation time to show what the dialogues were like. The latest work has examined whether patients can answers clinical questions as a group - based on having read a journal paper about lithium use for ALS - this led to new tools to track individuals experience with the use of particular drug regimens. His work has concluded that patients do look at and comment on each others data - and can potentially generate new data centered user conversations that are useful.

After coffee (which included an interesting discussion on an open access business model for videos from the Journal of visualized experiments) the conference split into several themes. I attended a sessions on blogs. Neil Seeman opened with a discussion of how opinion leaders and how those who make decisions in healthcare systems are influenced. He suggested that opinion leaders may not enjoy status as they did in the past. Social networking analysis has been used to analyse health topics on popular sites such as myspace and facebook. The groups which are most active are those about conditions which are most stigmatised. The number of contacts may not be the indicator but the level of use but more important is trust. The ideas are linked to personal empowerment in dealing with healthcare providers. Amongst practitioners the knowledge management features of a blog were the things which made them go back to the blog. The growth of the blogosphere is a factor in breaking news and can not be ignored by the traditional media. He also talked about blog governance scores and other factors which affect blog density. Both blogs & newspapers were not reporting clinically significant health stories - but the ability to engage with the audience is significant. General interest blogs do as well as newspapers. There is an inverse link between governance score and traffic. An interesting thought was that SME = Subject Medical Expetise rather than Small or Medium Enterprise - which would be more common in the UK. Questions linked to future directions and advertising/sponsorship or conflicts of interest. Companies which pay bloggers to post on particular topics need further analysis.

This presentation was followed by a bloggers panel. Organised by Bertelan Mesko who introduced speakers giving short presentations - the first was Jennifer McCabe looking at business blogging via a Ning group ho discussed Web2.0 tools for medical students. She highlighted cross-pollination as a way of patient (consumer) centered care & innovation in healthcare practice & management. She gave a range of recommendation for anyone wanting to be a healthcare blogger. Peter Murray went next talking about collaborative blogging for health informatics based on the work of the team. He blamed me for starting it all back in 1996 and gave an overview of the developments we have undertaken since. He summarised the lessons learnt and ideas for the future. Keith Kaplan was the next participant talking on digital pathology and the lessons and reflections from writing his own blog and academic blogging in general in particular within a centre such as the Mayo clinic. The next speaker was Sam Solaman a reporter and saleried bogger. He told the story, which he wrote up for the Canadin Medicine journal, of a doctor Robert Lindeman who was sued and wrote uncomplimentary comments on a blog under the name flea and draw lessons related to the risks of anonymous blogging. See the Personal Injury Law Blog and the Boston Globe for more details of the story. The final speaker of the panel was Bertelan Mesko a medical student who described his use the web for his studies. He is now running learning experiences with community sites and blog carnivals. He is now running which provides cross searching facilities, and a range of other online tools. He closed with a plug for

A list of all the others twittering or live blogging from the conference is at

After a quick lunch (because the morning sessions overran) I attended the education theme. The first presentation was by Leanne Bowler who has a background in information design and is now looking at health sites for teenagers. Not surprisingly they use the web for health information, but their skills in finding & evaluating the information is poor. She defined portals and digital libraries and was looking for what exists & what are they like. She conducted an environmental scan and tied to measure usability, findability etc. She presented various issues with many of the sites which were included. Good question and answer session which highlighted several issues about web site design and information seeking behaviours.

The next presentation was by Margaret Hansen about Versatile, Creative and Dynamic Virtual 3-D Healthcare Learning Environments. She defined Web2.0 & Web 3.0 and looked at their potential within education for healthcare professionals. She explained many of the issues identified in her recent paper in JMIR. She showed screen shots of Second Life and other virtual worlds to illustrate pedagogical potential, based on connectivism, for role play to reduce anxiety, enhanced competency and collaboration. ALIVE was advocated as providing an easy to use environment for elearning. Technical issues limited the access to a YouTube video of the sexual health simulation from second life from Maged in Plymouth. Margaret then outlined some theoretical frameworks from Rogers Diffusion of Innovations, Siemens Connectivism. She highlighted some of the challenges and concluded that we will be seeing the growth of 3-D in educational contexts.

The final session of the day for me was entitled Web 2.0-based medical education and learning, chaired by Chris Paton. The first speaker was Panos Bamidis from Greece speaking about the use of Web 2.0 technologies in Medical Informatics education focusing on sharing learning objects. He described how ICT supported the whole educational process from planing, delivery and evaluation. He talked about international standards SCORM etc and then how discussion forums, wikis and personal blogs, within a closed Moodle VLE, are being used to support the learning. He presented the results of an evaluation which showed positive attitudes from students who had experienced the technologies, and plans for the future.

The second presentation was by Deidre Bonnycastle from the University of Saskatchewan talking about Medicine 2.0 and Medical Faculty Development. She had found the technology had barrier and the cost of professional production was prohibitive. A second approach was to use a post workshop wiki and set up a medical education blog. A development was to create a committee wiki, and research group wikis and student wikis. She then developed a Distributed medical education site and her latest development is a Medical Education Wiki. They include RSS feeds from blogs. Another area is the use of Elluminate real time lectures with audio, interactive whiteboards etc. A question arose around the time required to keep up with social networking sites, and human filtering via fiendfeed type technologies.

This was followed by Bertalan Mesko (Berty) talking about medical education and building a reputation in a Web 2.0 environment. Inspiration and motivation were received from online environments, particularly second life, such as the Anne Myers Medical Centre for virtual case presentations, genomics exercises and other areas. He also talked about a range of other online environments, including the recently launched Medical Education Evolution on Ning. He then talked about the benefits and risks of an online reputation. He showed examples of good practice of onlie doctors, blogs community sites etc. He suggested everyone google their name to see what patients or clients will see. He concluded that we must be ready to be open and ready to build an online reputation.

The final presentation was mine.

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Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Toronto for the Medicine 2.0 conference

I've now arrived in Toronto for the Medicine 2.0 conference. The flight was long & as work had booked me a cheap flight it came into Hamilton International rather than the local Pearson Airport, which meant bus rides - which was OK, but the fact that it was a bank holiday in Canada meant that some trains etc were not running.

First impressions from the air were of a massive country with lots of lakes and very straight roads - but green and pleasant, as they have had lots of rain this summer. The people seem very relaxed and friendly - thanks to 2 ladies I met on the transfer bus who gave me an introduction to places to see and go.

Today I'm seem to be recovering from the jet lag - we shall see if I sleep this evening - and have had a wander around the city, including the harbourside, Distillery historic district, and St Lawrence Market.I've also booked myself a trip to Niagra Falls tomorrow before the conference gets going.

I'm not quite sure what to expect from the conference - the very nature of the innovative technologies may have attracted a different crowd from the usual academic conference and the papers listed in the proceedings look interesting. I'm hoping that there will be a real buzz around the potential applications and lots of new ideas and contacts being generated - we shall see.

I will be posting my impressions here and others, including Peter Murray will be posting at If there is an official conference blog I will link to this later. There has been a dedicated social networking site using crowdvine, for conference participants, but I think anyone is welcome to contribute.

On a final note I've written this entry & done the links etc using Google's Beta release of its browser Chrome - which all seems to be working well so far. I'm also playing with a new camera on this trip.

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Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Health 2.0 and Medicine 2.0 - discussion paper

A new peer-reviewed paper just released on JMIR (Journal of Medical Internet Research - is titled "Health 2.0 and Medicine 2.0: Tensions and Controversies in the Field" >>>

I have not had chance to read the full paper yet, but it looks like a useful contribute to the ongoing discussions of the nature of the two memes - and hopefully will promote some useful discussion if it is going to be presented at the Medicine 2.0 Congress next month ( It has a lengthy reference list, which is valuable in itself, pulling together much of the recent discussion, and has used a thematic analysis of the definitions and discussions.

The major findings included:
"Four major tensions or debates between stakeholders were found in this literature, including (1) the lack of clear Medicine 2.0 definitions, (2) tension due to the loss of control over information as perceived by doctors, (3) the safety issues of inaccurate information, and (4) ownership and privacy issues with the growing body of information created by Medicine 2.0."

I will provide an update and further thoughts when I have read the paper. And just a heads-up that Rod and I, amongst others, will be at the Medicine 2.0 Congress in Toronto, and will be blogging it, no doubt.

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Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Medicine 2.0 Congress in Toronto, Sept. 2008

The Medicine 2.0 Congress will take place in Toronto, Canada on September 4-5th, 2008. This is an international conference, with the focus on Web 2.0 applications in health and medicine; it is organized and co-sponsored by the Journal of Medical Internet Research, the International Medical Informatics Association, the Centre for Global eHealth Innovation, CHIRAD, and a number of other sponsoring organizations.

The Call for Abstracts is now open for abstracts, speaker and panel proposals - go to and pre-register. The conference invites academic and international contributions, and also covers areas such as Science 2.0, Peer-Review 2.0, and social networking for consumers AND health professionals. See the topic list at the CALL FOR ABSTRACTS

Deadline for abstracts is May 2, 2008. Among possible topics to address are:
  • Building virtual communities and social networking applications for
  • health professionals, patients and consumers;
  • Collaborative biomedical research, academic / scholarly communication,
  • publishing and peer review;
  • Consumer empowerment, patient-physician relationship, and
  • sociotechnical issues;
  • Ethical & legal issues, confidentiality and privacy;
  • Personal health records and Patient portals;
  • Public (e-)health, population health technologies, surveillance;
  • Search, Collaborative Filtering and Recommender Technologies;
  • Semantic Web ("Web 3.0") applications;
  • The nature and dynamics of social networks in health;
  • Usability and human factors on the web;
  • Virtual (3D) environments, Second Life;
  • Web 2.0 approaches for clinical practice, clinical research, quality
  • monitoring;
  • Web2.0-based medical education and learning;
  • and much more.
Please feel free to disseminate this information; there is a button on the front page that allows you to quickly share via several social networking and other sites.

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