Medicine and the internet, medical blogger Bertalan Mesko discusses this invaluable relationship.
Medicine 2.0 – an amalgamation of web2.0 and medicine – is the use of social networking sites, blogs, forums, websites, podcasts, games and other internet tools to share medical information. Its users include doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals, patients and their carers and also business, such as hospitals and pharmaceutical companies.
My interest in Medicine 2.0 goes back to the time when I was a medical student. At that time I used several web applications and other resources as part of my studies and I decided to start sharing this information with others.
That motivated me further to start sharing knowledge about medicine with others. Blogging became part of my daily routine and I devoted more and more time to Medicine 2.0. I get a lot of positive comments and feedback from people from around the world. That makes me work even harder on the project.
I have noticed that patients know even more about medicine and treatments. The moment they receive a diagnosis or recommended treatment they are online rifling through all the information available on that topic.
They're reading up on the latest in medicine from leading universities and experts and sometimes know more about new treatments and techniques than their doctors! As a result, patients are becoming an invaluable resource to doctors in an unprecedented way.
Having noticed this, I looked for an effective and relevant social media resource covering a broad range of medical topics. I realised there were portals doing this but social media was not represented. So I developed Webicina.com in 2008 to fill the gap.
My next thought was to launch a free service that would feature personally and carefully selected medical social media resources. Over the last three years, the project has evolved and grown quite considerably with now over 65 medical topics in 15 languages including Japanese, Chinese and German. Our users like the convenience of all of the resources being in one place and the quality guaranteed by the individual selection.
It is now bringing healthcare professionals closer to both patients and their employers, as it makes the sharing of knowledge and information easier. I recommend everyone serious about medicine to take a look at the online sources of medical information available as it is my conviction that medicine will continue on this path into the future.