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. An incredible number of individuals are now going on the internet to give their contribution to an extensive range of health care issues that range from extraction of wisdom teeth to the avian flu pandemic or using acupuncture to deal with infertility. This is what is called Health 2.0 user-generated health care.
To some degree, that is not new as there were already online support groups which have existed since the early 1990s. But, the content has developed, and we finally have numerous contributors, blogs, and videos. According to one research firm, more than 20% of Americans have given some tips on health-related content. The hype that surrounded web 2.0 has raised the consciousness of new possibilities thus there continues to be an increase in new content and new users.
The increase in user-generated content is in part because individuals have significantly more access to tools for writing the content along with the wider web tendencies. Tools like the digital camera and webcams have made it possible for individuals to take pictures and upload them. However, you will find other factors which have led to the increase. People with multiple chronic diseases like depression, diabetes are curious to get some tips from other people that have similar conditions. Nowadays, any field of medical knowledge is too broad for any single physician to learn all of it. Some patients who may not get all of the advice from their physician would rather go online, join a forum with other individuals with similar states for more information.
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. People are not aware of how permanent information is online; as they say, the internet never forgets. There’s the risk of malicious folks abusing one’s personal data. Some sites attempt to mitigate this risk by requiring the use of pseudonyms. Another problem with this user-created content is misinformation. Too much health data can confuse some individuals. User-generated content is advantageous, and it has helped people a lot, but one needs to use the advice along with consulting with their physician.
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 utilized user-created content as their best 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.