The Beginners Guide To Options (Chapter 1)

Health 2.0 101

The popularity of user-created content has increased on social networking sites, and this effect has spilled over to the health sector. 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 extent, this is not new as there have been online support groups that have existed since the early 1990s. However, the content has evolved, and we now have videos, blogs, and numerous contributors. According to one research company more than 20% of Americans have contributed some information 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 due to the wider internet trends and the fact that people have more access to the tools for coming up with content. Tools like the digital camera and webcams have made it easy for people to take photos and upload. 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. 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 usually are not conscious of how irreversible info is online; as they say, the internet never forgets. There is the risk of malicious people misusing one’s personal data. Some sites try and reduce this threat by demanding the use of pseudonyms. Another issue with this particular user-created content is misinformation. A lot of health details can confuse some folks. 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 person shares erroneous information, other people may correct it. Some people have used user-generated content as their best source of hope. If a person is diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, they can find support from other people across the world who can provide accurate information about the treatment and recommend doctors.