So a few weeks ago, one of the creative geniuses at the company I work for wrote on healthcare in the digital world, including a mention of a conference called Health 2.0. We know that Web 2.0 refers to the user-generated explosion on the Internet and all the conversations that abound – however, how is health incorporated into that stuff? Well, according to the Health 2.0 conference website:

Social networks are redefining relationships within communities in unanticipated and previously unimaginable ways. Web 2.0 tools – like blogs, wikis, podcasts, user-generated video and specialized search – are generating a fundamental shift away from the traditional flow of information as defined by payers, physicians, hospital systems, and suppliers. It is absolutely clear that we are at the start of a significant shift in demand from both consumers and providers for better information and easier ways to share experiences.

Stakeholders in health care must immediately begin to confront the decision of how to interact with these new technologies and networks, and potentially adopt and integrate them into their strategies for growth.

This is a great thing happening – allowing conversation around a very monolithic institution that most people either don’t understand properly or don’t want to understand (with all the negative press, who can blame them?). It was only a matter of time. The age of patient/consumer and health provider confusion is slowly coming to a close. Finally there will be conversation between health care provider and patient, patients with each other, physician to physician! I can only imagine what wealth of information and insight will come about for stakeholders in health care.

Oh yeah, the conference also has a Facebook group that I just joined. This is just plain awesome. Even though I missed this year’s conference, I’m hoping to make the March conference next year.

Web 2.0, meet the struggling and needy world of healthcare…don’t be shy!

*cue Chariots of Fire as the two entities run toward each other in slow motion while in a grassy field*