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Health 2.0: Crowd-Sourcing Life Sciences
Social computing is transforming the business model of life science companies by increasing knowledge exchange between consumers, professionals and researchers leading to faster product trials and discovery (Wicks et al 2011, Allison 2009), improved customer service, regulatory reporting and compliance, and streamlined research and development. Health 2.0 in a convergence also labeled Web 2.0, social media, crowd-sourcing and open source science represents a new research model where participant observation, narrative and aggregate data assumes greater importance allowing communities to conduct research projects such as Patientslikeme.com’s lithium research (Brownstein et al 2009). Consumers now use the Internet not only to search for information but also to conduct natural experiments in their own homes investigating product efficacy. Health 2.0 combines Web 2.0 technologies with personal health application platforms such as Google Health (Eysenbach 2008) enabling online communities to share personal health data to create scientific knowledge based upon experience and to improve health outcomes (Frost et al 2011, Frost and Massagli 2008). This represents a paradigm shift from the previous model of health information as a centralized, static, secured, private, and limited access repository towards a more open, active, participatory model. Today, consumers are increasingly driving adoption of health information technology using ubiquitous, low cost social computing devices such as the iPad with instant access to the latest science on the Internet re-versing the abysmal track record of previous medical and drug informatics efforts (Dolan 2011, Pagliari 2007) For example, Patientslikeme.com visualizes complex health data to allow patients to interpret, learn, and analyze the findings in order to track the impact of daily behavior on outcomes. Sharing of this data increases its utility by allowing users to teach each other and the science and medicine they need. Health 2.0 becomes valuable through its use and shared knowledge is discovered that exists beyond the scope of a single person. For example in the case of lithium’s use for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) before formal peer review and replication, the community launched a patient-driven observational study. (Frost et al 2011, Frost, Massagli, Wicks, and Heywood 2008). Since ALS has a poor prognosis many patients turn to the Internet to find, evaluate, and use information to drive change in medical discovery and translation to treatment. Cure Together demonstrates that using only patient-reported data they are able to confirm clinical findings such as a potential infertilityasthma association that has previously been explored only in clinical studies. In conclusion, social computing enables a shift from hypothesis driven trial and error expe-rimentation to real time observation and software simulation paralleled by the migration to a post scientific society

and transformation of life sciences to an information technology field. In the context of life sciences, Health 2.0 represents a new paradigm of patient-driven health care defined by an increased level of information flow, customization, collaboration, transparency, choice and responsibility, personalized medicine and quantified self-tracking and the shift of research from the academic lab into the living room (Swan 2009). Tim Batchelder is a biotechnology professional who works with life science companies to design and implement digital strategies. He received his BA from Hamilton College and has over 10 years of experience in the field. To connect with him visit his blog http://timbatchelder.com/ or Linkedin http://www.linkedin.com/in/timbatchelder. Tags: Crowdsourcing, Health 2.0, Open Source, Personalized Medicine, Social Computing, Social Media, Web 2.0
This entry was posted on Tuesday, August 16, 2011 at 9:23 am and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site, or Forward

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