The most important source of information for people making a day-to-day health decision, in many cases, is not a website, or even a clinician, but another person who shares the same condition. As mobile, social tools spread throughout the population, people are connecting with each other. Why not harness those tools for health?….Pew Internet research shows that when someone has a mobile device connected to the internet, they are more likely to share, to forward, to create, and to consume online information, from text to photos to videos. They are more likely to participate in the online conversation about health…Just like peer to peer file sharing transformed the music industry by allowing people to share songs, peer-to-peer healthcare has the potential to transform the pursuit of health by allowing people to share what they know and connect with other people.
This is an area I’ve been watching and thinking about for a while. I guess it’s somewhat related to my previous post on digital illiteracy. My theory so far is this: As communities of color become the majority in the United States, and digital communications and online communities continue to play a large part in accelerating conversations, health issues which are unique to those communities will take the spotlight and shift the domestic health and wellness industry. There are already signs of this happening, but it’ll be a while longer before the weak signals fuel a real shift. Any thoughts?