Towards e-Health 2.0? Health and Web 2.0 in the Information Age

From 2005 to 2007, good friend Francisco Lupiáñez took part in a Manuel Castells’s project entitled Technological Modernisation, Organisational Change and Service Delivery in the Catalan Public Health System (aka PIC Salut).

His main findings in the Public Health system related with the adoption of ICTs are really similar to the ones I pointed at — there related to the Educational system — in my conference Opening Session: Digital Citizens vs. Analogue Institutions (indeed partly based on data from a brother project, L’Escola a la Societat Xarxa: Internet a l’Educació Primària i Secundària, also led by Castells and belonging both of them to a framework project about ICT adoption in Catalonia, Spain).

These findings can be summarized as follows:

  • ICTs are broadly considered as a promising tool among physicists and nurses, health care professionals at large (managers, the pharmaceutical sector, etc.) and patients.
  • Internet and intranets are widely used to get Health information.
  • But e-health management and service delivery systems, even if in a growing trend, they are far from being mainstream and are quite often rare.
  • ICT used is mainly focused to interprofessional use, while patients (or the direct use with the customer) are excluded from the equation.
  • Productivity, efficiency and quality don’t seem to be affected because of lack of accompanying measures in habits, procedures, strategies, policies, etc. at all levels.

Put short: information and some professional interaction, but almost total lack of communication. e-Health 2.0? No way. Interactivity does not exist and, actually, the “reputation factor” still plays a very important role that the Internet has not solved yet (i.e. who do you trust?).

More details about the results of the project can be accessed here and here.

For those who can read Catalan, this is a very interesting presentation:

On the other hand, there’s a conference at the Barcelona Biomedical Research Park on Thursday 15th May 2008 just about this subject. Please find here more information about the programme.


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