Medicine 2.0 @ harvardmed



Medicine 2.0 is a conference that mixes different genres and this is probably what makes it particularly interesting for a researcher. Created by Gunther Eysenbach  in 2008, it has happened in Canada, Europe and in the United States, in places as prestigious as Stanford Medical School and Harvard Medical School this year. It will be held in Oxford next year. Medicine 2.0 allows confronting the world of research and the feedback from field experience. It brings together Academics, Entrepreneurs, Health Professionals, Health Care Suppliers, and ePatients so that each one can bring their experience feedback and their approach to the phenomena observed in the fields of social networks, on-line collective action and connected tools that are supplied.

Belonging to the Dauphine DBA program, a doctoral program for "executives", this approach suits my frame of mind entirely. And, even if at the end I must necessarily respect to the letter the academic requirements and the multiple constraints it implies, these meetings create doubt, this sensational source of inspiration that knocks over all certainties in order to better progress in one’s research. André Gide once said, "The desire to know proceeds from doubt. Stop believing, and teach yourself."

It would have probably necessitated more than two days to unfold this year’s program. Not having (yet) the gift of ubiquity; if it were necessary to keep only some of the interventions I was lucky to attend, this would be the following:

·  Ellis RochelsonCreating a Social Network for Adolescents with Cancer (Practice) 

Ellis presented Bingu, a social network for teenage patients aged from 13 to 21, launched in 2011. Following the initiative of Mount-Sinai Clinic, Bingu allows teenagers to blog, display photos, and meet with other teenagers who understand what they are going through. 

·  Colleen YoungCommunity Management that Works: How to Build and Sustain a Thriving Online Health Community (Practice)

Colleen won the prize for the best presentation (below). Inspired by the models from literature, Colleen adds to them the lessons learned from her long experience in the management and survey of health 2.0 in Canada, via sites such as |, | | Colleen models the life cycle of these platforms in 5 stages of community development: the creation, development, maturity, "mitosis" and disappearance of the community.

·  Daniel SwayzeWhat are they Talking about? How Digital Diabetics Use Social Media Feature in Online Patients Communities (Research)

The objective of Daniel's survey was to prove that social networks are helpful to the virtual communities of patients with type 2 diabetes by analysis of the content of the exchanges. Besides the strong involvement of the patients, the nature of the exchanges on information sharing (levels of food glucose, drugs, side effects…), the notions of shared values and empathy were also observed frequently during those exchanges, thus participating in the demonstration of the usefulness of such interactive platforms.

·  Pamela Katz ResslerExploring Patient Blogs: Communicating the Experience of Chronic Pain and Illness through Blogging (Research)

Pamela's survey seeks to identify the usefulness of tools such as blogs as a means of communication by the patient in experiencing chronic disease and endured pain. Pamela was surrounded by Dr. Matthew KatzRobert WestRenee BerryJill Plevinsky, and Maggie Chesnut in order to attest to the results of this survey in which the latter too participated.

·  Martina MoickRate Me… Physicians' Evaluations of Online Ratings and a Rating App (Research)

Martina's survey concerns the assessment of the on-line practitioners. She demonstrates the latter’s skepticism with regard to on-line assessments, as well as their interest relating to the registered comments.

I would also like to send a special thanks to Colleen Young with whom I have been able to exchange at length on my thesis subject (presentation below): Expectancy-Value Model of Patients' Virtual Communities. The Determinants of Desires for Online Collective Action.   It doesn’t make any doubt that the exchanges during these conferences are valuable for the research and change their course. This will be the case for me.

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