Social Change and e-Health: How Far Can Web-based Medicine Take Us?

Posted on February 23, 2016 by


Our #socialchange series on #health now continues into its second month. In January we discussed health tech, exploring devices and services to make our personal health data more accessible. Next we look at some of the nuances of web-based solutions, ranging from knowledge bases like the well known WebMD platform, to provider search applications like Health Grades, to “doc-in-a-browser” services like HealthTap offering access to medical professionals online for a monthly fee.

In the bewildering maze that is the internet, it appears even our health care choices are not immune. We are seeing startling innovations in online service delivery. How will the market respond?

First, to explore further, let’s get grounded, with some background on a few of the major services that are prominent in today’s e-health landscape. Have a look at a few of these:

Medical Knowledge Base

Online Services

Professional Search

Online Professionals (Doc in a Browser)

Lots to digest, for certain. To me, these services challenge convention, forcing many of us to rethink how to get medical assistance. It’s not far-fetched to me that they could be propelled by demand for improved access to care and lower-cost solutions. But progress could also be held back by concerns over privacy, and the still-evolving adoption of all things technical.

Which forces will prevail in the near-term? Let’s talk it out .

  • Q1. While web access opens many new doors, how will we know who to trust?
  • Q2. Referrals work well online, from likes to ratings, but does this play in the #eHealth space?
  • Q3. How will strong #socialmedia presence help/hurt #eHealth providers?
  • Q4. Context is key. How do researching patients avoid conclusions that their every headache is a brain tumor?
  • Q5. HIPAA looms large as we consider our privacy; will patients take to web based services that need your private data?
  • Q6. Empathy via Onsite Care. Should a F2F doctor visit be the ultimate end game?
  • Q7. Momentum. Will this space expand rapidly or stall?

I hope you will join me and Gigi Peterkin on WEDS 2/24 from 1-2pm, as we unpack still more drivers in social change aspects of healthcare.  It’s always a lively conversation. This one is sure to spark some more.

Chris aka @sourcepov


Posted in: Social Change, Trends