20 Best Health 2.0 Tools for Physicians and Patients

MDNG Editors
Published: Wednesday, Jan 21, 2009
The premise of Health 2.0 rests on one simple idea: whatever your healthcare question or concern may be, there is a potential community of likeminded individuals out there who also have similar questions and are ready and willing to share information, opinions, and support. All you and your potential collaborators need are the tools that will allow you to connect with one another. So what qualifies as a Health 2.0 tool? Blogs, wikis, RSS feeds, social networks and online communities, bookmarking and other indexing services, and many more—the list is far-reaching and constantly expanding as smart people figure out new ways to organize and share information, communicate, and collaborate.

We’ve compiled a list of 20 of the most useful, exciting, and intriguing Health 2.0 tools, some of which you may already be familiar with, while others may be new to you. Take a few minutes to visit some of these resources and see for yourself what all the excitement is about. E-mail us to share your thoughts and let us know if we missed any of your favorite Health 2.0 sites.


Category: Medical wiki

Best Feature: Accuracy, transparency, ease of access

Notes: Physicians and other healthcare professionals can contribute to this “collective online memory” bank by publishing their review articles, clinical notes, pearls, medical images, and other information. Before new users are granted permission to post content, they must first submit their CV for verification; all credentialed users are added to the site’s editorial board. Submitted content is reviewed by specialty editors; after it has been accepted and published, it can be edited by the AskDrWiki community.


Category: Blog

Best Feature: Unabashed enthusiasm, unfailingly useful inks and information

Notes: David Rothman, Information Services Specialist at the Community General Hospital Library, Syracuse NY, created this personal blog that discusses medical librarianship and Internet technology, or as he terms it, “Web Geekery.” He offers great 2.0 tools and tips for healthcare industry professionals. The blog features a custom Google search engine created by Rothman that searches medical school libraries, and another custom search engine that finds consumer health and patient education information. A list of medical wikis and medical illustration resources is equally helpful. A mobile edition of Rothman’s blog is available as well.

The Doctor’s Channel

Category: User-created video library

Best Feature: “Dueling Doctors” video discussion/argument groups

Notes: This excellent source of physician-created multimedia content features “short one- to two-minute streaming video clips designed to get to the point, with insights and opinions from experts in 35 different specialties, as well as community and lifestyle features that help doctors stay on top of the latest news, ideas and information.”


Category: Next-generation symptom checker

Best Feature: “Natural language recognition” search capability

Notes: Patients can use this interesting tool to check for drug interactions and to match their symptoms with possible drug side effects. Information is retrieved by the site’s innovative search engine from a variety of medical textbooks and other reliable sources. The treatment evaluator function rates common treatments for a variety of conditions according to “general effectiveness, ease of use, side effects and safety.” The “User Reviews” enable members to share their experiences and insights about the medications they have used and the treatments they have received.

The Efficient MD

Category: Blog

Best Feature: Über-practical tips and information

Notes: The Efficient MD is a physician-written blog focused on helping healthcare professionals increase their productivity and therefore maximize their time. Visitors will find how-tos, “life hacks,” advice and commentary, and reviews of useful new innovations, gadgets, techniques, and tools. Posts include “Using Evernote as a Professional Memory Accessible Anywhere,” “Tips for Medical Documentation and Coding,” “Google Book Search and Medical Education,” and “Your Next Stethoscope Should be Electronic. Here’s Why.”


Category: Blog

Best Feature: Focus on empowering and engaging patients

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