Once a year for six years now, a bunch of inquisitive, often bright and frequently argumentative people get together to discuss how social media, the Internet, on-line communities and medical apps can and already have changed how health care is conceptualized and delivered.
Medicine 2.0 (#med2) as the conference is known was held in London, UK this year and attracted 520 delegates over the two days. The conference was a non-stop series of simultaneous lectures, presentations, posters, and hallway conversations all overlaid with an ongoing Twitter channel that sucked in participation from around the globe.
This year I was privileged to give a presentation that attempted to not only synthesize the key developments over the conference since it began in 2008 in Toronto but also to match this to what was going on in the bigger world of health care and society.
Of course such an analysis is bound to be idiosyncratic because of the sheer volume of information to be compacted into a 15-minute talk.
The title of my talk was the title of this blog, and I’ll tell you why.
Six years ago many of us were already experimenting with the tools and platforms now known generically as social media. Twitter may have just been mere chirp in 2008 but online communities, Facebook and YouTube were already going concerns. But most of us were doing this outside of work time as nobody was quite sure how social media tools could be used professionally.
Fast forward to 2013 and many people working in health care are using social media as part of their work – from vices to habits, if you will. Perhaps this is most marked with the medical profession. In 2008 few physicians were participating in Medicine 2.0 and hardly any could see how social media could improve how they do their work. This year, four of the five top Tweeters at Medicine 2.0 were physicians and many others delivered papers on how they were using social media to deliver care in new and innovative ways.
This community is still in the minority but after six years you really can’t call them early adopters any more.
The full set of slides from my address is available at: http://www.slideshare.net/prich/what-were-once-vices-are-now-habits-med-20-20082013