The popularity of user-generated content has increased on social networking sites, and this effect has spilled over to the health business. Millions of people are now going online to give their contribution to a wide range of health care topics ranging from extraction of wisdom teeth to the avian-flu pandemic or using acupuncture to deal with infertility. This is what is called Health 2.0 user-generated health care.
To some degree, that is not new as there were already online support groups which have existed since the early 1990s. On the other hand, the content has developed, and we finally have websites videos and numerous subscribers. According to one research firm, more than 20% of Americans have contributed some information on health-related content. The hype that surrounded net 2.0 has raised the awareness of new possibilities consequently there continues to be an increase in content that is new and new users.
The increase in user-created content is in part due to the wider internet tendencies and also that individuals have significantly more access to the tools they use to write the content. Tools like webcams and the digital camera have made it simple for people to take photos and upload them and. But, there are other factors which have led to this increase. People with multiple chronic diseases like depression, diabetes are curious to get some tips from other people that have similar conditions. Nowadays, any field of medical knowledge is too wide for any single doctor to know all of it. Some patients who may not get all of the advice from their physician would rather go online, join a forum with other individuals with similar states for more information.
There are many discussions on health-related matters online, and it is strange as health is a sensitive topic that people do not just discuss with anyone. Individuals usually are not conscious of how irreversible info is online; as they say, the internet never forgets. There is certainly the risk of malicious individuals misusing one’s private data. Some sites try to mitigate this risk by requiring the use of pseudonyms. Another concern with this user-generated content is misinformation. Too much health information can confuse some people. User-generated content is advantageous, and it has helped people a lot, but one needs to use the advice along with consulting with their physician.
Most of the user-created content is correct because if one shares information that is erroneous, it may be corrected by other individuals. Some people have employed user-created content as their greatest source of hope. If a person is diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, they can find support from other people across the world who can provide accurate information about the treatment and recommend doctors.