Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:


How Web 2.0 is changing medicine

BMJ 2006; 333 doi: (Published 21 December 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;333:1283

Rapid Response:

Transforming medical communication

Web 2.0 reflects the evolution of the "web as platform". The author
suggests that the term is nebulous, but deeper analysis and reflection on
the phrase coined by O'Reilly media does in fact shed light in the meaning
of the term.

Current models of computing are based on the concept of the the
"desktop as a platform". Prior to the desktop era was the time of the
minicomputer as a platform. To access the benefits of computing, users
required an expensive machine, which performed the bulk of the computation
process. Software was delivered via floppy disk, and subsequently, CDs and
DVDs. Web 2.0 software is delivered via the internet, and much of the
computing that delivers the value we get through technology (such as a
Google search) is invisible to the end user.

Web based software is delivered via the internet without the need for
the user to download or install an application. (Youtube vs Windows media
player). As mobile technology matures, we may see the emergence of the
mobile network as a platform, which will provide new ways of delivering
knowledge and healthcare.

Web 2.0 has been seized by hi-tech marketers and has become a
buzzword to the stage that it's meaning is partly lost. It is more of a
mindset and approach than a specific technology. The primary benefit is
easier communication and collaboration. Clinicians with interests in
healthcare and technology should aim to understand the benefits of
emerging technologies in order to the translate the technophile's
fascination with features into benefits to aid both the clinician and the

Web 2.0 is rather like pornography - hard to describe, but I know it
when I see it.

Competing interests:
Developing a Web 2.0 collaboration platform for doctors

Competing interests: No competing interests

16 January 2007
Nnamdi Udezue
Entrepreneur / Locum SHO
London SE22 8JH