Thursday, November 10, 2005

WebMD towards a collabrative doctor patient relationship



The power of social networking software, is becoming manifest as I ponder Gemma's question on how patients interact with WebMD.




Reviewing Gemma's web page, and google searching of her bio, I find certain things we have in common: my daughter loves ballet, I enjoy greek dance, and I share a concern with Gemma about endangered species. I looked through it back in early oct, but its a month later, so hence i am re-reading the bio after meeting the person attached to the data, Gemma.



The ability to see from someone else's perspective is very key to the imaginative process towards developing empathy: hence I understand her collabrative performances. Such is the purpose of the humanities: to understand the narrative of life from the perspective of the other but also to learn how to collaborate with others.

The question of how patients deal with information deals increasingly with how information is exchanged, but also how it is interpreted.

In developing this blog entry, I remembered that Danah Boyd had insights about this process, but I cannot remember where she blogged it, and I did not file it, so hence it is lost within my memory.

How do patients learn information in the sea of ideas, comments, and web pages? The key is to understand that the doctor is ethically bound by duty to advocate and treat patients towards healing, or at least, to do no harm.

So my feeling is that technology can enhance a collabrative enviroment between the doctor and physician: and the idea of a persistant on line conversation can built both trust, and respect.

The same problems that persons run into with wiki's, or google search engines also happens with online communication with patients. But as the movie on Despotism mentions, that democratic communities are those in which information is shared amoungst the largest number of persons. Secrecy, and lack of transparency leads to all sorts of problems with how information comes into being: verification is key to developing reputation systems. There is a lot to the patient doctor relationship that represents a very complex anthropolology. How is industry, and information technology changing things?



Power, and in the patients perspective, licensure, is granted to the physician for advocating for the patient as best as one can.

Check out the comments from Carl, who is part of a Clinical sousveillance family area network

Some doctors can collaborate, others are paternalistic, and others are kind of removed and distant and have no relationship with the patient. Differnt situations require different doctoring styles, and this affects the communication.

So how does a patient approach their physician when they have looked up information? How does the Doctor make sense of it and communicate his interpretation and judgement? Does the patient trust the doctor if WebMD says something different and maybe the doctor is telling a lie?

The idea of developing a stable trust system is what the Verichip persons are banking on, hoping to establish a verification system of identity, but this is only one part of the equation, and perhaps not the most important.

Great Post that contextualizes the idea of social networking

It can be magnified by going to lower right corner with the curser: it contextualizes the tensions between identity and on line collaboration.
More Latter....

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