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TECH/CONSUMERS: Musings on IFTF, Health2.0 and social networking

I sat in a meeting today put on by my old colleagues at IFTF. (There are some other bloggers here, so there’ll be more about the meeting elsewhere). The room is filled with an interesting mix of techies, health care people, non-health care people, foundations, drug companies et al.

IFTF is fixated on the concept of biocitizenship. They’re interested in how wider communication tools (of which the Web2.0 tools are one) are allowing social movements to spread, and how this has enabled much more activism. I’m not convinced that this combination is as true or as new as they think, but it’s an interesting lens with which to view these emerging communities. For more on the biocitizen, look here — or contact Jody Ranck. I’m not going to detail IFTF’s research here. They’ve done some cool scenarios (including one with Howard Rheingold’s daughter acting as a “not LonelyGirl” faux youtube video as a very new health care consumer) in progress plus they sell their research for money (and if you’re a corporation it’s probably worth buying).

We also heard from the CDC, Revolution Health and DailyStrength.org. They are combining new tools, new communities and new techniques at a staggering rate. They’re also seeing some real growth. Revolution has been seeing big growth and although they didn’t give the numbers, DailyStrength seems to have 4–5,000 people per discussion group. It seems that better, more personalized search, and mapping your personal situation to that of others is the future to handle all this new information. I think that Natural Language Recognition based processing and search is going to be very important (which is why I’m so high on Enhanced Medical Decisions). However, much more of this will be dependent on what IFTF calls computing “sensemaking” (Computing has gone from processing to communicating, to sensing and on to “sensemaking”). That’s going to match patterns and heuristics to match your data. So that you get exactly what you need from all the stuff out there about you—and then that will get combined with the sensor information from medical devices et al.  And then put that all in context-which may be done by computers or humans with computers.

All interesting stuff, but there’ll need to be much more unpacking of these tools and the business models for them in the next little while….

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