ScienceRoll and Medicine 2.0
Readers interested in casual discussions on the future of medicine at the cross-roads of genetics research, electronic medical records, and the internet will find plenty to read in recent blog entries using the terms "Medicine 2.0" or "Health 2.0". Advocates of the subject, include Bertalan Meskó, a medical student at the University of Debrecen (Hungary). Meskó, who monitors and writes about the topic in his blog ScienceRoll, holds that "the new generation of web services, will [play] (and already is playing) ... an important role in the future of medicine. These web tools, expert-based community sites, medical blogs and wikis can ease the work of physicians, scientists, medical students [and] ... medical librarians". In addition to regular posts on his blog, Meskó also edits a weekly blog carnival (an index or review of blog entries) on the subject, entitled Medicine 2.0. Mesko's ScienceRoll also contributes entries on genomics, clinical genetics, genetic testing, and personalized medicine.
"Medical Ethics 2.0"
Science Roll, July 19, 2007 and Medicine 2.0, hosted recently by J.C. Jones at HealthLine Connect were among several blogs citing "Medical Ethics 2.0", published July 16th by Jason Bobe at The Personal Genome . [Others citing Bobe include: Philosophy and Bioethics and The CEP Library.] Bobe discusses the possibility that future users of online genealogy services may begin to add medical information to their family trees. Following his review of the BMJ “Head-to-Head” feature: “Should families own genetic information?” [BMJ 2007;335:22 (7 July), doi:10.1136/bmj.39252.386030], he questions how user-generated genetic information and Web 2.0 technologies would complicate the ethical problems of privacy and disclosure.
Medical Ethics 3.0?
In "Health care eyes Web 3.0" (Government Health IT, 16 July 2006), Brian Robinson reports on developing Semantic Web technologies and their anticipated impact on the medical formatics and health care provision. The Semantic Web uses Resource Description Framework (RDF), Web Ontology Language, and other ontologies to "ascribe meaning to data depending on the context in which it is used". The Semantic Web is expected to provide, for example, the ability to "identify data related to age, weight and diseases, and ... then deliver that data based on the context of a query". Projects in development include: rules-based diagnostic decision-support systems for Partners HealthCare System (Boston) and a public health surveillance system under the direction of Parsa Mirhaji at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.
In addition to Mirhaji, comments are provided from Dean Giustini (Biomedical Branch Library, University of British Columbia), Vipul Kashyap (Partners HealthCare), and Bob Shimp (Oracle's Global Technology Business Unit). The story does not, however, explore the social and ethical implications of the Semantic Web for medical research.