Being a student of Health Informatics at the Karolinska Institute has introduced me to a number of interesting concepts. Already during our very first week in August of last year, we heard about “patient-centered healthcare”, “shared decision-making” and “patients as co-creators of health” and to a highly opinionated and severly inquisitive patient such as myself it is quite simply music to my ears. It was simply a match made in heaven and me and my student colleague with MS (yes, what were the odds of TWO highly opinionated and severly inquisitive brain disease victims actually ending up in the same class….) had a wonderful time asking our teachers to elaborate on the patient perspective to the point where I would guess our more normal classmates of medical and computer backgrounds from all over the world probably wanted to smack us to make us keep quiet.
However, the true “Eureka-moment” came when I first heard about “Health 2.0”, which in the words of Lucien Engelen means “the new relationship between health care provider and patient” (from A little booklet about Health 2.0, 2010). I would guess that the definitions of Health 2.0 are at least as many as the number of people working in the field, however to me personally it signifies Patient Empowerment in its true meaning, giving patients wanting to take more responsibility for their own health a means to do so by in the optimal way using the Internet and social media. To me Health 2.0 is about a
more equal sharing of responsibilities within healthcare by acknowledging the patients expertise and experiences of their illnesses and collaborating to give all stakeholders a better outcome. To me this is the only way to meet the increasing burden of illness in the world and I am certain the “revolution” is just starting. See you on the barricades!