3 Ways Crowdsourcing is Innovating Health Care

image curtesy of tyler via flickr

image courtesy of tyler via flickr

Health care should be a pinnacle of innovation. A constantly improving juncture of best practices in care, research, and technological advancements. Unfortunately, too many patients’ health care appears stagnant. A lack of transparency coupled with ever-increasing costs for treatment in nations like the United States and a disconnected in knowledge base between patients and providers, have left patients feeling like their treatment is stuck in the past.

All of these negative impressions can be replaced by trust, invention, and knowledge through the same vehicle: crowdsourcing.

1. The crowd as a resource for care providers: Consulting with peers over diagnoses and treatments is standard practice amongst health care professionals. Through crowdsourcing, the breadth of accessible knowledge grows. Professionals worldwide can share their case history – symptoms, treatments, all of the details gained through experience and not just education. Trusted sources in medicine, such as the New England Journal of Medicine are building online communities out of eager health care professionals looking to share their knowledge.

2.  Research: The field of medicine is constantly making strides – changes so disruptive that outdated methods and tools are rendered useless. Institutions of education – from universities to teaching hospitals, as well as research laboratories are dedicated to solving the unknowns and creating the future of health care. When the data cultivated by this assemblage of sources comes together, it quickens the pace of innovation – from cutting edge technology to research and diagnostic methods in countless focuses. Crowdsourcing is the epitome of innovation because it leverages the wisdom of a community, and accumulates it in a way to make it accessible to all members.

3. Bridging the gap between patients and professionals: In the past, medical knowledge has been a resource possessed solely by the health care elite – inaccessible to the average patient. In a time of transparency, continual education, and open access brought on by connective technology, patients are no longer satisfied with the distribution of information. Rather than a lot valuable time and funds to a second opinion, patients can crowdsource a diagnosis, and rest assured that they did everything they could, and still reach a wealth of experience and insight. Check out ‘Not Alone in a Crowd’ for a few crowd resources. Garnering a 2nd or 3rd opinion has never been so easy, and patients have never been more confident.

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