Thursday, September 30, 2010

What is Macrowikinomics?

I am currently reading the book "Macrowikinomics" by Don Tapscott and include a quote from it below for interest and to stimulate some discussion about the relevance of these ideas in healthcare.............

"In our previous book, Wikinomics (Portfolio 2006), we called this new force "mass collaboration" and argued that it was reaching a tipping point where social networking was becoming a new mode of social production that would forever change the way products and services are designed, manufactured, and marketed on a global basis. But, in the four years since penning the idea, it's clear that wikinomics has gone beyond a business or a technology trend to become a more encompassing societal shift. It's a bit like going from micro- to macroeconomics. In which case, wikinomics, defined as the art and science of mass collaboration in business, becomes macrowikinomics:the application of wikinomics and its core principles to society and all of it institutions. Just as millions have contributed to Wikipedia—and thousands still make ongoing contributions to large-scale collaborations like Linux and the human genome project—there is now a historic opportunity to marshal human skill, ingenuity, and intelligence on a mass scale to reevaluate and reposition many of our institutions for the coming decades and for future generations. After all, the potential for new models of collaboration does not end with the production of software, media, entertainment, and culture. Why not open-source government, education, science, the production of energy, and even health care?"

What do you think of this? I am fascinated by these thoughts and by their possible implications for the healthcare industry. Especially in the public health arena, where tracking of all sorts of disasters, epidemics, wars and the like can be undertaken by those actually affected with posting on sites containing geographic information systems - just as an example. Tapscott quotes one of the more popular participatory medicine sites - www.patientslikeme.com. He says:

"PatientsLikeMe.com, is one of the Web's most vibrant health care communities, some 60,000 members believe that sharing their health care experiences and outcomes is good, and perhaps even integral, to speeding up the pace of research and fixing a broken health care system. Why? Because when patients share real-world data, collaboration on a global scale becomes possible. The health care system becomes more open and this in turn improves outcomes for patients, doctors and drug makers. New treatments can be evaluated and brought to market more quickly. Patients can learn about what's working for other patients like them and, in consultation with their doctors, make adjustments to their own treatment plans. All considered, communities such as PatientsLikeMe are leading the way toward a health care system that is cheaper, safer and better than what we have today."

I really like the idea of specialised social network sites, both open and closed, that are rapidly developing, where patients and doctors can mix and learn from each other - this seems especially helpful for those illnesses that are either common, like diabetes or heart disease, or rare, like Huntingdons Disease.

What does everyone else think? What sorts of health services are likely to be undertaken using the principles of "macrowikinomics"? It will be fascinating to see...............I look forward to comments and thoughts.

3 comments:

  1. Hey its really nice
    Thanks for sharing this
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  2. I just now only i header the book macrowikinomics and the informations are fascinating I like to know more about that book.

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  3. I recently discovered Don Tapscott in person at a festival - Campus Party Berlin.
    I found his words highly inspiring, and they completely echoed the ethos and main concept behind the project I'm involved with, www.changethefuture.co.uk, which is about harnessing the collective wisdom of everyone to reshape the education system; it's a highly focused social network to shape ideas, review schools and plan actions, among other things.

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