Health 3.0

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Traditionally, information exchange has been mainly performed through traditional modes of communication - verbally. Since the birth of Internet, health care providers recognized the advantages of using the Internet medium to preach health information, thereby the concept of Health 2.0 emerged. People have been actively searching for more effective ways to use the Internet and the new movement to achieve semantic web to enhance health services, has led to the notion of Health 3.0 [1]

Health 3.0 is a health-related extension of the concept of Web 3.0 whereby the users interface with the data and information available on the web is personalized to optimize their experience.[2] This is based on the concept of the Semantic Web, wherein websites’ data is accessible for sorting in order to tailor the presentation of information based on user preferences.[3] Health 3.0 will use such data access to enable individuals to better retrieve and contribute to personalized health-related information within networked electronic health records, and social networking resources.[4][5] A similar idea of semantically organizing digitized health records to create an Open Healthcare Information Architecture, was defined as health 3.0.[6] The idea was also suggested in the commentary in response to the U.S. government's new $1.2 billion investment as a part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The commentary explains how the idea of Health 3.0 can fit in to better develop and implement electronic health records. The ideas were the use of social media and incorporation of virtual tools for enhanced interactions between health care providers and consumers/patients.[7]

Goals of Health 3.0[edit]

  • Improved access to health related information on the web via semantic and networked resources will facilitate an improved understanding of health issues with the goal of increasing patient self-management, preventative care and enhancing health professional expertise.[4][5]
  • Health 3.0 will foster the creation and maintenance of supportive virtual communities within which individuals can help one another understand, cope with, and manage common health-related issues.[5]
  • Personalized social networking resources can also serve as a medium for health professionals to improve individuals’ access to healthcare expertise, and to facilitate health professional-to-many-patients communication with the goal of improved acceptance, understanding and adherence to best therapeutic options.[5][7]
  • Digital healing emerged as one of the main goals of health 3.0. Digital healing exploits the idea of interaction through social media, in an attempt to obtain reassurance, support, and validation. Therefore it augments the health 2.0 of seeking health information from online. These psychological aspect from the social media hence creates the notion of digital healing, and it makes up Health 3.0.[8]
  • Health 3.0 is recommended to be able to gather imparted data through web-based technologies. Consumers and experts are to be connected by virtual reasoning tools - an expert system. The expert system that can use the collected information through the web-based technologies represent health 3.0.[9]

The Current Situation[edit]

Social networking is a popular and powerful tool for engaging patients in their health care. These virtual communities provide a real-time resource for obtaining health-related knowledge and counselling.[10] Pew Internet and American Life Project report that greater than 90% of young adults and nearly three quarters of all Americans access the internet on a regular basis. Greater than 60% of online adults regularly access social networking resources. In addition, 80% of internet users search for health-related information.[11] Definitive evidence of health benefit from interaction with health-related virtual communities is currently lacking as further research needs to be performed.[12] H3PO is an open virtual community that is actively working on the future potential for Health 3.0.


  1. ^
  2. ^ Anon. What is Web 3.0? Semantic Web & other Web 3.0 Concepts Explained in Plain English. Available at: [Accessed December 10, 2011].
  3. ^ Berners-Lee T, Hendler J, Lassila O. The Semantic Web: Scientific American. 2001. Available at: [Accessed December 9, 2011].
  4. ^ a b Shaw T. Healthy knowledge: semantic technology & the healthcare revolution. 2010. Available at: [Accessed December 9, 2011].
  5. ^ a b c d Nash, David B. (2008). "Health 3.0". P&T 33 (2): 69–75. PMC 2730068. PMID 19749994. Retrieved 3 October 2011. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ a b Shachak, A. & Jadad, A.R. (2010). Electronic Health Records in the Age of Social Networks and Global Telecommunications. Journal of American Medical Association, 303(5):452-453
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ Eysenbach G. Medicine 2.0: Social Networking, Collaboration, Participation, Apomediation, and Openness. J Med Internet Res. 2008;10(3):e22. Available at:
  11. ^ Anon. Pew Internet & American Life Project. Available at: [Accessed December 10, 2011].
  12. ^ Eysenbach G, Powell J, Englesakis M, Rizo C, Stern A. Health related virtual communities and electronic support groups: systematic review of the effects of online peer to peer interactions. BMJ. 2004;328(May):1-6

See also[edit]