Friday, January 16, 2009

Health 2.0 and Primary Care

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In a recent post at The Health Care Blog, Peter Schmidt looked at the health care stimulus that Obama will propose when he enters the presidential office. As we've seen recently, primary care doctors are on the decline, as stated in the article, demand for them will increase 29%, with only a 2% increase in actual doctors filling the positions. Schmidt believes that Web 2.0 could fill some of this gap.

Patient participation is most effective in assessment and monitoring, reducing that load on primary care. Even without financial incentives it should not be too challenging to enlist primary care doctors in support of Health 2.0, transitioning their role from detective to analyst as Health 2.0 tools help them to arrive at appointments with data in hand. User-generated healthcare fits nicely between the extremes of suffering at home and interventional medicine, facilitating the primary care physician’s role as strategic consultant and advisor and advocate for medical intervention.

What do you think? Could Health 2.0 begin to fill some of the gap that will be created by fewer primary care doctors?
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