How has the healthcare/medical sector been affected by social software? How are healthcare institutions and patients adapting social software to their needs?
Publications*Prescription Desk Reference, Prescription Drug Information:
ConferencesWorld Health Care Congress wiki, http://www.worldcongress.socialtext.net
ExamplesWhen I was at MedScape, we spent lots of money on consumer "tools" for managing diet (), exercise, etc. - got very few users. http://webseitz.fluxent.com/wiki/MedScape
I visited someone at an HMO during this time to talk about online tools, like , to help remind people to follow their doctors orders (e.g. take their meds), and he said "all of my asthma emergency room visits are from the urban poor - no online service is going to change that behavior".
PeterSmall did some prototype work on trying to improve the market for info on new cancer treatments. Originally thought it could be a bootstrapped operation, but then concluded that to build a critical mass of attention from patients would require significant resources, so original model wouldn't fly. http://webseitz.fluxent.com/wiki/PeterSmall
Privacy rules make it hard for data to be shared by people.
If state governments would put online systems tracking complaints about doctors, this could be a good bootstrap for public recommendation services. But I doubt the medical associations will let that happen.