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October 15, 2007


Chris Ward

There have been two significant advances in 'healthcare' over the last couple of centuries, that have lengthened lives.

Firstly, 'public sanitation', which stopped people (in the Western world) from dying aged 30 of waterborne disease.

Second, 'antibiotics', which stopped people (again in the Western world) from dying of infectious disease; and so now we live to 70-80 years typically.

The next step ... getting people to live to 150 ... will require addressing the 'wear-out problems'; the cancers, heart diseases, and other hereditary reasons why some people live longer than others.

Could we but understand the basics of that, the 'what makes you special', maybe we could individualise (or mass-customise) the care giving too ?

But I don't think incremental improvements to the current approaches will even get close. It needs a new 'thing like an antibiotic', a new breakthrough.


There's a particularly good example of patients supporting each other : the Yahoo group 'surfacehippy' , for people who wish ot investigate the (recent to the US) technique for replacing hip joints using a hip joint sized metal ball and socket which fits over (rather than substitutes for) the remaining healthy femur.

Collective wisdom on how to work out if you are a candidate, what common FUD to expect from inexperienced doctors, which questions to ask to determine the experience of the surgeon, mutual support on pre operative and post operative recovery optimization. Upwards of 6000 members, more than 5 years of cumulative experiences, several hundred posts some days.

Martin Koser

I think you're up to something, and so I took this as starting point for a post on social software and organizational change management - is this an undervalued benefit of social software in the enterprise?


ps. Trackback didn't get through?


Sermo is a start, Irving (www.sermo.com). As for patients, it already exists, in facebook, ning, etc.

As for enterprise collaboration, a comment I started repeating lately: I've made more connections with my fellow IBMers through facebook and twitter than I do in all of w3, SameTime, BluePages, Notes, Wiki/Blog Central, etc. We need to better harness the power of our 350K people networking.

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