Health Community Review

In two months I will travel north and attend the first ever QuantifiedSelf conference in Mountain View, CA. A few months ago I wrote the conference organizers and let them know I was an APOC student, interested in online health communities, and was wondering if there were any student discounts available. Fortunately, I recently received an email from an organizer of QS who informed that the online health community¬†MedHelp will cover the entire $400 price of admission. For this week’s community review, I will explore the growing field of online health communities.

QuantifiedSelf is dedicated to giving users, “self knowledge through numbers.” The site was co-founded by Wired editor Kevin Kelly, along with Gary Wolf and Alexandra Carmichael. QS is a self-tracking service and allows users to collect and organize data about their sleep, diet, exercise, mood, work, etc. in hopes of leading the user to better routines and healthier habits. The information may come from a computer, cell phone, pen and paper or any other data-collecting gadgets. There are meetup groups from LA to Capetown dedicated to sharing and advancing the ideas of QS. I am very excited to be a part of what should be a fun and interesting event .

MedHelp is, “The World’s Largest Health Community,” with over 12 million monthly users. Through the site you may “Ask One of Our Experts: advice from leading medical experts,” “Get Support Today: real stories, shared experiences, good advice,” and “Manage Your Health: health apps…whenever, wherever.” The site is a center for gathering the world’s knowledge about health and a resource for anybody looking to discover and share information. MedHelp is community focussed and features forums, top health communities, top expert forums, health centers and trackers and tools. I am very grateful to the good people of MedHelp for their sponsorship, and look forward to speaking with them and finding out more about their terrific work.

If you’re interested in online health communities, I’d also recommend visiting CureTogether and HealthTap. I think we are at the very beginning of how the net can advance an individual’s and a community’s health, and believe that these sites are a great start.

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