Doctor Know: a knowledge commons in health – Nesta – March 2013

Posted on April 9, 2013. Filed under: Health Informatics, Patient Participation | Tags: , |

Doctor Know: a knowledge commons in health – Nesta – March 2013

Authors: John Loder, Laura Bunt and Jeremy C Wyatt

“The way we create, access and share information is changing rapidly. Every time we look something up on Wikipedia, rate an experience on Tripadvisor or enter search terms in Google, we are taking advantage of the increasingly sophisticated way in which technology and digital tools are allowing us to capture, refine, synthesise and structure our collective intelligence.

With the ongoing advances of the semantic web, new sources of and different applications for data and cultural shifts towards greater openness and transparency, our capacity for creating and navigating complex knowledge grows.

These trends in the creation and application of knowledge have huge implications for how we access, create and apply information in health, a field where knowledge held by patients, doctors, medical researchers, nurses, carers, community providers, families and others is all critical in improving our individual health and well-being. Where information is vast and complex – and the need for accuracy and reliability can be a matter of life and death – our ability to orchestrate knowledge in a useful way is a central concern for any health system.

In partnership with The Young Foundation and the Institute for Digital Healthcare at Warwick University, this paper argues that society’s growing ability to mobilise knowledge from different fields and sources is beginning to show the potential of a ‘knowledge commons’ in healthcare: an open system of knowledge with researchers, practicing clinicians, patients, their families and communities all involved in capturing, refining and utilising a common body of knowledge in real time. We set out what this might mean in practice, and steps we should take to get there.”


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