DIY Healthcare: Going Beyond WebMD

Alex Wukman | Consumer Media Network | August 15, 2012

The scene is so common it barely has to be set. A doctor’s office visit—waiting room with old magazines, TV tuned to morning chat shows or CNN, and coughing/sneezing patients sitting for an hour just to see a doctor for a few minutes. Despite all the hoopla about the Affordable Care Act, and what it will mean for the U.S., the fundamental experience of going to the doctor hasn’t changed and while innovation and experimentation are inherent to the field of medicine, they aren’t as common in how healthcare is delivered.

However, the lack of innovation in healthcare may be changing. Healthcare, like education, is having to embrace the disruptive power of online interaction; which is leading healthcare access to be revolutionized around concepts like crowdsourcing, social networking and open-source software. The disruption is allowing for DIY culture to begin changing the dynamics of the healthcare industry.

For years DIY healthcare meant little more than matching symptoms on WebMD and hoping that coughing, sneezing, fatigue and body aches was the common cold and not pneumonia. However, now the market for DIY healthcare information has exploded with more than 13,000 health related apps in the Apple app store alone...