23 February 2009

Crowdsourcing Health Research

Although the post calls this "open source health research", it's more a matter of crowdsourcing, since it lacks many of the elements of open source - true collaboration (rather than massed effort), modular organisation (rather than loose collections of separate facts), etc. But it's interesting nonetheless:

There are definitely a lot of patient communities based on stories and support. But there are very few patient websites based on data. CureTogether is a data-driven site, bringing people with different conditions together to compare symptoms and treatments in a quantitative way.

Indeed: putting that data together in a way that is useful to researchers is an important task, even if not truly collaborative in the open source sense.


Alexandra Carmichael said...

Hi Glyn,
Thank you for making the distinction between open source and crowdsourcing. I'm looking for a good resource comparing the two in detail. Do you know of anything? I remember Jeff Howe talking about it at one point but I didn't find it on his blog.
Thanks for your positive comments about CureTogether, too!
Alexandra Carmichael
Co-Founder, CureTogether

glyn moody said...

Unfortunately both terms are used very loosely; I'm not aware of any good single resource comparing them.

Sorry - and good luck with your work.