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.

2 comments:

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!
Best,
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.