The IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics published a report in January called “Engaging Patients Through Social Media“.
One of the things it highlighted is the incredible use of Wikipedia for healthcare information. People are typically going to Google and looking for a disease. Based on Wikipedia’s page rankings, this often leads them there.
Now, what makes this more interesting is the article in the BBC News which says that 90% of wikipedia articles on health contain errors.
Of course, the trick in reading the article closely is that it says they found that “90% of the entries made statements that contradicted latest medical research”. What’s the difference? Well, we know that it takes years for evidence-based medicine to become adopted within healthcare. So, how long does it take the latest medical research to get updated on all the sites? What I would love to see is a comparison of Wikipedia to WebMD, Ebix, and Healthwise. That would be telling.