Kantonsspital St.Gallen

Swarm-based medicine

Paul Martin Putora & Jan Oldenburg

abstract Occasionally, medical decisions have to be taken in the absence of evidence-based guidelines. Other sources can be drawn upon to fill in the gaps, including experience and intuition. Authorities or experts, with their knowledge and experience, may provide further input-known as "eminence-based medicine". Due to the Internet and digital media, interactions among physicians now take place at a higher rate than ever before. With the rising number of interconnected individuals and their communication capabilities, the medical community is obtaining the properties of a swarm. The way individual physicians act depends on other physicians; medical societies act based on their members. Swarm behavior might facilitate the generation and distribution of knowledge as an unconscious process. As such, "swarm-based medicine" may add a further source of information to the classical approaches of evidence- and eminence-based medicine. How to integrate swarm-based medicine into practice is left to the individual physician, but even this decision will be influenced by the swarm.
citation Putora P M, Oldenburg J. Swarm-based medicine. J Med Internet Res 2013; 15:e207.
type journal paper/review (English)
date of publishing 19-09-2013
journal title J Med Internet Res (15/9)
ISSN electronic 1438-8871
pages e207
PubMed 24052454
DOI 10.2196/jmir.2452