Blogs - Stethoscopes of the Internet
We're now sponsoring the 2006 Medical Weblog Awards. Medgadget.com is hosting the Awards, and we're providing the grand prize - a Thinklabs ds32a Stethoscope Recording Package. The package includes a ds32a Stethoscope, Apple iPod nano (2GB), and an XtremMac Micromemo iPod Recording Attachment. This is a complete system for recording heart and lung sounds, as well as listening to iPod recordings. Blogging has done wonders for honest and candid communications in general, and medical blogs could trigger a grass roots revolution in healthcare. Exaggeration? Look at journalism. Bloggers are uncovering inaccuracies in stories, scooping the regular press corps on some major stories, and catching international wire services when they release doctored photographs. In short, bloggers are holding journalists to a new standard of honesty and accuracy. Remember Plato's question to Socrates, "Who will guard the guardians?" Today, the answer is, "The Bloggers." Blogs are the "stethoscopes of the Internet", listening out for anything that doesn't ring true, and bringing attention to problems that would otherwise go undetected. I predict the day when adverse drug reactions and similar medical problems will be reported in the blogosphere long before they appear in the New England Journal of Medicine. While blogs produce their fair share of nonsense and conspiracy theories, they also generate many truths, and truth is severely lacking in the medical industrial complex. Like any information source, credibility is earned, and readers learn to trust particular sources. The Awards will help to identify the best of the blogosphere on medical subjects, and help readers to identify new reliable sources of healthcare information. That's a cause worth sponsoring.