Publication

Swarm-based medicine

Journal Paper/Review - Sep 19, 2013

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Keywords
PubMed
Doi
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Citation
Putora P, Oldenburg J. Swarm-based medicine. J Med Internet Res 2013; 15:e207.
Project
Type
Journal Paper/Review (English)
Journal
J Med Internet Res 2013; 15
Publication Date
Sep 19, 2013
Issn Print
Issn Electronic
1438-8871
Pages
e207
Publisher
Brief description/objective

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.