Health, is a private issue as well as a collective circumstance, thus network phenomena appear to be relevant to health upkeep. This was well established in evaluating smoking cessation (1) obesity spread (2) as well as happiness expansion (3).
Along with its social benefit, the net is an intelligent source of information, which is essential for medical issues in health websites that must be trusted.
Information is needed as even minimum medical knowledge is dramatically lacking (4). For example, a community-wide study in New York found that nearly 28 percent of all visits to the pediatric emergency department could have been replaced with a more cost-effective Internet doctor's "visit" (5). It is interesting to note that nowadays, patients doubt doctors' advice when it conflicts with online info (6).
So what’s the hindrance? Despite the clarity of its essentiality, social health websites evolve much slower than popular social sites. We assume that the prevention is partly due to the required novel attitude/approach in health management. Novel not only to the patients but also to the physicians and caretakers.
These considerations were in the root of designing Camoni, the first Israeli health and medical social network (in Hebrew).
The Camoni (means in Hebrew: “like me”) project was initiated by Prof. M Shani, and its main focus is the wellness of the person with chronic ailment as well as his environment.
The disorders that Camoni targets initially include heart failure, diabetes, blood pressure disorders, kidney disorders, obesity, eating disorders, spinal cord injuries, and chronic pain.
The Camoni website supplies both medical expertise (knowledge) and communication routes. To establish the trust of the Israeli surfer, Camoni offers the web-surfer, leading Israeli medical experts in chronic diseases. All of the experts are well known and are members of leading hospitals and medical institutes throughout Israel. In joining Camoni, they agreed to be available for the Camoni members and patients everyday of the year.
As a part of their contribution to the community of Camoni, the network's experts publish news and articles in the areas of their expertise - some of which might become main parts of the discussions throughout the Camoni blogs and forums .
One of the notions for our public health cure is, that prevention (7) is an ultimate key to ease many chronic conditions, such as diabetes, obesity, heart ailments and more. As sociability (8) is a strong tool we try to approach it in many ways. In the net via forums, blogs, webmail, discussion groups, virtual meeting support groups etc. But also outside the net via familiar routes to the non-internet patient, these routes like music (9), art or social connections (10) will be recorded in the Camoni website and slowly will be used to enable non-surfers to get familiar with the net.
Camoni aims to constantly evolve, improve and offer its users the newest communication tools for social networking in order to create a friendly and most useful virtual health environment.
Until recently, it was recommended that in order to be healthy, one needs to exercise and to eat vegetables. Today one needs also to surf (11).