Qwitter – will Web 2.0 bring ATOD benefits?

I noticed an interesting post on lifehacker about the use of Twitter in smoking cessation, hence the name Qwitter.

The premise of the approach is that Twitter allows an individual to type short snippets about their progress with quitting and it all sits there nicely for others to view as well as providing a history for the quitter to hopefully motivate themselves with. Your progress is actually tracked by Qwitter who add your information to an individual progress chart.

It’s an innovative approach to smoking cessation and that’s interesting on its own. What’s even more interesting is the growth of Web 2.0 technologies in the health field. In the ATOD field we usually don’t have the luxury of considering new technologies to assist us in our work but if government doesn’t start funding such research and development, we’re going to find a lot of for-profit Qwitters populating the landscape.

And for those of you out there working in the field that think things like Qwitter are ‘gimicky’ – you’re right, but only partly. Web 2.0 technologies and whatever comes after it are going to shape what we do as health and welfare professionals in significant ways. Whether it happens in two years or ten years, we need to start thinking about our approach.