Bertalan Meskó from the excellent ScienceRoll blog has uploaded a presentation he gave recently at the Medicine Meets Virtual Reality conference. The presentation, embedded below, is a great overview of how the Web is being utilized in the medical profession.

I was particularly interested in the story of Dr Jay Parkinson, a Web-savvy doctor. He has an impressive website, where he describes himself as "a new kind of physician".

He invites prospective patients to contact him via IM or even videochat; and he has a blog. In one post he clarifies that his Web activities are all about communication, not diagnosis:

"People don’t understand that I use the internet to communicate, not diagnose. I communicate with my patients via the internet and see them in their apartments."

That suggests that we're still at the early age of Web-enabled healthcare, if it's still focused on enhancing communication and not delivering healthcare via the Internet. Still, it's encouraging -- check out Bertalan's presentation below to see how the Web is currently being used in the world of medicine. The activity in Second Life is quite advanced, including "virtual experiments"(!)

See also the Medicine 2.0 blog carnival of web 2.0 and medicine, which has loads of links to check out.