There is an interesting grey area of linguistic units somewhere between icons, acronyms, short phrases and brands that function as goads to action in the field of science, technology and medicine.

The best known and most over-exploited at the moment is probably ‘Web 2.0’, coined by O’Reilly Media to denote “perceived or proposed second generation of Internet-based services—such as social networking sites, wikis, communication tools, and folksonomies—that emphasize online collaboration and sharing among users” (quoted from Wikipedia).

A similar, but so far less widely spread, buzz-phrase in the biomedical field is ‘P4 Medicine’, coined by Leroy Hood to stand for “Predictive, Preventive, Personalized and Participatory Medicine”. Hood says that the idea of participatory medicine came up in a discussion with Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page (in analogy to participatory software design) — reflecting the porosity between information/communication and biomedical cultures.

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