While looking up the efficacy of online support groups, I found this rather timely information. It concerns what people wanted from their hospital during the SARS outbreak. (The bold is my emphasis)
Their most frequent suggestion was the ability to communicate with
family members, as visits were restricted. Others wanted to use the
Internet to access their electronic health record, participate in
virtual support groups, replace certain follow-up visits with
online consultations, and find information on drug compatibility or
“What Internet Services Would Patients Like From Hospitals During an
Epidemic? Lessons From the SARS Outbreak in Toronto”
I know there are some efforts starting up within Second Life to help share information. It looks like it may be a good venue for a wider variety of activities.
This report also shows that hospitals should be an online partner as well.