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Hi, welcome to my blog. In this part of my world, I talked about how to achieve financial freedom by learning how to make money online through creating sites and earning from them.

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My current experiment in making 50 amazon site niches. If you have not been following this challenge, best place to start is this resource page for the amazon challenge, that lists all the articles that I have written so far.

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Monday, 16 February 2009

Opportunities in the prosumer economy: healthcare edition

The prosumer economy is an invisible economy that we never pay much attention to. Our conversation of prosumer typically restricts to online activities, be it writing blogs, reviewing books, or editing wikipedia entries. Prosumer however also touches the real economy in countless other ways we have never noticed: cooking one's meals, caring for your sickly father, volunteering at non-profits, repairing your house, shopping for your groceries et al. All these activities are produced and consumed by the user and its economic value is estimated to 50 trillion.

As we move to a knowledge based economy, more people are empowered to become prosumers. This implies that value will disappear from the monetary economy as people produce what they consume, rather than purchasing them in the marketplace. However, as old markets disappear, completely new ones will take their place.

This brings me to the two big opportunities in the prosumer economy. One is to shift the prosumers back into the monetary economy. This can be seen by iTunes which have shifted the value loss in peer to peer sharing back to the marketplace. Second is to enable more users to become prosumers. This is the opportunity that will frame the idea below.

One industry where we will see prosumer shifting value out of the montary economy is healthcare. This
NYtimes article, for example estimates the size of the prosumer economy in healthcare to be worth $350 billion. This number is only going to grow bigger with more healthcare information being made available, and better mechanisms to filter the information.

The idea here is to create products/services that will help prosumers better perform in the non monetary economy. We already see some of this in self monitoring devices. However, the bigger market is the mobile.

In the future, I foresee self monitoring devices to become self monitoring applications that work on mobiles with in-built sensors. There will be a marketplace where these applications will be reviewed, sold, exchanged, resold et al. Each mobile application will be linked to a web database that tracks and shares your health symptoms.

These mobile applications for health monitoring will reduce costs and increase ease of use. This in turn will enable even more prosumers in the healthcare sector.

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