Global Health Ideas

Finding global health solutions through innovation and technology

3FOUR50 – Collaborating Online against Chronic Disease

Ever gone to a conference and wished you could continue the work and discussions sparked there? The Oxford Health Alliance (OxHA) has come up with an online site, 3FOUR50, to encourage ongoing collaborations on chronic disease prevention.


The name 3FOUR50 comes from the combination of:

3 Risk Factors: tobacco use, physical inactivity and poor diet.
that lead to FOUR Chronic Diseases: cardiovascular disease, diabetes,chronic lung diseases and some cancers.
which cause over 50% of worldwide mortality.

As the fight against infectious disease progresses, we are in the midst of an epidemiological transition. Shortly, causes of mortality in the developing world will begin to mirror the mortality profile of developed nations – infectious disease mortality will drop, and the majority of mortality will be due to chronic disease.

3FOUR50 was conceptualized as an ‘open space for health’, to harness the social networking power of the internet to promote chronic disease prevention. All content is user-generated, and includes stories, blogs and vlogs (reflecting different cultural perspectives on health and comments/ideas from those wishing to share their views), high-profile guest interviews, photos, and full video coverage of the OxHA 2006 Annual Summit. 3FOUR50 was created by Tommy Hutchinson, Equator Media and Eddie McCaffrey of Joose TV, as a way of reaching a wider audience beyond the annual OxHA conference.

The mission of 3FOUR50, according to Eddie McCaffrey, is “to create an online space where anyone and everyone who has something to offer in the fight against chronic disease can come together to connect, collaborate and contribute. The space itself is about participation. We encourage a two-way (or even multi-way!) conversation, unlike many typical websites that simply offer users information without the ability to have their say.” He continues, “The success of the site will be measured by reaching a critical mass of people all over the world: researchers, health workers, academics, young people, business CEO’s, NGO’s, designers, whoever, wherever – who will exchange and share ideas, plans and projects with each other.”

The site concept was inspired by the idea of tapping into audiences that could not attend the OxHA conference and the ‘huge explosion in domains like myspace, youtube’ says Hutchinson.  ‘Because we work so closely with young people, we see a lot of young people engaged in all of this.. up to now [these tools] haven’t been effectively applied in a social sphere. That really is our inspiration – [to take] some of the tools, techniques, the psychology behind a lot of this and apply it to a social sphere, and health is an extremely interesting area.  How big [will it be?], we don’t think in terms of numbers, no one ever has any idea of how large, how far these things will go. Let’s just enjoy it and hope it makes a difference.’

The website was just relaunched with a new design and improved tools for collaboration:

Searchable new additions include:
A network page, where people can upload information about themselves.
Private collaboration space, where you can invite people to work jointly on a project (using Basecamp software)– has proved to be very popular in testing.
A ‘Soapbox’ channel, where you can upload information on your work with chronic disease prevention and share best practices with others, and get comments from around the world.


Written by farzaneh

June 6, 2007 at 2:19 am

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