Health 2.0

Health 2.0

Are Europeans Ready to Become Health Consumers?

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“Health consumers” – the concept is a little foreign to our conception of health services in Europe. As Europeans we tend to think that if it touches our health it should be free. In this context, how can we count on health consumers to fuel the development of the Health 2.0 industry in Europe?

There are some cases where we are ready to get our wallets out. We’re more inclined, for instance, to pay for our wellness than we are to pay for our health. We’re OK to pay for an activity tracker; we think a diabetes management solution should be covered and reimbursed. There are also a few niches where we don’t hesitate to become health consumers: the market of fertility solutions is a good example.

With the wide range of Health 2.0 apps and solutions out there, we’re rediscovering the concept of choice along with a different kind of empowerment… as customers.

What are the other ways Europeans are turning into empowered health consumers?

Aetna’s Martha Wofford Talks Technology Development

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Matthew Holt spoke to Martha Wofford, head of Aetna’s CarePass platform, at the 2012 mHealth Summit in Washington, D.C. last week. Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini had just delivered a keynote and announced that his company will release the CarePass mobile app in March 2013. CarePass is a web portal where patients can connect data from their different personal applications. Here Holt speaks to Wofford about the development of Aetna’s technology offerings. He also asks her how much of an impact she thinks this tech can have on wasteful spending in the U.S. health care system.

Healthcare CEOs Weigh In On Technology and the Growing Importance of Social Collaboration

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Technology is transforming health care in many ways. CEOs of health care businesses think the biggest transformation in the next few years will come from making patients, doctors and health-care workers more communicative and collaborative.

They foresee patients with the same rare diseases coming together in online social networks where they can discuss their symptoms. They see overweight consumers building mutual support networks to share diets and praise exercise. They anticipate that knowledge will be shared so that nurses, pharmacists and social workers can often perform tasks that today are handed to doctors by default.

Every year, IBM surveys hundreds of CEOs from around the globe about a variety of issues. Among 1,700 CEOs surveyed this year there were 58 who head hospitals, medical practice groups and insurers.

The CEO perspective is interesting, because most outsiders don’t think of collaboration as being a key outcome of medical technology. Most of us think of laser-guided surgical instruments or designer drugs or computerized analytics that spot hitherto unnoticed disease-causation chains.

The CEOs overall see technology as a way to open up their organizations to create value through collaboration. Making the organization more transparent makes it easier to share cultural values and goals. And that makes employees more receptive to tough changes, because they understand what’s behind the plan.

Why Mint.com for Health Is a Terrible Idea

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If you’re a hammer, you just want to smash nails; if you’re a programmer, you just want to build features. But features do not a successful product make. This is the central myopia that eventually blinds even the most brilliant engineer-entrepreneurs, unless they’re smart enough to surround themselves with people who can check their bias.

If you want an interesting example of this phenomenon, look no further than Adam Bosworth, the co-founder and chief technology officer at San Francisco-based health gamification startup Keas. There’s no question about this guy’s brilliance. At Citicorp in the late 1970s, he invented an analytical processing system that helped the bank predict changes in inflation and exchange rates. At Borland, he built the Quattro spreadsheet, and at Microsoft, he built the Access database. He was one of the first to propose standards for XML—the foundation of most Web services today. At Google, he helped to develop Google Docs before moving on to start Google Health.

But as everyone knows, Google Health was a failure—and so was Bosworth’s next effort, Keas, at least until the venture-backed startup went through a dramatic pivot in 2010. How Bosworth figured out that his old approach wasn’t working, and how Keas reinvented itself as a provider of health-focused games for large employers, is the tale I want to tell you today.

From Twitter to Megaphones: Nine Lessons Learned about Crisis Communication

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In Boston we took the availability and quality of our tap water for granted until May 1, 2010, when a major water pipe break interrupted water service to all Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) customer communities in much of Greater Boston. Information spread quickly, and was updated frequently, about the problem and what to do, all the more notable because the water main break occurred on a Saturday. In this age of consumer paranoia about withheld information, the MWRA was in front of cameras and online, communicating what they knew and what they were doing. Tufts University and the Boston Public Health Commission used communication channels ranging from Twitter to megaphones to get the word out. They shared with me their behind-the-scenes emergency planning processes, their response to this incident, and the lessons learned from this short-lived crisis.

The Evolution of the Tufts Emergency Alert System

Because I learned about the broken water main in a text message from Tufts University, I spoke to Geoff Bartlett, Technical Services Manager in the Department of Public and Environmental Safety (DPES) at Tufts about their process for communicating about the broken water main. First he told me how Tufts Emergency Alert System started and evolved.

Following the Virginia Tech massacre in 2007, DPES, University Relations, and University Information Technology invested in emergency notification system technology and developed policies for when and how it would be used. The Tufts Emergency Alert System was initially intended for life threatening emergencies. In requesting student and employee contact information, Tufts made this clear since they thought people would be reluctant to participate if they anticipated inconsequential messages.

Giving Startups their Big Start: How Developer Challenges Make the Difference

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The best way to get your startup noticed is to have your product validated by experts in the industry. As a young startup connecting with that community of experts can be quite difficult. Participating in a developer challenge can not only lead to funding and credibility but provides a valuable testing ground for products.

What is a developer challenge? These virtual competitions build on the concept of their in-person cousin the code-a-thon/hack-a-thon, prompting teams to develop technologies to address some of healthcare’s most complex issues. Over 3 – 6 months teams work on design concepts and prototypes for a variety of challenges sponsored by all types of organizations from charitable foundations to for-profit companies. Final submissions are judged by a panel of industry experts and winners are awarded cash prizes.

Health 2.0 has run over 75 challenges in the past 4 years and awarded over $6M in funding to burgeoning digital health companies. But its not only money that draws teams to these competitions, participants gain validation of their product, publicity and market access.Reflecting on the past few years, we want to share the successes of these challenges.

Ready? Here we go!

The HDE Project coming to Health 2.0’s annual Fall Conference!

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The Health Data Exploration project, sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, is building a network of academic, public sector, and corporate partners working together to catalyze the use of personal health data to conduct research that benefits the public good.

Individuals are tracking a variety of health-related data via a growing number of wearable devices and smartphone apps. More and more data relevant to health are also being captured passively as people communicate with one another on social networks, shop, work, or do any number of activities that leave “digital footprints.” Self-tracking data can provide better measures of everyday behavior and lifestyle and can fill in gaps in more traditional clinical or public health data collection, giving us a more complete picture of health.

Rock Health and the Search for ‘Home Screen Health App’

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Malay Ghandi

Rock Health has been around since 2011 first as an accelerator and now as an early stage venture fund. Matthew Holt had a chance to sit down with Rock Health’s Managing Director Malay Gandhi ahead of his appearance at WinterTech to discuss how Rock Health looks at the consumer side of digital health, and what developments Rock Health thinks we’ll see in the near future.

Matthew Holt: It’s Matthew Holt with Malay Gandhi. He is the managing director of Rock Health, and has been officially for what, nearly a year or so now, Malay?  Is that right?

Malay Gandhi: Since June, June of this year.

MH: So about six months. Most of us know that Rock Health was founded by Halle Tecco and Nate Gross a few years back, 2011, and probably was the first and most influential of the incubators and accelerators that target health care specifically. Perhaps you can explain a little bit about how Rock Health works. Most people know that Rock Health is a nonprofit, and that you guys do a lot in terms of stimulating the ecosystem with small events, big events, and your reports on financing and so on. But you are mainly a fund and the amount of money that you invest in your companies has been increasing from I think $20,000 in the early days to $100,000 plus recently? Could you explain how that actually works compared to other accelerators or incubators?

MG: Yeah. Essentially, the way Rock Health works is there are three big things that we do, all under our mission to support and fund entrepreneurs. We have our venture arm, which does seed investments in the companies now. We’ll write checks up to $250,000 per company, really at the seed-stage. We conduct research which we release publicly. Let’s say about four reports or so a year, as you mentioned, tracking funding, but also doing deep diving in various topical areas.

Then our third area, we host a couple of events each year. Our signature events are the Health Innovation Summit, which is for everybody; the CEO Summit, which is an event for founders and CEOs of digital health companies; and then finally, the XX Retreat, which is a women’s professional leadership group for women who work in health care.

10 Reasons Why You MUST Attend HxR 2017!

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We know there are plenty of healthcare conferences to choose from if you’re looking to get inspired. However, we strongly believe our conference really sets us apart when it comes to applying design and technology to improve health. Here’s why…

10. Networking
There are plenty of opportunities to rub elbows with hundreds of high-level individuals who are changing the game in health. Take advantage of coffee breaks, lunches, and the reception at the end of day one!

9. Workshops
Register for the workshops at HXR to get hands-on information and be able to apply what you learned, right away.