Health 2.0

jean-luc neptuneWhat Digital Health Innovation Initiatives Did We Pursue at Health 2.0?

In my last post I talked about the many provider- and innovator-facing issues limiting the adoption of digital health technologies in health delivery enterprise settings (e.g. hospitals, physician offices, etc.).  As I alluded to in the piece there are some approaches that are working well and one in particular that I think gives us a chance to really accelerate the pace of innovation.  In today’s piece I’ll talk about some of these initiatives.

At the Health 2.0 Developer Challenge program we focused on using prize competitions as the primary tool to help health care providers and other stakeholders innovate and effect change at their organizations.  Health 2.0, with the support of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) and a broad range of for-profit and non-profit partners, pioneered a number of different prize competition formats including - hackathons, challenges, and pilot programs:

Hackathons

A hackathon (what we also called a “code-a-thon”) is an in-person competition event in which developers, designers, technologists, health providers, researchers and others work together closely over a very short period of time (generally 1 to 2 days) to build technology solutions to health care problems.  Hackathons are generally focused on a specific theme and center around the utilization of a specific dataset, API (application programming interface), or other technology.

In terms of the potential to help patients and providers the most impactful hackathon project we managed was the “Code-A-Palooza”, a 2-day event that took place as part of the 4th Annual Health Datapalooza (formerly known as the Health Data Initiative Forum).  The Code-A-Palooza challenged participants to utilize newly-released Medicare claims data and other data sources to help providers better understand their patient panels from both a clinical and financial perspective. The event generated a number of interesting ideas and prototype applications that had real applicability in the provider setting and could make their way into the clinic with further development.  The Code-A-Palooza was successful for a number of reasons, including:

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  • Focus – Our partners at HHS and ONC did a great job in defining a relatively narrow focus for the event and specifying a clear aim – i.e. helping providers develop actionable insights from a very important dataset.
  • High Value Resource - The Code-A-Palooza gave developers access to a very high value source of information, namely Medicare part A and B claims for 2011, a dataset that had been largely unavailable to the innovator community in the past.
  • Support – Finally, teams at HHS and ONC provided a high level of support to event participants, including an excellent “pre-game” orientation session, which allowed the attendees to hit the ground running.   In addition, a number of participants in the hackathon were physicians, as was one of the event organizers (the ONC’s Rebecca Mitchell), which greatly helped the participants develop insight into real issues faced by providers.

Overall, hackathons are an interesting innovation tool with a great deal of potential, which is why a number of major technology companies, most notably Facebook, use hackathons on a regular basis to stimulate internal innovation and experiment with new ideas.  Hackathons can help innovators access the health system and develop a better understanding of relevant health care issues through collaboration with providers sponsoring or participating in an event.

Continue reading “Thinking Out Loud About A New Approach To Digital Health Innovation – PART 3″

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Doximity, known as the LinkedIn for doctors and a frequent Health 2.0 participant, raised $54 million in a Series C funding round led by T. Rowe Price and Draper Fisher Jurveston with participation from Morgan Stanley Investment Management.

Doximity claims more than 40% of US physicians as active users, and in January of this year announced that their physician network has grown to more than 250,000 members.

Doctors can use Doximity to collaborate on cases, further their careers, and stay up to date on specialty-specific news, but that’s not where they make their revenue.

“There are a lot of things we can do to make medical networking more efficient,” Doximity CEO Jeff Tangney told Health 2.0 when asked how the funds would be used.

“If you think about it, how would your life be different if you weren’t able to use email in your job? How out of touch would you be? That’s what it’s like to be a US physician. We see a lot of opportunity to improve the connectivity of physicians as a new business area.”

Like LinkedIn, Doximity is a recruiting tool for people looking to hire doctors. Tangney didn’t reveal all the numbers, but he did say that Doximity was cash flow positive in January for the first time. He also said that Doximity has 55 employees, somewhere around 200 hospital clients, and that a subscription to the recruiting product costs $12,000 per seat per year to send 50 messages per month.

With some back of the envelope math, and a guess of a burn of about $10-12 million a year, it figures out to about four subscribed seats per hospital. With about 5,000 hospitals in the US and some other revenue streams to pursue, it looks like Doximity has room to grow at a bare minimum.

Continue reading “Doximity Raises Another $54M to Pursue LinkedIn’s Business Model Too”

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After years of speculation about a possible name change, Health 2.0 has become mHealth & Associates. My partner Co-Chairman and CEO Indu Subaiya and I didn’t take this move lightly. We were though concerned that the tired “2.0″ moniker is now thoroughly discredited by the emergence of the fully interoperable semantic Web, particularly as it’s been demonstrated in the healthcare sector in the US in recent years. In addition leading luminaries such as Chris Schroeder have finally realized the importance of the brand new smart phone devices that we’ve been ignoring for most of the last decade. And after some prompting, we were convinced by the intellectual rigor of the wider mHealth movement with its clear definition of mobile health, including the incorporation of highly portable technologies such as televisions bolted to the walls of hospital rooms.

Admittedly, while mHealth Intelligence and the mHealth Challenge roll off the tongue, we were a little stuck by what to call our main Fall conference–our organization’s best known event. But while mHealth Summit, mHealth Conference and most other variants are already use, we think that clear market visibility will surround out new name. So instead of the 8th Annual Health 2.0 Fall Conference, this September we’ll welcome you to the First mHealth Confabulation.

Finally we wanted to acknowledge the role of  our wider movement, our team and our 75 chapters across the globe, so we have added the “*& Associates” moniker to the name. In recognition of their contributions all mHealth colleagues will now be known as Mobile Health Associates or in its shortened version, as an “mHealth Ass.” Indu has suggested that I adopt the title of “Biggest mHealth Ass.”

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Patient engagement, for better or worse, is one of those buzzwords that won’t be leaving us anytime soon.

A whole slew of companies use it to describe their products, platforms, and services, but we’re still knee deep in marketing jargon trying to figure out exactly what these tools do and how “effective” they really are.

We got a closer look at one such tool last month at HIMSS from a company that also finds itself knee deep in patient engagement.

eClinicalWorks debuted in 1999 as the Southwest Airlines of electronic health records (EHR). They offered a relatively low cost combined EHR/practice management system, which quickly made them significant players in the small practice market, adding more than 3,000 doctors in just three years.

It wasn’t until 2007 though that eClinicalWorks really broke through when then Assistant New York City Health Commissioner and future National Coordinator for Health Information Technology Dr. Farzad Mostashari selected them for installation with more than 1,300 New York City physicians as part of Mayor Bloomberg’s Primary Care Information Project (PCIP).

Now, eClinicalWorks counts more than 100,000 physician users in over 50,000 facilities in addition to another 14 million users on their patient engagement tool, Healow.

Continue reading “Will eClinicalWorks Win the Race to “Engage” the Patient?”

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PCORI is pleased to announce the PCORI Matchmaking App Challenge. This initiative seeks to create research partnerships that allow innovators and patients to work together. Developers are invited to make a full functioning, ready-to-publish app that has the capability to connect patients with researchers.

The Initiative

We are inviting developers to create an app that brings together patients, stakeholders, or researchers, and move toward collaborative research. These apps must integrate with already established research networks, and preferably integrates social media and robust user profiles. The developer is also encouraged to include an advanced search option and customizable displays.

Reviewers will include technology experts, PCORI staff members, and members of PCORI’s multi-stakeholder Advisory Panels. Reviewers will consider how well each developer facilitates connections that allow equal access to people from different backgrounds and with varying health interests and research experience, as well as considering creativity and the past experience of the developers.

The rewards are substantial, with PCORI awarding first place with $100,000, second place with $35,000, and third place will take home $15,000.

How to Apply

To enter your team for the Challenge, please go to the pre-registration form.

PCORI and Health 2.0 will host an hour-long informational webinar on Wednesday, April 30, at 1 p.m. (ET) to present the challenge goals and guidelines. We will describe the motivation behind and purpose of the Matchmaking App Challenge; explain the submission guidelines, judging criteria, and other conditions of the challenge; and answer questions from potential applicants. Registration for the webinar is now open. Questions and answers will be posted after the event.

Continue reading “An Open Call for the PCORI Matchmaking App Challenge”

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Matthew Holt sat down with CareCloud President and CEO Albert Santalo to discuss the latest news from the Miami-based cloud practice management and EHR services provider. CareCloud got started in 2009 and since then has raised $55 million in angel and private venture funding and grown to 270 employees.

Currently, about 5,000 doctors use CareCloud for their practice management services with about a quarter of those doctors also using the CareCloud EHR. Santalo expects that number to grow to about 12,000 by the end of the year, explaining in three points why he thinks the market is primed for CareCloud’s cloud-based, integrated practice management and EHR system.

While Santalo’s grin says more than his answer when asked about a potential IPO, he shares some interesting thoughts on practice consolidation, meaningful use requirements, and the cloud in in-patient settings in this interview recorded at HIMSS last month.

 

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Back at the Seventh Annual Health 2.0 Fall Conference in September, Box launched a Patient Education App Challenge with Dignity Health and The Social+Capital Partnership.

It was an appropriate launch pad to say the least, being like-minded as we are when it comes to our opinions regarding the cloud. Yet, as we know, health care is still relatively new to the cloud, and the entry of major cloud (and now HIPAA compliant) vendors like Box is a big deal.

Phase one of Box’s entry into the health care vertical has been largely centered on getting a diverse client base securely onto the cloud. Device companies, big pharma, life sciences, biotech, and health insurance companies are using Box just as cloud tools should be used — for storing, sharing, collaborating, and enabling mobility.

As most of us know from varied personal and professional use of the cloud, easy access to every piece of collateral in a remote or collaborative working environment increases velocity and enables relationships.

The Patient Education App Challenge is part of Box’s move into a phase two of sorts: “strategic data liquidity or care coordination in the cloud” as Box’s Managing Director of Healthcare and Life Sciences Missy Krasner called it.

The challenge developed out of talks between Dignity Health, the nation’s fifth largest hospital system, and Box around how hospitals can better deliver the huge amounts of content generated within any given hospital division. It launched with the Box API as a foundation for innovative opportunities to deliver appropriate materials to patients in engaging ways.

Continue reading “Box & Dignity Health Name Five Semi-Finalists in Patient Education App Challenge”

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Conversa is a brand new company, aiming to fill the space between physician visits with easy and useful communications between doctors and patients. The logic is that most health care happens outside the exam room, but most of the effort of automating health care has been put into recording what happens in the medical setting, with little feedback or follow up from patients (HealthLoop is another company aiming at this space).

Why are we featuring Conversa? Well somewhat unusually for a Health 2.0 startup they come with buckets of experience. CEO West Shell was at the helm at Healthline, Product Head Phil Marshall built lots of tools at WebMD and Chief Marketer Anna-Lisa Silvestre was behind the roll out of probably the biggest patient portal ever at Kaiser Permanente.

I got all three of them on the video-line to tell me about Conversa.

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Learn more about Conversa’s launch here.

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“‘Let’s go.’ ‘We can’t.’ ‘Why not?’ ‘We’re waiting for Godot.’” ― Samuel Beckett

For the economists in our midst, demand is a critical but pretty dry idea: the quantity of a good or service a buyer is willing to purchase at a given price. It’s presumed to be part of working health care markets.

It’s one of the first things an undergraduate might learn in Econ 100.

There’s no urgency in this demand; it just is.

Of course, nothing—even general economic principles—is simple in health care.  Still, you can look longingly at a few nice supply and demand curves and dream about how things might be—if only.

If only health care consumers picked up their role and skittered up and down those demand curves.

If only they helped us find those elusive market equilibriums for this health care service or that. For some time, lots of people have seen that enormous and powerful potential—and drooled over it.

We’ve been waiting a long time for our consumer to show up in health care. We’ve been waiting for the consumer to obtain and use the information she needs to demand great care.

We’ve been waiting for lots of consumers to do that over and over to help us out of our unfortunate health care jam.

It’s that jam where we pay too much for lots of care of marginal quality riddled with safety problems and delivered by a bunch of dissatisfied, demoralized health professionals.

Indeed we have been waiting a long time for our health care consumer.  Certainly, there have been and continue to be countless reasons why consumers haven’t arrived to help save us.

“Health care is different!”

“There’s no evidence that consumers will behave like normal consumers in health care!”

Continue reading “An Urgent Request”

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"Provider" modeling Google Glass circa 1991

There was a moment, ever so brief, where Google Glass seemed like nothing more than a glorified headband. Admit it. You too saw early users matching their Glass color to their shoes. And if you didn’t, I saw two, which is two too many for the both of us. How Google Glass was going to make a significant impact on the world of Health 2.0 was beyond me until I brushed up on my nineties pop culture with a little help from the boss.

More than twenty years ago, “Terminator 2” had a Google Glass prototype for providers. Of course their “provider” was one extremely fit future “governator” who answers to Arnold, but the glasses were perfect for modern day health care professionals. They were equipped with automatic identification of surroundings, facial recognition, and decision support. In a nutshell, that’s all providers really need, right?

It definitely sounds like the “ideal information system” that Dr. Prentice Tom, Chief Medical Officer of CEP America, described at the Second Annual Silicon Valley Innovation and Technology Summit (hosted by the Northern California HIMSS chapter). His wish list for the perfect piece of tech demanded that it be mobile, have voice recognition, NLP, push relevant information, increase efficiency, and facilitate action and communication over documentation. Problem solved? Not so fast.

The program at the Innovation Summit featured two provider keynotes and two provider-filled panels, which naturally raised some key points surrounding provider and systemic adoption of Health 2.0 technologies. First, thanks to Dr. Tom’s early reference to Google Glass – he did have a giant picture of it onscreen as he described his ideal information system – the event left the distinct impression that providers want Google Glass. No other providers directly referenced Glass, but it became an implied solution for every problem raised thereafter.

Continue reading “Building for Providers? Proceed with Caution”

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FROM THE VAULT

The Power of Small Why Doctors Shouldn't Be Healers Big Data in Healthcare. Good or Evil? Depends on the Dollars. California's Proposition 46 Narrow Networking

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Matthew Holt
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Alex Epstein
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Munia Mitra, MD
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Joe Flower
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Michael Millenson
Contributing Editor

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