Health 2.0

Health 2.0

Report: The Past and Future of Health 2.0



Health 2.0 Advisors is the research and consulting arm of the Health 2.0 family and it will be offering a series of reports, a database of all Health 2.0 organizations, and others consulting services including one day workshops/bootcamps and research services. More will be revealed about that in the coming months, but first we’re thrilled to announce that the first publication from Health 2.0 Advisors is now available.

The report is called The Past and Future of Health 2.0, and it's written by Matthew Holt with contributions from Jane Sarasohn-Kahn, Brian Klepper, Michael Millenson, Indu Subaiya, and Marco Smit. This publication is the primer on Health 2.0. It provides an overview of the history of Health 2.0, a detailed explanation of the state of the art of Search, Communities and Tools, and lays out a theoretical framework for what's ahead. We also lay out in detail implications for organizations that will be impacted by Health 2.0 voluntarily or involuntarily. The contents include:

Why America Needs a Patient-in-Chief


“These are exciting and very promising times for the widespread application of information technology to improve the quality of healthcare delivery, while also reducing costs, but there is much yet to do, and in  my comments I want to note especially the importance of the resource that is most often under-utilized in our information systems – our patients.
– Charles Safran MD, testimony to the House Ways & Means subcommittee on health [Emphasis added]

Quite current, yes? No: Dr. Safran said those words in June 2004. And not much has changed.

My physician Dr. Danny Sands, mentored by Dr. Safran and colleague Warner Slack MD, heard similar sentiments from them decades earlier. And where are we today? Patients are still untapped, and we have the worst dysfunction in the history of healthcare. Perverse incentives and unintended outcomes are the rule, not occasional glitches, as costs spiral up and outcomes don’t.

As Consumer Reports recently said, in the ten years since the Institute of Medicine’s classic report To Err is Human documented as many as 98,000 deaths a year from preventable medical error, “not much has changed.”

These are signs of a system that’s governed without input from its customer – the patient.

Patients have the most at stake, but they’re invisible in Washington. We need to link them in; we need their passion, their commitment, their very-motivated contributions.

MS-HUG Awards; let’s see you, Health 2.0 gang!


Last year I was a judge in the MS-HUG award for the HealthVault applications category. The quantity and standard of the entries was pitiful. I think that a few sales reps rounded up a few entries at the last minute

Given that many if not most Health 2.0 applications now link to HealthVault I really hope that the entries this year are way better. Here’s the blurb but if you are a cool Health 2.0 company linked to HealthVault, please enter. You have a week or so (and no Microsoft is not paying me to write this! In fact I didn’t even get paid to be a judge!)

Nominations are accepted in the following categories: 

Clinical Records – Inpatient
Clinical Records – Ambulatory
HIE and Interoperability
Microsoft HealthVault Applications
The nominations have been open since mid-December and will close on January 22 at 5:00 pm Central Standard Time. All of this year’s awards information is on the Microsoft HUG website at:

Nancy Turett, Edelman: “Health is the new Green”


Late last year PR/Communications giant Edelman released a survey called the Health Engagement Pulse. (Here’s the press release and here are the charts) This is separate from both Edelman’s Trust Barometer which has looked at consumer engagement and trust in business and institutions for years, and their Health Engagement Barometer (HEB) which looked at engagement in health in five countries in 2008 and is going to be run again this spring. At Health 2.0 we;ve worked with Edelman and featured the HEB data in our meetings and will continue to do so. Recently I “chatted” with Edelman’s President for Health, Nancy Turett, to find out what she thinks the data is telling us about people’s attitudes towards “health”.

Matthew Holt: Nancy, Edelman’s been looking at Health for a long time and also Engagement with the well known Engagement Barometer separately. In late 2008 you did the first Health Engagement Barometer. What does Health Engagement mean, and why have you put the two concepts together now?

Nancy Turett: Over the past several years, our engagement in all things health has growth dramatically, giving us a particularly useful whole-egg look at health industry, issues, and especially the growing convergence of public and personal health imperative. With clients from all industries and sectors grappling with health — costs, social expectations, pressures to innovate, and policy changes underway — we’ve found it useful to all to provide insights about what the public-at-large — wearing their many health hats — knows, wants, cares about and does as relates to health.  And as a communications and engagement firm, we’ve delved particularly deeply into how people are influenced and how they influence others.

The Health Engagement Barometer, which we created and conducted for the first time a year ago, shone a bright light on some key issues, and identifying a fascinating cohort of people who by dint of their engagement, involvement, and information about health, have high influence over the attitudes and actions of others. We called them the “Health Info-entials.” We also learned a lot about people’s interest in engaging with health brands and companies — and we found people crave more connection than they’re getting — and that transparency and completeness trumps perfection when it comes to building trust between a health-involved brand and a consumer.

Health 2.0 a-Go-Go: A Revolution By Any Other Name Would Smell as Sweet


During the standard what’re-you-doing-this-week segment of a Sunday barbecue, I told a neighbor who works in the real world that I was “going to the Health 2.0 Conference in San Francisco,” a sort of random zeitgeist check on a phrase I use so often at work I don’t really remember what it means.

“Don’t know what the hell that is,” he said, his jaw tightening. “But I’m sure it’ll be better than health 1.0. Anything would be better than the mess we have now!”

Wow, I thought; he just set the world outdoor speed record for eruption-of-health-care-anger – and in the midst of the Olympic season for same.

My friend’s outburst was a weird if completely uninformed endorsement of the Health 2.0 conference booting up at San Francisco’s Design Center Concourse in the morning.

But in an era when smoldering resentment and unvarnished rage have come to pass for political dissent (i.e., when a simple proposal to clean up the worst messes in the health insurance marketplace is decried as a “governmental takeover”), my left-leaning neighbor is in accidental agreement with everyone – left or right – just itching to CTRL-ALT-DELETE the entire health care system, for no more intelligible reason than the whole thing sucks.

ACOR, Health 2.0 in the US & Europe: Gilles Frydman tells all


Gilles Frydman is one of the leading ePatients. He started and runs ACOR (Association of Cancer Online Resources) and has discussed the role of engaged patients with rare diseases at the last few Health 2.0 Conferences. We’ll be hearing more from Gilles in the US this year, but first we’re inviting him to present at Health 2.0 Europe. His twitter name (@kosherfrog) reveals Gilles’ ethnic and national background, so we thought he was a very appropriate person to discuss both the future of online patient activism, and the Health 2.0 scene in the US and Europe.

Matthew says: Gilles, you’re best known for the ACOR list-servs which now see over 1.5 million emails a week go out in around 150 different cancer groups. Can you tell us how it started?

Gilles says: In 95 my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. She came home and told me of the diagnosis and I immediately went on the Net to find information about the disease and treatments

Matthew says: And what did you find?

Gilles says: Within 30 mins I had the BREAST-CANCER list and joined it. I didn’t follow protocol and jumped right in and asked about the diagnosis and what we were told was the treatment for it. Within 2 hours I had enough info to call back the surgeon and tell her we were going for a second opinion and that we would wait for the surgery she had told us was absolutely necessary. She “fired us” on the spot. Because we went for a second opinion!

Matthew says: I’m not surprised. Probably might happen today too

Gilles says: But as a result of  what I was told my wife didn’t have chemo. She didn’t have a radical mastectomy. She didn’t have brain, liver and bone scans. All of which would have been TOTALLY USELESS for the type of BC she was diagnosed with. Thanks to informed patients, she just had a lumpectomy and radiation. No piece of cake but MUCH LESS than chemo. So, that started me

Matthew says: So is that a typical interaction on ACOR?

Gilles says: YES. But ACOR can go into incredible depths. Not just pure info but also deep info mixed with profound human feelings

Matthew says: Can you give some examples

Gilles says: Just yesterday on one of the pediatric lists, a mother was writing about her son’s latest situation where all the doctors have now told them there is nothing more to be done. In short the woman writes about what can only be the worse possible situation for a mother, but she does so in an incredibly rational fashion.

Matthew says: What’s the scale  of ACOR activity now?

Gilles says: ACOR is a little under 60K active subscribers, over 165 groups, from 60 members to 3,000. Some of the groups generate close to 200 messages a day

Matthew says: What does it cost to run ACOR in both money and time, and how is it financed?

Health 2.0 Does Webinars


I'm excited to announce the latest program coming from Health 2.0 – The Health 2.0 Show with Indu & Matthew! This monthly webinar series will focus on news from the Health 2.0 community, a look at some cool new technologies, and interviews with industry leaders.

January 19, 2010
11 am PT / 2 pm ET
We’ll start the series off with a look at what lies in store for Health 2.0 in 2010 – including updates from the Advisors, the Accelerator and exciting new partnerships.

Thomas GoetzWe’ll also chat with Thomas Goetz of Wired Magazine about his upcoming book,The Decision Tree: Taking Control of Your Health in the New Age of Personalized Medicine and his thoughts on technology, personalized medicine, and how it all relates to Health 2.0.

For more information and to register, check out:

MedEncentive’s Five Year Report


As many involved in the worlds of Health 2.0 and Information Therapy know, some of the most interesting experiments in the world of patient-physician engagement have been happening in the somewhat unlikely environs of small town Oklahoma. There the City of Duncan has put its employees (and their providers) into a system that incents (but doesn’t mandate) physicians to practice according to accepted guidelines, and incents (but doesn’t mandate) patients to read information prescribed by their physicians about their treatments (and tests them about it). The system then asks each party to rate the other.

It sounds simple and frankly, compared to much in health care, it is. The system is supplied by MedEncentive, an Oklahoma City firm led by the charming and engaging Jeff Greene. While I remain fascinated by MedEncentive’s program (and FD MedEncentive has sponsored the Health 2.0 Conference in the past), it’s perhaps grown a little more slowly than Jeff and other fans might have liked—given the scope of the problem.

But the results have been impressive in reducing costs (mostly by reducing hospitalizations) and increasing patient involvement. Yesterday MedEncentive released a five year retrospective. The key finding?:

City of Duncan costs for the most recent year was 8.6% less than five years ago prior to implementing the Program, which is 34.9% less than the projected costs. The resultant four year savings equates to an 8:1 return on investment. (emphasis added)

Jeff abandoned a lucrative business in physician practice management to have a go at this intractable problem. Five years on he deserves plaudits for what he and his team have achieved, and hopefully we’ll see much more innovation like this mushrooming in the future.

Given the relatively lightweight nature of the intervention, I’m amazed that many much larger payers/employers haven’t given it a try. After all, whatever else they’re doing doesn’t seem to be exactly working too well!

Spotlight on Health 2.0: Consumer Aggregators from SF ’09


health 2.0 tvEvery week we bring you a video from the world of Health 2.0. This week we're featuring a video from our latest conference in San Francisco on October 6-7, 2009. Hear the latest from WebMD, Google Health and Microsoft.

To see more videos from past Health 2.0 conferences, or to purchase the entire conference DVD sets from '07 & '08 click here. 2009 DVD sets will be available shortly, please check back for updates.

Interview with James Currier, Medpedia


James Currier founded Tickle, a self assessment testing company later sold to career site But he's set the bar much higher in his next venture, Medpedia, Medpedia, as the name suggests, aims to be a comprehensive encyclopedia of medicine. It uses the wiki platform but it has more editorial control and restriction than Wikipedia–particularly limiting final editing rights to credentialed physicians. But Medpedia is also trying to do a whole lot more than that.

This effort has raised controversy from patients who feel (perhaps wrongly) that they're excluded from the process, from Clay Shirky (who suggested that Wikipedia is good enough), and from me (wondering why Medpedia is trying to do so much). James talked with me to discuss what Medpedia's goals are and to answer some of the criticisms.

James Currier, Medpedia