I recently had the great fortune of attending Health 2.0 in San Francisco. The conference was abuzz with new medical technologies that are harnessing the power of innovation to solve healthcare problems including many new mobile medical application companies showcasing their potential. As I walked and talked around the exhibit floor, one thing caught my ear, or I should say one thing didn’t catch my ear. Among the chatter about these products, the concern about FDA regulation of this product segment, or even FDA regulation in general was noticeably absent. While many of the application developers are well aware of potential FDA involvement, most would be hard-pressed to outline the impact this would have on their companies and products.
Being labeled a medical device, which is the direction the FDA is leaning, could have a significant impact on business model organization, top-line revenue, and product deployment. For unprepared start-ups, FDA regulation could signal an end for their company. This is in stark contrast to well informed developers who are preparing themselves for the change and would most likely be able to leverage these regulations to their advantage.
Continue reading “A Coming Storm: FDA Regulation of Mobile Medical Applications”
Filed Under: THCB
Tagged: Apps, FDA, FDA regulations, Health 2.0, medical device, Medical Device Manufactures Association, Mobile health, Patient Safety, Ryan Minarovich, Startups
Oct 24, 2012
This Saturday I had the pleasure of helping organize a hackathon that was put together by the Open State Foundation (HackDeOverheid). The theme was “Open Data, open for business” and took place at a very unique place in Rotterdam – WORM (an institute for avant garde recreation). It was a perfect spot to gather almost 150 people from all disciplines and sponsors/partners ranging from the Hogeschool Rotterdam, TNO, Internet Valley Rotterdam to name a few, but also a contribution from Health 2.0.
Open health data is relatively a new initiative within the Open State Foundation with a simple but strong message:
“Open Zorg Data is an initiative to build a community that utilizes open healthcare data, encourages innovation & entrepreneurship, improves transparency in our healthcare system and most importantly turns healthcare into health for our digital citizens”
In the last few weeks, we worked with the Ministry of Health (Ministerie van VWS) to plan out the OpenZorgData Workshop and help inspire the community of developers to use the data for social and entrepreneurial good.
The turn out was great!! We have more then doubled (2X) the number of attendees to the workshop from the previous workshop that took place in Amsterdam. First up in the morning data pitch session was, Ron Roozendaal (CIO of the Ministry of Health), who took a few minutes to introduce all the stakeholders within the Ministry and the newly opened data sets. He exuded enthusiasm and excitement!
Our workshop kicked off at 11:45 with standing room only, but when I asked how many people were hackers planning to use the open health data, only one guy raised his hand (but noted that he had no plans of doing it that day). Here we are: room full of people, Ministry of Health in the room and not one single individual was planning to hack away at the data. We carried on with the presentations where Lany Slobbe, Hans Loonen & Christian Gonzales presented their respective data sets. The workshop presentations finished off with Seth van den Bossche from TNO presenting their open data & Atilla Erdodi showcasing an open API he put on top of the KiesBeter data (opened up back in June of 2012).
Continue reading “The Future of Health Is in #Opendata”
Filed Under: Health 2.0
Tagged: Eugene Borukhovich, hackathon, Health 2.0
Oct 16, 2012
The most remarkable thing about Health 2.0 this time around, at least for me? The growing number, and percentage, of attendees old enough to get a reference like “Hey, Known Spender.”
If that wordplay evokes the trumpet blare of the brass band that accompanied one of the more pernicious and offensive TV ad campaigns of the 1970s (derived from the 1966 musical Sweet Charity), then you would have had more company than usual at last week’s 2.0 conference in San Francisco.
For all you Gen X’ers, Y’ers, and Millennials pitching your ever more nifty wares this time around: those horrific ads featured a slinky woman – made-over from the ‘60s musical’s stripper chorus to a ‘70s “empowered” glamour-gal – crawling all over some dude in a tux and singing “Hey, Big Spender, spend a little time with me.” The ads were unambiguous proof that American culture’s direct equation of cash and sex pre-dated the 1980s.
The “Known Spenders” who spent a little time at Health 2.0 this year were, for the most part, old enough to remember that ad. And they are actually make a living today working in corporate health care jobs. They’re the people they call “The Suits” in Hollywood, and they can actually get your products out of beta and into the real world. The slow steady creep of relevance not just of Health 2.0 as a marker of the market, but of the entire dream of consumer health IT, can be measured by the slow steady influx of the salt-and-pepper folks my own age who work for health insurance companies, employer groups, hospital systems, and drug companies. Six years ago, at the inaugural 2.0, The Suits were nowhere in sight. This year, they were everywhere you looked, kicking tires and taking business cards. Skepticism was abundant among those I talked with, as it should be with industry lifers who have endured two full cycles of health IT hype. (Healtheon and Revolution Health were the market toppers of valuation, grandiosity, and absurdity; if the current boom goes bust, we lifers know exactly who it will be.)
Among the two dozen or so people I’ve known over the years and who have yet to be paroled from health care, the consensus at 2.0 was “these are mostly good products, not companies, there is too much overlap, they have too narrow a scope of functionality, and many need to be rolled up. But a few actually have replacement revenue potential.”
As for the first part of that consensus, nothing new here. Nor anything new about the classic chicken-and-revenue problem that has hampered Health 2.0 start-ups from the start. I’m hardly the first, and surely won’t be the last, to point out the obvious: health care is not lacking for great consumer information products, services, systems, or apps; those products etc. are lacking users, adoption, exposure, traffic, critical mass, revenue. By “revenue” I mean “cash,” from paying customers, not promises, sales pipelines, booked revenue, or even signed contracts with guarantees. And I certainly don’t mean investors’ cash. I’m talking about revenue from consumers, patients, providers, or any of the myriad third parties who are spending money today – just not happily.
Continue reading “Hey, Known Spender!”
Filed Under: Health 2.0, THCB, The Business of Health Care
Tagged: 6th Annual Health 2.0 Conference, AgeTak, Aidin, Beyond Lucid, Big Data, CarePlanners, DC to VC, Health 1.0, Health 2.0, Health IT, Health IT Investors, Healtheon, Healthgrades, HITECH, J.D. Kleinke, Known Spenders, Matthew Holt, Medicaid, Mentors, Missy Krasner, MLR, Morganthaler Ventures, Obamacare, Revolution Health, Suits, Supersuits
Oct 15, 2012
Health information technology has, in many ways, been a calling for me. I passionately believe in the ability of technology and information to reduce costs, improve quality and transform healthcare. For the last seven years (I won’t say the “better part” as my wife and kids would probably not appreciate that characterization…on the other hand, they would quickly confirm that it has consumed most of my waking hours), I have collaborated with hundreds organizations in healthcare and technology across the public sector and the private sector to try and positively influence the adoption and use of health information technology. By many measures, this work has been successful.
Awareness levels and perceived value of health IT among doctors, hospitals, policymakers and many other audiences has improved dramatically. A wide majority of physicians in the U.S. have by now adopted technologies such as electronic health records and e-prescribing. Playing a small part in this progress to date has been the most gratifying work of my career.
But then came Dad and his own personal experience with health IT. My father’s experience as a patient has left me questioning the level of progress that has been achieved.
Continue reading “Health IT and Dad”
Filed Under: THCB
Tagged: ACOs, Care coordination, EHR, Health 2.0, HIT, Meaningful Use, Patient Care, Rob Cronin
Oct 12, 2012
Pascal Lardier, Director, International Events of Health 2.0, answers questions about the co-production of health by patients and physicians today and in the future.
Health 2.0. What exactly does this quite a new word describe? When did you use that word for the first time?
Pascal Lardier: It is a quite a new word indeed. Our first conference was in 2007 in San Francisco and at the time some people called the movement a fad. Since then our organization Health 2.0 has introduced over 500 technology companies to the world stage, hosted more than 9,000 attendees at our conferences and code-a-thons around the world, awarded more than $1,400,000 in prizes through our developer challenge program and inspired the formation of 46 new chapters in cities around the globe! The movement was obviously far from being a fad. Just like web 2.0 was a new version of the web, Health 2.0 describes a new era for health innovation where stakeholders collaborate, patients are empowered and the production of health becomes participatory.
Many people associate the word with social media and related things such as blogs, health platforms and health websites. Is that correct? How does “Health 2.0″ differ from “e-Health” or “ICT”, for example?
PL: Communities such as online patient forums and the associated produced content played an important role in the Health 2.0 movement from the start. But it’s not just about social media and communities anymore: it’s also about patient-physician communication, personalized medicine, population health management, wellness, sensors/devices/unplatforms, data, analytics, system reform and more. In the beginning, health content became participatory. It is now becoming more and more personalized. All these profound transformations were calling for a new name and Health 2.0 was a good candidate for describing the extension of eHealth.
Continue reading “What Exactly Is Health 2.0?”
Filed Under: Health 2.0
Tagged: Artur Olesch, Data, EHR, Empowered patient, Health 2.0, Pascal Lardier, unplatforms
Oct 9, 2012
The San Francisco teams only had 2 days to create a solution and 3 minutes to present. It was a high-stakes, high-pressure event. If known the challenges it was entered for are in parentheses. AT&T, Aetna, Healthline, Food Essentials and athenhealth all offered separate challenges and prizes for this codeathon.
DIG*IT Mobile (AT&T): This app tried to use the “desire engine” concept to develop a medication adherence app specifically for patients with HIV. The app includes a news feed, a way to compare yourself to other people like you, easy contact buttons for providers and a quick health summary. Patients can see a graph of their lab values and their medication compliance, as well as a graph for adherence. Each day the app asks if a patient has taken their medication, as well as providing alerts that tell them to take their meds. The med component showed their pills and when their prescriptions are due. They plan to incorporate crowd-sourcing information later.
DocSays (Aetna & Healthline): This team took on the challenge of improving hospital discharge outcomes. Patients are overloaded with information at the time of discharge. Their app, titled Doc Says, gives them automatic reminders about everything from activity levels, foods, medication to reminders for appointments. It can also work on an SMS system, so it doesn’t have to be smart-phone based. Options on the screen include defining all doctors instructions as tasks. The steps are broken down so that “pick up your lisinopril” is a separate task from the more generic “take your medicine.”
Continue reading “Health 2.0 Code-a-thon – SF Winners”
Filed Under: THCB
Tagged: Aetna, AT&T, athenahealth, DIG*IT Mobile, Doc Gurley, DocSays, Exhale, Food Essentials, Frood, Good Mood Food, Gut Guru, Health 2.0, health 2.0 code-a-thon, Health Apps, HEALTHLINE, HealthPlay, I Just Ate, SmartHealth, Water App
Oct 9, 2012
This year at Health 2.0′s Annual Conference, two speakers split stage time during the opening keynote. Joe Flower, a health futurist, and Mark Bertolini, CEO of health insurer Aetna, don’t have a whole lot in common professionally. But in their talks they both made clear that they hold two beliefs in common: the United States health care system needs to react to the country’s cost crisis, and efforts to address health care costs will happen independently from federal reform.
Flower spoke first, laying out the tenets of what he calls the Next Health Care. For such an optimistic speech, it was filled with negatives. Flower went through step by step, talking about what the nation isn’t doing right now, who’s not invested in better care, and why all health care systems can’t just become Kaisers.
Though the talk certainly wasn’t meant to praise health care for all it does right, it was meant to point out the promise that the health care system could be on the brink of.
“Health care is undergoing fundamental economic changes,” Flower said. “These changes are driving us to what may well be better and cheaper health care for everyone.”
The Affordable Care Act isn’t what’s propelling those changes, according to Flower. It’s other factors including an aging population, the sheer cost of care in the U.S., and technological capability that we’ve never seen until now.
Chronic disease accounts for 70 to 75% of all health care costs, Flower said. And as many Americans know, obesity is a huge contributor to those costs. The maps looked at the projection of obesity rates in the U.S. over time, and as the slides passed it looked like the country was being eaten by the disease.
“Now, some of the best hopes for that future, honestly, we see right here at Health 2.0. But we are not there yet,” Flower said.
Continue reading “A Tale of Two Keynotes: Futurist Joe Flower and Aetna’s Mark Bertolini”
Filed Under: Health Plans, THCB
Tagged: 6th Health 2.0 Annual Conference, Aetna, Health 2.0, Health 2.0 Conference Keynote, Joe Flower, Laura Montini, Mark Bertolini
Oct 9, 2012
What surprised me was that this (rhetorical) question was put to me, not by an elder lemon colleague approaching retirement, but a freshly minted colleague in his early thirties. Then I saw this Tweet from the Med2.0 conference;
As someone who spends a lot of his time on Twitter, it hurts to think that the majority of my colleagues might think I might be wasting my time.
Engaging in health related activities on social media channels is the most important thing I have done for my medical life since completing my specialist training. It has renewed my fascination for healthcare in a way I haven’t felt since I was a medical student and doing so, has undoubtedly quelled a mid-life ennui with my career. It has transformed the way I learn (where I had all but stopped learning) and introduced me to new an interesting friends.
Continue reading “Are You Still Wasting Your Time on Twitter?”
Filed Under: THCB
Tagged: Health 2.0, Ronan Kavanagh, Social Media, Twitter
Sep 19, 2012
Today we announced the 12 startup finalists for the 2012 DC to VC contest. DC to VC is a nation-wide contest to find the most promising health IT startups looking for Seed and Series A ($2-5M+) funding. An annual event started by Morgenthaler Ventures over a 3 years ago to help close the gap between what was going on in Washington D.C. (at ONC, CMS and the White House) and aligned interests in the Silicon Valley on health IT investing, the event has now grown into a large health IT startup competition. Morgenthaler Ventures got interested in this space when they invested in Practice Fusion over 3 years ago (they just invested in Doximity – see funding announcement). I joined as an Executive in Residence (EIR) in January after leaving Google Health and asked Matthew at Health 2.0 to combine forces with us to make the event even bigger–given he was our featured MC last year and will be again this year, too.
This year the application pool was overwhelming; we received over 140 applications to compete in the contest. Our pre-selection judges worked with us to narrow down the applications to the 13 finalists below who will present to a packed room of venture capitalists, angel investors, government officials and entrepreneurs on the last day of the annual Health 2.0 conference on October 10, 2012 in San Francisco, CA. Registration is open to all, so grab your seat fast as the room is getting packed! Continue reading “Morgenthaler’s Picks: The Top Twelve Health IT Startups”
Filed Under: Health 2.0
Tagged: AgeTak, Aidin, Beyond Lucid Technologies, Capture Proof, Cara Health, CarePlanners, Comprisma, DC to VC, Force Therapeutics, Genomera, GSI Health, Health 2.0, HeathLoop, Missy Krasner, Nephosity, NudgeRX, Starling Health, United Preference
Sep 18, 2012
There is a corner of the health care industry where rancor is rare, the chance to banish illness beckons just a few mouse clicks away and talk revolves around venture deals, not voluminous budget deficits.
Welcome to the realm of Internet-enabled health apps. Politicians and profit-seeking entrepreneurs alike enthuse about the benefits of “liberating data” – the catch-phrase of U.S. Chief Technology Officer Todd Park – to enable it to move from government databases to consumer-friendly uses. The potential for better information to promote better care is clear. The question that remains unanswered, however, is what role these consumer applications can play in prompting fundamental health system change.
Michael W. Painter, a physician, attorney and senior program officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, is optimistic. “We think that by harnessing this data and getting it into the hands of developers, entrepreneurs, established businesses, consumers and academia, we will unleash tremendous creativity,” Painter said. “The result will be improved and more cost efficient care, more engaged patients and discoveries that can help drive the next generation of care.”
The foundation is backing up that belief with an open checkbook. RWJF recently awarded $100,000 to Symcat, a multi-functional symptom checker for web and mobile platforms. Developed by two Johns Hopkins University medical students, the app determines a possible diagnosis far more precisely than is possible by just typing in symptoms as a list of words to be searched by “Dr. Google.” Symcat also links to quality information on different providers and can even direct users to nearby emergency care and provide an estimate of the cost.
Continue reading “App-Happy Health Care Full of Optimism, Money”
Filed Under: Health 2.0
Tagged: Apps, behavior change, CDC, Data, entrepreneurship, HDI, Health 2.0, HHS, Michael Millenson, Mobile health, Startups, Symcat, Todd Park
Aug 2, 2012