HEALTH2.0: Health2.0 for professionals, by Jos Bakker

Jos Bakker is a Senior Director, Global Strategic Mkt & Business Dev’t, Healthcare Informatics, Philips Medical Systems, and a regular correspondent with THCB on the important topics of international health care and European soccer. He sent me an email the other week about Health2.0 that I think is very interesting, so I got his permission to share a slightly edited version with you all.

In case you plan to unravel the myths versus realities on Health2.0 some day in the not too distant future, I respectfully offer you a few of my observations and suggestions.

Please, please avoid the confusion caused by mixing up two totally different takes on Health2.0. Scott Shreeve and others tend to position Health 2.0 (companies) as the enabler to transform healthcare– using the bible du jour ( Redefining Healthcare by Porter et al). Others, including me by the way, simply look at it as the evolution in web space finally hitting the health care domain, and yes, web geeks love to put stakes in the ground like web 1.0 , 2.0 , 3.0 coming up. I suggest you refer to O’Reilly’s "Web 2.0 doc for dummies” like me ( and you ?!), in which the attributes/competencies for ”Web 2.0 ” compliance are depicted in a straightforward laymen’s manner:

Core Competencies of Web 2.0 Companies

In exploring the seven principles above, we’ve highlighted some of
the principal features of Web 2.0. Each of the examples we’ve explored
demonstrates one or more of those key principles, but may miss others.
Let’s close, therefore, by summarizing what we believe to be the core
competencies of Web 2.0 companies:

  • Services, not packaged software, with cost-effective scalability
  • Control over unique, hard-to-recreate data sources that get richer as more people use them
  • Trusting users as co-developers
  • Harnessing collective intelligence
  • Leveraging the long tail through customer self-service
  • Software above the level of a single device
  • Lightweight user interfaces, development models, AND business models

The next time a company claims that it’s "Web 2.0," test their
features against the list above. The more points they score, the more
they are worthy of the name. Remember, though, that excellence in one
area may be more telling than some small steps in all seven.

Most or all of the core competencies listed do apply to the proclaimed Health2.0 companies (Scott’s list, Tony’s list , your favourites)….

While a lot of buzz and hype is generated on the consumers/patient web portals (Revolution, MSFT, WebMD), I think the use of Web 2.0 technology as of today by clinical professionals is much more interesting – and able to deliver results much more quickly. You yourself highlighted Sermo once more but I want to draw your attention to a similar physician driven scoop in Radiology. It’s got a well defined target community with a well defined goal: annihilating the old economy overpriced/always outdated diagnostic image reference books/CD’s sold by the Springer’s of the world. Please spend some time to surf MyPACS.net and its wiki competitor Radiopedia.org.

Staying even closer to my own backyard: we (Philips) are using the same tools to let our customers educate their peers in an interactive way. We coined it NetForum. The result is deploying best practices globally in using a complicated beast as MRI much more effectively,and getting an order of magnitude improvement in consistency/quality. Even better from a vendor’s perspective, it’s accelerating development of new protocols with solid FDA approval data and tracking proper use of MR buttons in real time–both big pleasers for the engineers. For Philips’ salesfolks this is a great tribe-building/customer retention asset. I am sure GE and Siemens are not stupid either.The key secret and magic of NetForum is of course the online connection of its web content plus intelligence with the actual software running Philips MR’s in the field.

To get a glimpse what this is all about see http://netforum.medical.philips.com/Home.aspx. If you have the time, go to the NetForum guided tour in the web services box. It’s a bit snail speed,and it spends just a few words at the very end of the tour for obvious competitive reasons about the options you have to ”contribute” to the NetForum community. It just goes a lot further than one way training, PR or remote service monitoring. The ”contributors” have been opened up recently.

A humble, down to earth example of a relatively small user community as co-developers, harnessing collective intelligence with a smart (Philips)  back office to add more value.

The point I want to make is that, in parallel to the ”disruptive/top down” Web 2.0 inspired Health2.0 startups, the established vendors are starting to dip their toes in the same water, but in a more bottom up/organic way. They will meet each other someday in the middle.

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