HEALTH2.0: Marty Tenenbaum’s vision for an accelerator for Health2.0

At the end of Health2.0 Conference Marty Tenenbaum asked if there was interest in forming a group to accelerate Health2.0. Earlier this was written up on THCB as though it was another standards group. But that’s not entirely what Marty meant. He explains here:

I’m eager to follow up on the creation of an industry initiative to accelerate the Health 2.0 vision. This organization would do for ehealth what CommerceNet did for ecommerce by catalyzing the market. The Blog posting focused on standards. While standards are important, so is evangelism, business development, lobbying, and especially visionary integration projects that demonstrate the potential of Health 2.0 for improving people’s lives.

Early CommerceNet members included startups like Netscape, Yahoo, and Amazon as well as established organizations like Visa/Mastercard, FedEx and IBM. The members of CommerceNet collaborated on initiatives like search, catalogs, security, payment, and shipping/fulfillment, leading to complete end-end transactions where one could actually locate a product, buy it, pay for it and get it delivered. Not only was overall market growth accelerated; many business deals resulted, generating a lot of wealth.

The parallels with Health 2.0 are obvious. Like the days of ecommerce, many energetic entrepreneurs are exploring the seemingly limitless opportunities and obstacles of a huge and important market. Each provides useful but highly fragmented data or services (e.g.,PHRs, search, patient and doctor communities). Aggregating data across communities and integrating services into complete solutions (e.g., selecting the best treatment or physician for you) is much more valuable to consumers and essential if we’re actually going to impact healthcare in meaningful ways.

Everyone interested should move on this as soon as possible to capitalize on the momentum of the amazing conference.

To get involved, you can email healthcare@commerce.net and of course comment here.

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Gregg MastersMiguel CabrerIleanaRenata Recent comment authors
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Gregg Masters

Marty, a belated thank you for the vision and founding post of the Health2.0 initiative. Today, I join the grassroots chorus. Let me add that Jim Clark’s original vision and “promise” of Healtheon (aka WebMD), effectively a Netscape spin off, had both the problem and the opportunity right, he just grossly under-estimated the complexity and gravity of a trillion dollar “cottage industry” to accommodate change. So fast forward the HMO and PPO (aka managed care) movement, the strength of the US economy for the last 20 years has effectively buffered and muted the underlying access, cost and quality performance issues… Read more »

Miguel Cabrer

I am interested and involved in several innitiatives rwady to run on health 2.


Traditional health care companies, i.e., payors must also participate in Health 2.0 initiatives. An empowered consumer is still going to have to deal with a fragmented health care delivery system which currently is designed to prevent uniform access to standard, evidence based medicine.


The new consortium must collaborate with Health2.0 Internet media brands beyond Yahoo!, Google and other big players. Many are developing fresh/new narratives/stories/messages for consumers to see themselves reflected as peers in this brave new and very complex consumer-directed world. The parallel with CommerceNet remains. Consumers learned to integrate the Internet into their work/personal lives because CommerceNet pioneers took on the additional role of ambassadors for the Internet itself — while simultaneously testing business strategies with the very same consumers to see what worked for them, and what didn’t. Notwithstanding Health2.0 communities who importantly focus on chronic ailments/illness — consumers must… Read more »


Marty: Excellent idea. You will note Yahoo!, Netscape and Amazon were consumer direct marketers/messaging agents and ambassadors for relevancy/meaning of the Internet to enhance our lives — as well as pioneering product/goods/services purveyors. Consumers were respected as paramount in the adoption of the Internet businesses/services at the macro level — by the members of CommerceNet, who were able to set aside competitive urges to promote broadbased adoption. The established companies supported new business initiatives such as Amazon — to extend their own business models. A collective effort on the part of those pursuing Health2.0 business/service initiatives will thwart the continued… Read more »