Health 2.0 Accelerator — The waiting is over….

For several months there has been discussion amongst Health 2.0 companies about the concept of a Health 2.0 Accelerator. It started with Marty Tenenbaum’s introduction of the concept in September 2007. It continued with the discussion at the San Diego meeting in March 2008. Since then conversations and meetings among a small group have continued to define a first cut at what the Health 2.0 Accelerator should be.

The basic idea is for organizations to collaborate to create “public goods” —frameworks and strategies that will help all concerned to advance the industry. The way to do this is via projects that tackle particular problems, and leave behind frameworks and utilities that all can use.

The reality is of course going to be more complex, but we’re delighted to announce that the first project concerning moving pharmaceutical data has been announced, and the first principles and statements about the future of the Accelerator are now up at its own wiki at Health2Accelerator.org.

We are now asking for everyone in the Health 2.0 Community to become members, suggest projects, and contribute to the wiki. This is very much a work in progress, but we believe that the potential is huge. Please go to the new site, and contribute by giving us your comments.

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5 replies »

  1. Dear Cathy,
    I strongly agree that all actual stakeholders (payers, healtcare providers, healthcare insurance and the med tech and life science industry) don’t want to cut cost and are not interested in too much transparency. I’ve been working in the european healthcare IT industry for more than 10 years now, and have experienced that everyone has another definition of change, and the complexity of the system has a self-limiting effect. We should move away from the traditional model of paternalistic medicine, towards a patientcentric model with the intent to deliver care more efficiently whilst improving patient outcomes. But who should finance such projects?
    Health 2.0 tools bring us the opportunity to democratise data traditionally locked in discrete information silos within the healthcare system. Collectively these applications have begun to enable collaboration among like-minded
    individuals, assisting fellow users with treatment
    and disease information eg PatientsLikeMe.
    The increase in transparency in the healthcare system is occurring in response to consumer demands, with the aim of informing consumers so they can make better healthcare decisions. Web 2.0 technologies have already proven most effective in democratising voice through forums, rating and other feedbackenabled websites. By providing a consumer interface, health services will become more patient-focused, and will influence the healthcare delivery model.

  2. cathy,
    That was an incoherent rant.
    I started out agreeing with your point in the first post, but thought you took it too far. Nothing of value will be gained by a shouting match.
    Since cathy brought up health insurance, it’s worth remembering that insurers actually were among the first institutional players pushing price transparency. They have been doing it as part of the movement towards “consumer-directed” health insurance, which the more aggressive commercial insurers (United and Humana) have pursued most strongly. Many, including myself, have criticized “consumerism” as an inadequate response to the cost problem and also as, too often, an attempt to put lipstick on the cost-sharing pig. But despite its shortcomings, insurers have made big efforts to make fees clear to consumers/patients/members at the point of care and when considering care, and have also made big efforts to provide quality data on providers.
    It makes no sense to say that insurers can’t survive if this data is made available when some have been aggressively pursuing this very course of action as a fundamental business strategy for 5 years now. They actually believe that transparency will allow them to reform the system in a way that controls costs and removes some of the pressure for government regulation, while giving them a competitive advantage over other (smaller) insurers. I’ve listened in on quarterly investor calls in which the big players made this strategy explicit.
    That consumer-directed plans and the presentation of cost and quality data haven’t become more popular in the current climate owe to several factors, the largest of which are the strenuous resistance of providers and the aversion to consumer-directed plans by most consumers.

  3. jd,
    I am not surprised by your comments that totally ignores the ground reality. Health 2.0 primarily focuses on creation and exchange of information(data). In the current complex and fraudulent healthcare industry, hundreds of millions of dollars are spent every year in lobbying not to let any changes to this chaotic system. If anything is transparent, the health insurance industry will die instantly.
    You must only be dreaming for insurance industry to let Health 2.0 succeed. This is not like Task-A or Task-B in your narrowed look of project management; this is about survival of this fraudulent health insurance industry.
    Even the federal government(Health & Human Services Dept) is unable to get the data from insurance carriers, but you are assuming that they will let doctors and patients exchange data easily.
    Before pushing the health carriers out of the picture, no improvements in healthcare is possible.

  4. cathy,
    I sympathize with your belief that Health 2.0 at this stage of the game will only be able to impact the margins of health care cost and quality problems, and that transparency in price and quality requires changes that extend beyond what Health 2.0 can provide.
    However, there is a basic fallacy in your logic when you conclude people shouldn’t be working on Health 2.0 projects now. The fallacy is to think that if the impact of B is (partially or wholly) dependent on A first being enacted, then we shouldn’t even start working on B until A has been completed. I hope you don’t do project management.

  5. Are we all living in the fantasy world or what?
    Healthcare is in crisis and people are dying due to lack of access to healthcare. Besides, healthcare is a non-transparent and fraudulent industry where you have no way of knowing the cost of service up front…and quality of care, oh it is a dream.
    Look at the status of healthcare in US. Of the 300 million population, about 50 million are uninsured, another 50 million are under-insured and another 100 million get the care from the Govt (Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare, VA, etc) leaving only 100 million with reasonable insurance coverage.
    How Health 2.0 can help in this chaotic world of healthcare. No way. Not now.
    First, a fundamental shift is required in the system before we can think of improvements through health2.0, etc.
    Let us not waste time in talking about fantasies anymore.

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