On April 22–23 in Boston, two ideas are going to come together. Health 2.0 has been defined in different ways, but is most often considered to be the use of lightweight online technologies which allow consumers to access and exchange health information via the now familiar search, communities and tools. Information therapy (Ix or information prescriptions) involves the proactive delivery of the right information to the right person at the right time, usually as part of the care delivery process.
However, while both Health 2.0 and Ix are focused on improving patients’ participation in care, they tend to come from different backgrounds. Ix tends to be “prescribed” to the patient, often by a clinician (although system-triggered Ix and consumer-prescribed — either “self-prescribed” or recommended by a peer, caregiver, etc. is also part of the definition). Ix innovations have had the greatest penetration in organized systems of care with robust provider and patient HIT applications like Kaiser Permanente and Group Health Cooperative in Seattle.
Health 2.0 had its start with non-health care organizations
delivering content, communities and tools to consumers online—often in
the absence of the health care system paying much attention. Thousands
of communities about every conceivable health condition exist online,
hundreds of sophisticated tools have been developed for consumers and
clinicians to use, and now the ability to create and store patient data
online is becoming much more prevalent. But in general it’s been savvy
consumers, followed by technology and media companies who have been
leading the charge.
In addition, Ix has been focused on
delivering the “right” information, often implying “evidence-based,”
although “right” can have other definitions as well. In Health 2.0
communities, there’s often wild disagreement about what the evidence
base actually shows, and what the correct course of action is. Last Tuesday’s
post in Well (The NY Times patient blog) about the complexity of
understanding the correct course of action in PSA testing for prostate
cancer is a typical example.
So can these two movements live together?
Better yet, are there synergies that can help them to thrive? Is this a case of the proverbial combination being greater than the sum of their parts?
We are going to find out in Boston on April 22–23 at the Health 2.0 Meets Ix conference, hosted by the Center for Information Therapy and Health 2.0. We are also going to find out whether the current health care system is ready to adopt Health 2.0, Ix, or some combination. The format will be a series of Great Debates, and we hope you enjoy them!
Health Affairs is our media partner in this event, and Susan Dentzerwill play a large role in helping to moderate these debates. But as a
teaser, several of the debaters will reveal some of their cards in THCB, the Health Affairs blog,and the Ix Center Blog, and several other blogs in the coming weeks. We think you’ll enjoy the debate!
Matthew & Indu are co-Founders of the Health 2.0 conference. Josh is President, Center for Information Therapy.