Matthew Holt

From Health 2.0 meets Ix: A Breathtaking Display of Possibilities

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(Boston) Jane Sarasohn-Kahn and I were quickly comparing notes this morning. Our impression is that, compared to past meetings, this one seems more characterized by doers than observers.

This conference brings together a dizzying array of tools and experiences, which is testament to the organizers’ encyclopedic handle on the vast diversity of activity in this sector. Josh Seidman, Indu Subaiya and Matthew Holt have done yeomans’ jobs in putting these impressive presentations together.

Mingling, I’ve spoken to person after person actively involved in mostly consumer-oriented ventures, leveraging science and user-generated information to facilitate a more favorable patient experience. There are some real steps forward, like the demo that Mayo and Microsoft showed, that takes information entered into Health Vault and applies the rules that Mayo has developed through many years of experience. Or the work that groups like Up-To-Date and HealthWise are doing, that continually, organically update descriptive information throughout medicine and health care.

There is no question that many of the organizations pursuing the grail of success in this space are mission-driven, hoping to find just the right formula to translate patient and expert knowledge into useful applications that provide better patient experiences at lower costs. And the presentations are replete with positive patient anecdotes that affirm this mission.

Nor is this a cheerleading conference. At the moment, I’m sitting in on the session that’s discussing, in the frankest terms, the successes and problems associated with expert information sites. As ePatient Dave’s recent experience, described in the Boston Globe, showed – and he’s amplified his perspective here – things are not even near perfect yet.

One of the last sessions is focused on who’s paying for Health 2.0
and Ix. It is an important question that taps the voices of mainstream
organizations around the country – Hawaii Blue Cross, Kaiser Permanente, The Dartmouth Atlas – and is one of the best examples of
how Web-based information and activities are gradually gaining traction within the core health care enterprise.

My own questions have to do with whether many of these ventures are becoming integrated into the current system in ways that result in measurable quality and cost improvements. Can their impacts be sufficient unless they are? And is there enough presentation of new Health 2.0 B2B tools that create desperately needed efficiencies in the health care marketplace? My sense is that these are increasingly important fodder for future conferences.

As Jane pointed out, what is clear is that Health 2.0 is evolving, and rapidly. The pioneers in this area are rapidly mastering the technology that can bring new information forward and established information forward more clearly compellingly. This is, without question, one of the most exciting areas of health care innovation, and one that bears continuing close observation by everyone looking to the future.

5 replies »

  1. @bev M.D.
    Expert sites provide general information, so they encompass most common cases, symptoms and treatments.
    The next logical step is to provide personalized information, extracted from the analysis of health data and symptoms; this is where algorithms and data mining can be suitable.

  2. tcoyote,
    Toss it as you would any other spam. The discussion is muddy enough without single-issue people. Single-payer people are as ill-informed about the political and practical realities of the reform debate as Radio Republicans.

  3. The last post again looks like spam. It has nothing whatever to do with Brian’s post.
    What to do?

  4. Speaking of e patient Dave and rapidly evolving Health 2.0, see John Halamka’s blog ( April 17 entry for how Dave’s experience has changed the way his (and all BIDMC patients’) medical information will now be entered into Google Health. This is rapid evolution indeed.