Health 2.0 Fuels the Accelerator

Have fuel, will accelerate! In the months leading up to the Fall Health 2.0 Conference, the Accelerator wiki membership grew from a few to over a hundred individuals and companies with increasingly diverse members, from serious technologists to product and strategy managers and company executives, representing tiny start-ups and billion dollar health care enterprises. The Health 2.0 Accelerator also facilitated its first collaborative: the Drug Profile Interoperability (“DPI”) project. Thanks to this effort, users of DestinationRx’s Medicine Cabinet or PharmaSURVEYOR’s web application can now access a valuable combination of drug safety and cost information that is not otherwise available from any single company. Then, at the Conference, Julie Murchinson announced an exciting and important step in the Accelerator’s evolution: the creation of a formal non-profit organization to advance consumer-centric health care by driving integration of technology and the consumer experience.

With an important seed contribution from the Health 2.0 Conference, the Health 2.0 Accelerator (H2A) is off and running (www.Health2Accelerator.org), creating opportunities to accelerate progress among its members and the Health 2.0 community!

Why Now? Why H2A?

We think the space is approaching a critical stage in its evolution where an increasing number of consumers will seek comprehensive solutions, not fragmented tools and services.

Companies of all shapes and sizes are going to need ways to expand their offerings to users rapidly and cost effectively while evolving their business models. At the same time, traditional health care payors, providers and purchasers/employers are trying to determine how to engage with companies that offer patients new and sometimes entirely independent capabilities for generating, analyzing and consuming health information. H2A is providing a platform to collaboratively address these needs by cultivating projects and initiatives that leverage existing standards to pursue interoperability among members and partners, as well as working with traditional health care organizations to design pilots that help assess the value of Health 2.0 innovations when integrated with traditional delivery environments and provider-centric technologies.

How Can Companies and Organizations Get Involved with H2A?

H2A provides members with varying types of opportunities/services based on their role as a Participant, Contributor or Sponsor. Everyone who joined the Accelerator wiki is considered an H2A Participant, which allows them to attend member convenings and learn from the results of projects and pilots, as well as contribute ideas about projects or important policy issues. In addition, all members will be able to participate in the Health 2.0 Ontology, an initiative that will profile Health 2.0 offerings in order to improve awareness and understanding of the value that companies can deliver individually and in partnership with others. The Ontology will become a living tool and over time will help to reduce the time, cost and overall complexity of identifying beneficial partners or solutions for a specific purpose or need.

For Contributors and Sponsors, H2A is facilitating targeted collaboration, including matchmaking, and offering the ability to promote tools/services to other members. Contributors and Sponsors can participate in selective H2A initiatives and have the opportunity to participate in pilots with traditional healthcare stakeholders. Catholic Healthcare West and Sage Software have joined H2A as initial Sponsors and both are currently working with H2A to design pilots this year.

Another development for H2A is the vision for pushing forward standards-focused, patient-centric information exchange initiatives with the goal of leveraging standards to facilitate affordable and efficient exchange of health information and inter-operation of services among Health 2.0 technology companies and traditional health care stakeholders. H2A is sticking to its position of not becoming another standards organization or “choosing” one standard over others. However, based on significant member interest and with key help from David Kibbe and others, H2A is initially pursuing a Continuity of Care Record (CCR) Exchange initiative that builds on the momentum of H2A members already using CCR and those that have clear interest in doing so. Budding member interest in a similar focus around CCD is also indicating that there may be a valuable role for H2A to play in helping its members think about how they can work with partners who use either patient-centric standard.

Where is H2A Headed in 2009?

As with any “start-up,” 2009 will be a time of transition for H2A in its first year as a formal organization. We are thrilled to include a growing list of companies and organizations as Sponsors and Contributors, including Catholic Healthcare West, Sage Software, BluePond, TheCarrot.com, change:healthcare, DestinationRx, DoubleCheckMD, HealthSaaS.net, HealthWorldWeb, Kinnexxus, Limeade, MedCommons, Medical Knowledge Discovery Project, Medic8 Manager, MedSimple, Olive Technology, PharmaSURVEYOR, Polka, PrivateAccess and VitalSpring Technologies.

At the upcoming Health 2.0 meets Ix conference in Boston, H2A will be sharing an update on its progress, including launching the Ontology initiative and highlighting collaborative activities among the membership. H2A is hosting a pre-conference meeting on the morning of April 22 before the conference gets underway which will include a presentation from a representative of AHRQ to help Health 2.0 companies understand what opportunities the ARRA might present, as well as discussions about budding efforts from our members focused on crowdsourcing provider reviews and web services for lookup of drug identifier codes and namespaces.

How Should You Get Involved?

Everyone who hasn’t already should join H2A and start participating!

  • Large technology and health care organizations, stakeholder groups, foundations and government agencies can work with H2A as an Industry/Program Partner or Sponsoring Members to address broader strategies/frameworks or design specific pilots with Health 2.0 companies;
  • Health 2.0 companies and traditional health care stakeholders that are interested in collaborating on projects, pilots or initiatives should contact H2A to discuss opportunities to get involved as a Contributor or Participant; and
  • Original wiki members should visit the H2A website and contact H2A to learn more about new opportunities for getting involved.

For more information about H2A, including a schedule of upcoming meetings or to RSVP for the pre-conference meeting in Boston, visit www.Health2Accelerator.org

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