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  1. What we’re seeing here is the expansion of consumer Web 2.0 business models & strategy in healthcare.
    There is strong potential here for winner-take-all (or most) business models with strong network effects — like ebay, Facebook, Twitter.
    The goal for entrants at early stages is to build out the network and hopefully become THE dominant application. Twitter has a valuation of $1B + but doesn’t have any revenues yet.
    It’s not clear at what level the “network” (or community) there will be winners/losers. One way to look at this is that WebMD or MedHelp become dominant companies.
    Another way to look at this is as competition among discrete patient communities — e.g., diabetes, AIDS, arthritis — with different companies (or organizations) developing dominance in different niches. This strikes me as more probable.
    Interesting times ahead.

  2. Group visits are good for smoking cessation and general education and support type things, but they cannot replace regular visits, even for pregnancy. I doubt anybody would agree to undergo examination in a group setting.

  3. This post got me thinking about how health 2.0 is generally assumed to be web-based, but there are flesh and blood versions as well that trade on exactly the same dynamic with user/patient participation, asking questions, providing experiences to other patients, etc.
    For example, some recent press has focused on the idea of group office visits (such as for pregnancy, though chronic disease management fits the model nicely). A physician could have a 2 hour session with 10 people where each one gets 2 hours worth of information, gets to listen to the experiences of others in similar situations, gets to ask questions, etc. They interact both with the physician and other patients simultaneously.
    This can easily scale up if insurers pay for group sessions in a way that makes sense.

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