Health 2.0

Can we get physicians to use modular apps?

Health 2.0 is best known for (and started with) consumers using online tools, search, communities and other services. But over the last year or two we’ve seen more and more SaaS-based and modular tools developed aimed at physicians and their offices. At the same time of course the Feds have promised (but not quite started yet) to lay out up to $36 billion to put EMRs into doctors’ offices.

The problem is that most physicians practice as independent small businesses, and almost all the progress in mainstream EMR adoption has been in larger enterprises–particularly the VA using Vista and many larger provider systems (e.g. Kaiser) using Epic and a few other larger client-server based systems. But smaller businesses outside of health care are using a whole range of SaaS-based services to run their operations. For example, at Health 2.0 we use Highrise for customer tracking, Google Docs for records, Gmail for sharing information, Skype for communication, Surveymonkey for attendee surveys, Mailchimp for marketing emails, and several others.

Can physician offices use a parallel set of modular applications to run their various business and clinical processes? I believe that they can and will. But the problem is how to get the message out? So I was pretty interested to find that Sanofi Aventis is trying to reach physicians about these issues via a site called iPractice. They asked (and commissioned) me to write something about the topic. So I’ve described seven modular Health 2.0 tools for physicians. You can read my article here

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Categories: Health 2.0, Matthew Holt, Physicians

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Louise Denton, MDGPS WatchDoug Arnoldsteve Recent comment authors
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Louise Denton, MD
Louise Denton, MD

“These are exciting times in HIT and collaboration on the development of modular HIT apps is accelerating rapidly.”
When these apps actually help doctors provide safe and efficient medical care, there may be some adoption. These are devices looking for a use. I find the care by doctors who use these things to be inferior and insufficient. Best advice: DO NOT USE

GPS Watch

A friend of my does some independent IT work for some doctor’s offices in my area. In speaking with him, he has told me that more and more are looking to add emerging technology like you stated in your post. In one office, he has been charged to have the office run via Ipad. I can see the positives and the negatives of this, but ultimately, if the use of these types of things decreases costs and increases productivity, who could be against it?

Doug Arnold
Doug Arnold

Matthew, Your post is both timely and very relevant. These are exciting times in HIT and collaboration on the development of modular HIT apps is accelerating rapidly. The Clinical Groupware Collaborative (CGC) is a relatively new organization, formed in 2009, consisting of members with a shared desire to see growth in the acquisition and use of affordable, easy-to-use, and interoperable EHR technology, especially among the very large group of “non-consumers” who have found legacy EMRs cumbersome, expensive, and technically challenging to use. Clinical groupware is a new and evolving model for the development and deployment of health information technology (HIT)… Read more »


We need something that works for hospital based care.