Health 2.0: My Notes

I am just flying back from the Health 2.0 conference out in San Diego. I feel like there is a ton of information that I want to share so kudos to Matthew and Indu for the great job. (And, if you make it to the end of this post, you must really like the topic.)

I decided the best way to do this is in three posts: (1) Notes; (2) Companies; and (3) Observations. [Some people were doing live blogging which I just couldn’t do and keep focused.]

Here are a few of the other blog postings about the event:

So, let me begin here with my notes from the conference which began Monday with some informal sessions (user driven) and a deep-dive on a new vendor American Well. [I missed this event since it was so packed that it was standing room only in the hallway, and I was 5 minutes late getting off a conference call. That being said, they were in there for 3 hours so there must be something pretty interesting.] Tuesday was pretty much packed from breakfast (7:00) until I got back from dinner (11:00).

Matthew Holt:

  • Talked about his Health 2.0 picture of search, social networks, and tools. And, at the end of the conference, he showed a preliminary sketch of the model for the fall Health 2.0 conference where each of these are blown out into smaller segments.
  • Talked about the challenge of wrapping context around transitions. [In a side conversation, I thought someone else made a great point of saying that one of the biggest challenges will be how to drive change.]
  • Talked about the four stages of Health 2.0. I was soaking it in versus scribbling notes madly so all I got were phase 1 (user-generated content) and phase 2 (users as providers). But, I believe the later phases do (or should) show these models integrating into the establishment.

Susannah Fox (Pew Internet & American Life Project):
[Who by the way was a very good speaker and refreshingly gave a 30-minute presentation w/o any slides.]

  • Talked about an early 2000/2001 quote from the AMA on not trusting the Internet and a push to the physician. [That seems to have softened a bit over the years.]
  • Said that 40% of adults in America have a high school education or less which gets right to the issue of health literacy.
  • Talked about validity of online data. Researchers want to see date and source, but patients don’t look for that.
  • Talked about an article in a cancer magazine about misinformation which said the most highly correlated factor was a discussion around alternative medicine. Those sites often had misinformation on them.
  • She set the tone for the day by using the concept of a seven word expression to summarize your talk. Her’s was “Go Online. Use Common Sense. Be Skeptical.”
  • Pointed out that only 3% of e-patients report bad outcomes based on online data. [I think this whole discussion around what patients want in terms of research versus experiential data from their peers is very interesting.]
  • Talked about the white space between a “physican is omnipotent model” (my words) versus a “patient self-diagnosis world”. That is where we have to find a solution.
    • [A person from Europe who I talked with said that not only is their model different but the fact that they hold the physician on a pedestal makes some of these things impractical there.]
  • Talked about a new term for me – “participatory medicine”.
  • Said that Pew had classified people into three groups not on the concept of do you own a mobile device (for example) but on how you use it (e.g., do you feel like the device interrupts your life when it buzzes you, do you require help in setting up your devices).
    • 1/3 of Americans are “elite tech users” who own lots of devices
  • There is still minority distrust of some of these online tools. Some of this is generational.
    • The memory of the syphilis experiment is failing.
    • There is limited discussion of faith in these discussion areas which is important.
    • The older generation typically has less technical skills.
  • Her next seven word expression was “Recruit Docs. Let E-Patients Lead. Go Mobile.”
  • She described African American and Latino users of mobile devices as leveraging it as a Swiss Army knife versus a spoon. [I hope I use it more as a spork…which I assume is evolutionary over the spoon.] They use it more than TV or computers.

Patient Videos:

  • One of the most engaging segments was a series of video clips from patients.
    • The founder of (I’m Too Young For This) spoke about being diagnosed with cancer at an early age and how he overcame the physical challenges and has become a go to destination for people about cancer.
    • The founder of Heron Sanctuary in Second Life talked about how she has limited mobility in real-life and her ability to create a world in second life where she can help people and gave examples of how people are using this virtual reality tool.
    • A young woman with RSD talked about how she has used ReliefInsite to manage her disease and pain. She also had the same issue of being “too young” to have RSD and the challenges of finding a physician to help her and believe her.

The format for most of the day was to have 3-4 founders or executives from companies get up and talk for 4 minutes on their company. Then a panel of people would comment and questions would get asked. On the one hand, it was a compelling, fast-based approach that kept your attention. [No nodding off at this conference.] On the other hand, it was heavy on marketing and light on really drilling down on the problem. [Although I am not sure that was the purpose or even achievable without making this a multi-day conference.]

So…here were a few of my quick notes on some of the companies. I will post another one trying to look at some screen shots and other observations. If you didn’t get mentioned here, it’s likely because I was simply watching or distracted. Hopefully, I catch everyone on the Health 2.0 Company post.

  • WEGO Health – allows consumers to rank content…i.e., directed search…gave example of search for some health topic that returned 98,000 links on Google, but only 50 here…option to score after consumer uses the link
    • Seems interesting. How often is it updated? How do you build awareness? Can it be part of a broader search engine? Seems like a likely acquisition to be another option like images or desktop from a search criteria within Google.
  • HealthCentral – biggest brand you don’t know (or something to that effect)…have 40+ sites around specific disease states…6M unique visits per month…new VC money…100 “expert patients” found to create initial communities…ability to create inspirational cartoons that summarize your story…good GUI
    • I really liked some of the features they demonstrated (in 5 minutes). They talked about creating micro-communities (e.g., spouses of people with a disease).
    • The idea of “recruiting” 100 “expert patients” to build an active community was one of the best I saw.

In preparation for discussion on patient-MD solutions, someone shared that only 2-3% of MDs allow appointments to be booked online. There was discussion that patients don’t really look to the Internet to find a physician or hospital. They look at what’s in-network and they ask their friends. There was an example given for Yelp which is used to rank restaurants, but allows people to review the physician. [A comment I heard later was when will we see a site ranking the sites that rank physicians.]

  • Carol (company name) – talked about mall concept in that people shop for something like a physical or allergy test not necessarily a specific type of MD…provide cash prices and insured prices
    • Seemed interesting. I will have to think more about how I search.
  • – I talked about this company on the blog a few weeks ago…still like the graphics…saw a few other features that I hadn’t noticed such as customizing the search criteria and using slider bars so that you get weighted recommendations

I thought there was a good discussion on why would an MD participate in a ranking site.

  • Help them sub-specialize (i.e., I want to treat knee pain not neck pain).
  • Allow them to attract the right type of patient that matches their style and focus.
  • Ego…allowing them to manage comments.

IDEO, the famous industrial design, company facilitated a lunch workshop and talked at the conference. For simplicity, I will blend both notes here. (see old post about IDEO book)

  • Talked about user-centric design which is key. At lunch asked us to come up with a solution to address the problems of diabetes patients. Showed us four interviews with diabetics. But the stress was not on solving what we thought was their problem, but trying to actually listen to what they say and do in order to find something. Key point.
  • Talked about empathic research showing that we don’t say what we think, do what we should logically do an online car loan, or even do what we think we do.
  • Talked about a book called Thoughtless Acts.
  • Gave examples of project with Bank of America that showed how most people round up their credit card payments so they started a “Keep the Change” campaign which allowed them to attract 2M new members.
  • Walked through an example of creating the Humalog pen for Eli Lilly.
  • Talked about creating a new bike design.
  • All of them were common in the framework they use and their focus on the person/user/patient/member.
  • Lunch was an interesting workshop where you listened to the videos, identified issues, brainstormed solutions, picked a solution to “pitch”, and then shared your idea with your neighbor. At our table…
    • Saw problem largely as educational / informational
      • Don’t know what to expect
      • Don’t know where to get information
      • Don’t understand lifecycle and treatment plan options
      • Don’t know what to do with the pump
    • Talked about everything from portal to device solutions
    • Settled on an iPump concept that would blend an iPod with an insulin pump and foster a community around it to develop cases (e.g., a belt that it fit into as part of a formal dress), videos to download to it on education, connectivity to trigger auto-refills, etc.

Then we had several discussions by physicians that were blending the old model of house calls with technology. Seems very cool (for those that can afford it). Although one example was relevant, it missed the masses. One showed a trader who was too busy to leave the trading floor, but he had a sore throat so the physician came to his office, took a culture, and gave him an antibiotic.

  • One great point that they made was the benefit of seeing the patient’s environment (i.e., home) in helping them manage a disease.
  • I loved the fact that they would send me an e-mail with my notes from the visit rather than trying to scribble things down while they are talking.
    • Of course, this begs the question of literacy and teaching physicians how to communicate in simple, non-medical language.
  • Another great point was the issue of technology as a good unidirectional solution. For example, if the physician wants to know whether something works, an e-mail is very efficient if it does. Leaving a voicemail so that you play tag back and forth only to realize the patient is feeling better is a waste of time.
  • Jay Parkinson referred to himself as the “Geek Squad” for healthcare (think Best Buy computer technicians). Great analogy. He also showed this seemingly very intuitive and easy to use EMR called Myca which I believe he has built.
  • Somebody tied this back to the physician ranking discussion by asking how this new flexibility of business model would be captured and tracked on those sites (e.g., does MD respond to e-mail).
  • I can remember if I jotted this down or one of them said it but I have “More Time. Save Money. Less Costs.” I think this was in response to a question I e-mailed in about how these new models were affecting the compensation and lifestyle of the physicians.

Phreesia talked about their tablet solution (i.e., electronic clipboard) for the physician’s office. They had an interesting statistic that 49M Americans move each year so address data is constantly changing. (Not to mention plan coverage, drug use, etc.) They are getting 200-300 new MDs a month to sign-up for this.

I don’t see myself using it, but this is an interesting option. Organized Wisdom talked about their product LiveWisdom which allows users to leverage a live person (I assume MD or RPh or RN.) via chat to address questions they might otherwise contact their MD about. They pay $1.99 per minute.

  • As they admitted, they are limited in scope and often have to refer the patient to an MD. They seemed to me limiting, but creating an opportunity to partner with American Well who helps you find an MD, sees if they have time to talk, and launches an interactive video session and chat session with the MD right then for a pre-agreed upon rate.

There were two patients there that were involved in lots of feedback sessions. The first was a woman who has lost 144 pounds (w/o going on The Biggest Loser) and has become an online advocate and support mechanism for lots of people using DailyStrength. The second was Amy Tenderich who is a very active diabetic and blogs at DiabetesMine.

Amy’s story was great. Her blog is very engaging and as Matthew said it is “thought by many to be the #1 blog for patients“. I had a chance to talk with her and her husband and heard a lot about how it started and the response. It is a great story, and she is very knowledgeable and was willing to really push the patient-centric agenda at the conference.

Someone made the point about linking patient costs to compliance with their care plan which I have blogged about before. I completely agree that the patient should be rewarded for using self-service options (web vs. live agent) and for staying compliant.

ReliefInsite talked about their solution and shared that 1 in 6 Americans suffer from chronic pain. No matter what the CEO said, he couldn’t do better than the opening patient video which used their solution. (Which he said was a surprise to him.)…seemed like a good, interactive tools with nice reporting.

Emmi Solutions showed their online educational tool which had videos built in a conversational tone and used animation to help people understand procedures and their disease. Seemed great. Said that informed patients are less likely to sue.

MedEncentive is one that I will have to spend more time looking at. It plays to the incentive question and rewarding patients and MDs. They talked about a 10:1 ROI and said the medically literate patients have less hospital visits.

[Completely off topic, but from the conference, I heard someone talking about CouchSurfing which is apparently a “network” where you allow people (that you don’t know) to come sleep on your couch. I thought that died with hitchhiking in the 60s.]

A consultant from Mercer commented that some large employers with physicians on staff are more effective [at health and cost management] than small health plans. Not sure if that was a complement to employers or an insult to health plans.

BenefitFocus which automates the set-up of your benefits (imagine no more paperwork to enroll) had a great video showing the future with personal consultants (via hologram), biometric signature, and other cool things. [I have heard good things about them for years although they never returned my phone calls several years ago even with name dropping one of their biggest investors.]

Virgin Healthmiles was there and talked about their pedometer which is tracked online. They also have an employer kiosk for tracking weight and body fat. Offline, he also told me that they are rolling out connections which will be on the treadmills and other machines at participating gyms. I am a big fan of what they are doing. I believe he said they recommend 7,000 steps a day per person (and think he told me that 2500 is a mile).

Stan Nowak (my boss) presented the Silverlink story talking about using technology to engage patients, the importance of capturing data, extreme personalization, and showed recent success improving compliance by 3x by rapidly doing a series of pilots.

  • I am not sure I have figured out our seven word description but here’s a few attempts:
    • Patients Are Different. Personalization Matters. Be Proactive.
    • Preference Based Communications Engage Patients & Drive ROI.
    • Segment. Learn. Interact. Empower. Use Communications Appropriately.

iMetrikus talked about their solution which connects over 50 biometric devices today into backend healthcare systems. They charge $3 PMPM which caused me to raise an eyebrow. It is a great solution and integration is a nightmare, but that seems like a lot of money. But, I am all about ROI. If I can get better return on this than on another project and it exceeds my cost of capital, why wouldn’t I do it.

iConecto didn’t present but had a booth and introduced a section. But, I love the concept of using play (e.g., Wii) to drive health.

To be fair, I will even include my notes about Eliza Corporation (our competition). Their CEO and our CEO did a podcast with Matthew the weekend before which you can listen to here. The messaging is fairly similar (although I have a strong bias about why us). She talked about tailoring [of messaging] being the new black. She talked about using clinical and demographic data to drive programs. They are a good company, and it was well done. [I was even flattered that several of their employees said that they read my blog.] Both companies commented on how they feel old (~7 years) compared to a lot of the companies presenting here (~2 years).

  • One thing that I find strange is for two companies that pretty evenly split the healthcare marketplace for Strategic HealthComm is that we are located within 10 miles of each other near Boston.

At one point, there was a discussion around ROI especially on new technologies and how to get that first big project. One of the panelists said that a 1:1 ROI over two years would be sufficient. [Not true for any company that I have worked at or consulted to.]

The final panel discussion and closing statements had a lot of good content:

  • Discussion of the patient as a provider and what that could mean.
  • Discussion of importance of sharing information across solutions.
  • The concept of citizen (European) versus patient.
  • From the Wired magazine participant, discussion around fidelity versus flexibility:
    • Disk versus MP3
    • HDTV versus Tivo
    • Microsoft versus Google
  • Importance of moving upstream in care
    • Disease management
    • Wellness
    • Prevention
    • Diet
  • As part of upstream discussion, talked about involving the food companies and used the analogy of inviting the oil companies to a green conference. [I wondered where the MCOs were, the hospital networks, and the politicians.]
  • The author of the book “Demanding Medical Excellence” (who I believe is part of the Health 2.0 staff talked about “random acts of doctoring” and the issue of solving healthcare for the few or the masses.
  • Indu talked about building a new system versus extending and improving the existing system. [A great question]
  • I think it was Matthew that brought up the issue of designing for credibility.

Wow! If you made it through this thesis, good for you. I hope it’s helpful. It is certainly easier than me trying to find my notes two months from now or sending a bunch of e-mails to people on sections they might find interesting.

5 Responses to “Health 2.0: My Notes”

  1. Healthcare sites have been slower to evolve into Web 2.0 applications since nothing can really replace the personal aspect of a doctor’s visit. There are however a number of great Health 2.0 websites that are arming the patient with medical information before visiting their doctor. infoMedMD is a new web 2.0 application (based in Boston) which uses computer logic to intelligently decipher your medical symptoms into valuable medical information.

  2. should show these models integrating into the establishment.

  3. Health 2.0 goes way beyond just the pervasive social networking technology to include a complete renaissance in the way that Healthcare is actually delivered.

  4. Nice Post! I wish I would have been able to attend the Health 2.0 Conference. Hopefully I’ll be able to attend the next Health 2.0 Conference. Anyway, here’s my breakdown of Health 2.0.

    Health 2.0 is derived from the term Web 2.0, which implies a 2nd generation/release of the Internet.

    The ‘2.0’ part was established within computer programming – as a new edition of an application is released, it is common practice for the programmers to add an incrementing number at the end of a program’s name, to label the new version.

    Web 2.0 implies the ‘2nd release’ of the Internet, which of course is not based on anything concrete. The Internet being made up of millions upon millions of interconnecting computers running lots of various programs, but is more of a concept to describe the type of programs/applications/functionality one can now locate on the Internet.

    The Internet was initially complied of mainly static pages of data. Soon to follow was email, web forums and chat rooms where discussions could take place. Web 2.0 refers to a trend on the Internet that saw a step forward in the way users conduct communication over the Internet, which includes the use of blogs, videos, podcasts, wikis and online communities where people with common interests get together to share ideas, media, code and all types of information.

    Web 2.0 technologies such as social networking, blogs, patient communities and online tools for search and self-care management look as though they will permanently alter the healthcare landscape indefinitely.

    As with Web 2.0, there is a lot of debate about the meaning of the term ‘health 2.0’. The Wall Street Journal recently attempted to define Health 2.0 as:

    “The social-networking revolution is coming to health care, at the same time that new Internet technologies and software programs are making it easier than ever for consumers to find timely, personalized health information online. Patients who once connected mainly through email discussion groups and chat rooms are building more sophisticated virtual communities that enable them to share information about treatment and coping and build a personal network of friends. At the same time, traditional Web sites that once offered cumbersome pages of static data are developing blogs, podcasts, and customized search engines to deliver the most relevant and timely information on health topics.”

    While this traditional view of the definition imputes it as the merging of the Web 2.0 phenomenon within healthcare. I personally believe it’s so much more. In my opinion, Health 2.0 goes way beyond just the permeant social networking technology to include a complete renaissance in the way that Healthcare is actually delivered and conveyed over the Internet.

    What does Health 2.0 mean to YOU?


  1. » Standing Room Only: a hosted discussion on innovation in health care - April 24, 2008

    […] with standing room only (in the hallway), but that is the story for American Well. At both Health 2.0 and at the WHCC 2008, the crowds packed in to hear Dr. Roy Schoenberg (CEO and founder) speak. […]

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