September 30, 2011

Stop Thinking Like A Health 2.0 Company - by Jim Bloedau of Information Advantage Group

Although Healthcamp seemed to have lost a bit of steam since last year, the corresponding Health 2.0 conference in San Francisco was on the upswing - I found the Health 2.0 Rapture inspiring, again. However, I’m also a survivor of the clinical setting and Health 1.0, a recovering Luddite, and agree with the few that it sounds like we may be coming to the end of this round of the hype cycle.

After both conferences, the walk away was very similar to about thirteen years ago (Health 1.0) – cool and much more sophisticated tech coming out this year and only the very best and authentically interested people involved. As then, the lingering questions were: Where do we go with it now, seeing how there are much more appealing designs, but no runaway biz models just yet? How does this tech fit in to the lives of those not so lucky where most of the healthcare costs occur? How will this help healthcare professionals execute their business strategies?

So, maybe we should stop and consider, what are the realities that will make the “Consumer Miracle” hoped for by most presenting and the curious come true? Let me start a list.

  • Other than a CVS heart transplant researcher I knew, I’ve never heard a professional healthcare provider wishing for real time mega-data monitoring streaming into their offices.
  • I’ve never heard a low income 68 year old with multiple chronic health issues clamoring for the latest tablet, smart phone or more bandwidth.
  • I’ve never heard a doctor or nurse pleading to spend more time in the office.
  • I’ve never heard a family caregiver, alpha-daughter or employer eager to take half a day off work to take Mom, Dad or Granny in for a few more tests.
  • I’ve never heard a consumer/patient proudly say they would trust a Health 2.0 vendor over their doctor’s or nurse’s recommendations.
  • I’ve never heard a CEO of a large provider enterprise truely campaign for anything other than keeping the P&L right and their referral base happy.
  • I've never heard a patient not wanting to own their choices and having their options explained clearly.
(If you can add to the list, let me know)

Obviously, my orientation is toward the pain points of the current delivery of healthcare - the point of concentration where most of the money is spent and vendors can get the biggest bang for their cost-of-sales dollar. It is also the point that has been approached by Internet innovations since around 1991 - yes, it's now decades -  and to many professionals has created more problems than solved.

Still, I have a few favorites from the shows because they seem to be trying to make the lives of healthcare professionals better along with the patient's:
  • Apixio - trying to make sense of structured and unstructured care data across the provider continuum. Bravo!
  • Medify - trying to put some order to your online health searches - goes past a Google search and Microsoft Notes. Great!
  • Numera Social - choices for tailoring you wellness plan for optimization, crossover to professional reporting and engagement is an option. I love where this one is headed!
Let’s hope that the rumored Health 3.0 movement takes a sober look at these realities over the tech…they might find a more viable business model. 

PS: Thanks to Mathew Holt for a good conference, it keeps getting better.

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