Friday, November 30, 2007

Health 2.0 In Action . . .

While catching up on my RSS feeds this evening a ran across a couple of interesting posts showing Health 2.0 in action.

The first takes you on a tour through the eyes of a new diabetic from Richard MacManus at Read/WriteWeb.

The second, I would suggest you bring at least fifty bucks, from Page Thompson over at change:healthcare takes a look into the dark and humorous world of the costs for strep tests.

The third example comes from Dr. Parkinson's new (old) approach to providing care through technology and house calls. A while ago he mentioned in a post (Food Photography) his approach to helping a patient with weight and obesity problems. This recent Chicago Tribune article again mentions his simple but effective approach to monitoring his patients food intake using Flickr. In the Q/A Dr. Parkinson explains his approach:
Q. How do you treat obesity?
A. I use the Internet as much as possible. I use Web sites like or to help patients understand how much they eat. I encourage them to start a flickr account to post photos of what and how much they eat. I can comment on portion size, fat content, etc. Having a visual record of all of the food you eat is quite powerful. I calculate how many calories they should take in to lose weight by a certain date. I do frequent follow-ups via IM or e-mail to see how they are doing and to let them know that there is one other person in the world who cares and supports them. My role is that of informative coach.
(Note: This approach to fighting and changing his patient's eating/weight problems reminded me of a modern version of what I saw my dad, a West Virginia country doctor, did on a regular basis when we went out to dinner. We would inevitably run across one or more of his patients and their families. His patients (especially those who I suspect he had advised they needed to lose weight and exercise more) would sheepishly look at their plates piled high and offer excuses of why they were eating so much or didn't have more greens and vegetables on their plate. I've got to believe this daily monitoring by the physician will help to change the patient's approach to eating -- the patient become accountable every day.)

As Health 2.0 matures we are seeing health consumers and those involved in the process (and business) of changing health care through technology and social health networking giving us concrete example of what might be possible. This wasn't around a year ago when I started down the path of trying to understand, grasp and apply health 2.0 thinking to the industry. Examples like these are moving us from concept to reality.

The Health 2.0 Spring Fling follow up conference set for March 3-4, 2008 in San Diego should bring us more concrete examples of how real people are using Health 2.0 technologies to drive change. Matthew Holt summarizes the approach to the conference as follows:
In the annual Health 2.0 event last September we heard from leading edge companies. The Spring Fling will be smaller and more intimate, and it will be themed around the experience of actual users. It will also explore a specific topic in more depth. This Spring, we will focus on consumers & providers connecting using Health2.0 tools and technologies.

Here is just a peek at what you can expect at Health 2.0 Connecting Consumers & Providers

In the months preceding the event, we will send camera crews out to follow real-life patients and providers using Health 2.0 technologies. With input from industrial designers and experts in ethnographic research, we will bring you experiences from the front-line delivered over video at the event.

On stage, interspersed with the videos, we’ll have real patients and physicians discussing their experiences using Health2.0 technologies. We’ll also be hearing from health care luminaries and technology companies pushing the limits of communities, tools, and search.
While you are at change: healthcare don't miss Christopher Parks current post adding his own perspective on meeting Bill Frist and follow up on Adam Bosworth's thoughts on the Aspen Institute health conference. Christopher is at the heart of the change going on and has insight on the practical realities where others may not. The statistics on the costs of health care if we continue the current path are unfathomable. Without real change focused on preventative care, chronic disease management and simple things like getting Americans to eat less (and better) the system will break.

1 comment:

caparks said...

Bob -
Thanks soooooooo much for the mention about Page's post and mine!

I truly appreciate your insight and blog posts. As we say here in Nashville... you're good people!

With Warmest Regards,