Health 2.0: The Patient Experience

I’m very excited to report that today myself and a bunch of online health experts convene in San Diego, CA, for the “Spring Fling” version of last Fall’s Health 2.0 Conference. As you can see, the focus of this round is “Connecting Consumers & Providers” with a huge emphasis on the user experience (that’s us!!).

H20_logo_happy Therefore, the organizers have me busy all day long tomorrow. I’ll be running a morning panel on “The User Experience” featuring the following:

* Alice Kreuger, a tech writer from Colorado who’s been using social networking sites to help manage the effects of multiple sclerosis. She’s president of Virtual Ability, Inc., a non-profit that operates The Heron Sanctuary, a support community for the disabled in the virtual world of Second Life.

* Matthew Zachary, a concert pianist who recovered from a rare and malignant pediatric brain tumor at the age of 21 which temporarily derailed his music career. Today he’s not only recorded several albums, and played scores of concerts, but he’s also created the I’m Too Young For This Foundation, “which is changing the way cancer among young people is understood.”

* Ranae Whitmore, who “experienced an epiphany 20 months ago and embarked on a new and enlightened journey of weight loss and self improvement using several Health 2.0 sites including Daily Strength (where’s she’s known as “Heartgirl”).” She formed friendships to provide motivation and eventually lost 140 pounds. She’s now dedicated to helping others along similar journeys.

plus demos from…

the well-established HealthCentral Network, serving 30 different conditions, including diabetes

a new combo health search and community site called WEGO Health

and the brand new patient “story-telling” site

Then at mid-day I’m supposed to sit on a “Reactor Panel” about patients connecting with healthcare providers. In other words, what’s the patients’ experience at the doctor’s office? When I asked how to prepare for this one, the organizers said, “Don’t worry. You’ve been preparing for the last four years, since your diagnosis.” Gotcha.

Finally (and this is really neat!), I’ll also sit on the closing panel exploring “The Future User Experience” with the likes of:

* Deputy Editor of Wired magazine Thomas Goetz – an expert on technology and how it relates to health

* Legendary entrepreneur Esther Dyson of EDventure – a board member an investor in many a healthcare and genetics company

* David Kibbe – former director of (and now senior adviser to) the Center for Health Information Technology at the American Academy of Family Physicians.

* Doug Solomon, chief technology strategist at IDEO, the revolutionary design firm that helped “overhaul Kaiser Permanente’s patient experience” (see the BusinessWeek cover story HERE)

* Scott Shreeve, MD, of Crossover Healthcare, former founder of MedSphere and Health 2.0 pioneer

And little ‘ol me? Yeah, I wondered too. But Matthew Holt & team insist that the patient voice is what this whole movement is about. No sense having a bunch of heavy-hitters on the business and technology side without at least one in-the-trenches user who knows what it’s like to be a patient seeking help online.

So there you have it. All this Health 2.0 buzz comes down to the changing experience of us patient-types with the health and medical system. This whole affair will be videotaped and I’ll post the links as soon as possible, of course.

Stay tuned for H2.0 updates the next few days.


3 Responses

  1. Scott
    Scott March 3, 2008 at 7:07 am | | Reply

    Videotaped? That seems a tad archaic in the setting of online video, doesn’t it?

    I do believe these environments have gone a long way towards bringing what used to be done in the environment of patient support groups much closer together, but I remain unconvinced that they have done anything truly revolutionary.

    In the early 1970′s, local groups of patients (and their patients) met in communities across the country and JDRF was born, but I cannot help but wonder whether the Health 2.0 movement is merely a better forum for what has been done for decades in perhaps a slightly different setting (community groups of patients and/or parents with a common issue meeting to discuss common issues facing one another), but remains essentially just a better forum for patient support groups. Still, I find the organization of these different forums to be a useful forum to discuss common issues facing patient support groups, and think the outcomes will be interesting reading.

  2. Kevin
    Kevin March 3, 2008 at 7:43 am | | Reply

    How does Health2.0 help patients communicate with their doc in the 21st Century?

    I would hope that there will be some recognition of technologies and programs that are already allowing pwd to hold their quarterly visits and ad hoc requests for help via the Internet incl video conferencing, remote diagnostics, online scheduling etc… (ie Diabetes HouseCall) With increasingly prevalent reimbursement for these visits from more than a dozen insurers, I see the convenience factor and increased access to endocrinologists as a real world example of H2.0 that improves the patient-physician relationship.

  3. camille johnson
    camille johnson March 9, 2008 at 10:35 am | | Reply

    my pet peeve – misuse of common words like “me”.

    Your blog titled “Health 2.0: The Patient Experience” you wrote “your report that today myself and a bunch of online health experts…”
    should be written, “your report that today a bunch of online health experts and I…”

    Otherwise, I love your blog. Thanks

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