Health care bloggers, news reporters, physician entrepreneurs, and the brilliant founder of Commerce.net were there. Venture capitalists, technology developers, genomic gurus and pharmaceutical strategists came. Esther Dyson had a front-row seat and asked some of the hardest questions. And passionate developers of consumer-facing health communities, driven by personal stories, shared their work with us.

Welcome to the first Health 2.0 conference, assembled by Matthew Holt, the Health Care Blog meister, strategy consultant and (disclosure) my dear friend; and Indu Subaiya, MD, of Etude Scientific (and my new friend).

Matthew and Indu worked hard, with colleagues John and Sara, to bring together over 400 passionate people (standing room only with a waiting list) in a Hilton ballroom in San Francisco, all of us focused on the promise of what the Internet could enable in the transformation of health care.

This inaugural meeting of Health 2.0 took on a palpable life of its own on Thursday, 20th September, 2007. I am blessed to have been a member of the advisory board, a moderator of one of the panels, and a participant in the day.

Here are a few gems I noted during the conference:

“It’s about all of us,” Karen Herzog believes, as she described the 3-D healing community known as Sophia’s Garden. The project is named for Karen’s and her husband Richard Sachs’ daughter Sophia, whose brave battle against Neimann-Pick Type A inspired this healing community.

“Together, we’re better,” observed Brian Loew of Inspire.com.

“People are the algorithm,” Steven Krein of Organized Wisdom asserted.

“The revolution has to be for everybody,” said Joe Gifford of Regence Group. “Obesity is a viral disease…but wellness may be, too.” And, he noted that this Health 2.0 movement may be, “a Gandhi moment,” where we can be the change we want to see in the world.

Bruce Grant, media maven from Digitas Health, said that “people construct trust” from 6-12 sites on the Internet and don’t consume just one trusted source. The real risk for those players in health care who do not engage in social media is losing “relevance, becoming marginalized.”

Ted VonGlahn of Pacific Business Group on Health recognized that we need “a common currency about performance in health care.”

Paul Wallace, Medical Director of Kaiser Permanenete, offered that “we talk about trust as a zero-sum game,” but that we should look at trust “as an asset that you can grow.” Instead of thinking about the number of patients a doctor can see in a day in the office, Dr. Wallace thought it more relevant to think about “how many patients you can touch in a day,” virtually, through e-consults, e-mail, and other technology-enabled tools. This could make each in-person visit richer, longer.

Scott Shreeve, a brilliant blogger and entrepreneur, is an active member of the Health 2.0 community and shared his definition of the phenomenon. He noted the distinction between the old world of health care and the new — “The Cathedral versus The Bazaar,” which is system-generated vs. user-generated content.

Marlene Beggelman, an internist who developed DoubleCheck MD, a website that enables drug interaction checks using natural language, said that, “to be actionable, information has to be personalized.”

Talking about consumers managing health finances, Mike Battaglia of Quicken Health/Intuit, observed that, “curseable moments presage teachable moments,” meaning that when consumers get mad enough about something in health care, they are ready to learn and adapt.

The iconic Dr. David Kibbe of the American Association of Family Practice blessed the group by joking, “May all your exit strategies come true.” He has a vision of a consumer-friendly provider setting and a reimbursement system that stops rewarding “harmful care and meaningless care.”

Lee Shapiro of AllScripts talked about his organization being around in “Health Care B.C., before connectivity.” He observed that electronic health records today are largely substitutes for paper records. But, “when you add the power of conectivity, it’s transformational.

Jay Silverstein of RevolutionHealth wants to get rid of randomness in health care. He is concerend about too much fragmentation in health care, and potential fragmentation in the Health 2.0 world. We “need to build business models that impact health.” Jay said we need “virtue metrics” that impact population health. RevolutionHealth’s criteria for looking at new acquisitions are companies that help health care become “simpler, transparent, relevant, and approachable.”

Finally, what will motivate us to do better with our own health?

I’ll be writing more about my insights on this special event, which will become more than just a ‘conference.’ It’s a movement, and it will spawn another that Marty Tenenbaum, that brilliant Commerce.net founder I mentioned, is shepherding — Health
Commons. More on that when I know more about it…


In the meantime, for more color commentary on this special day, read the hard-working, irrepressible Brian Klepper’s full coverage of the event on Matthew’s blog.

Health Populi’s Hot Points: Health 2.0 is not a conference or a meeting or a thing: it’s a movement. It has to do with changing behavior, sharing, bringing all stakeholders into the process–especially people, and co-producing health care.

Sources: Health 2.0, the Conference (www.health2con.com); The Health Care Blog (www.thehealthcareblog.com); ICYou’s coverage of Health 2.0 (http://www.icyou.com/?q=events/health-2-0-conference)

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