Free Healthcare IT Newsletter Want to receive the latest news on EMR, Meaningful Use, ARRA and Healthcare IT sent straight to your email? Get all the latest Health IT updates from Neil Versel for FREE!

Friday funny

This isn’t exactly about health IT, but I’ll blog it because we’re talking about prevention and access to care. Here’s Stephen Colbert from last night’s “Colbert Report,” talking about the SCHIP legislation that President Bush has threatened to veto.

Enjoy, and have a great weekend.

September 28, 2007 I Written By

I'm a freelance healthcare journalist, specializing in health IT, mobile health, healthcare quality, hospital/physician practice management and healthcare finance.

More health 2.0: Healia on Facebook

Ah, to be unburied from a mound of stuff from my recent travels and a virtual mound of e-mails!

While I was still in Australia last month, the folks at health search engine Healia put up an application on Facebook to test people’s knowledge of health-related issues. (You have to be a member of Facebook to use it, but c’mon, everyone’s doing it! Even me.)

I actually wrote a blurb about this application as part of a project on telehealth (OK, so it was broadly defined) for a client in the UK. Here it is:

Summary
Studies have shown that informed patients are better patients and that healthcare in the future increasingly will depend on individuals learning about and taking more control over their own health conditions. Meanwhile, social networking sites have become popular homes on the Internet for interpersonal communication and exchange of ideas. With these trends in mind, Healia, a US developer of a health-specific Internet search engine, has created a game on social networking site Facebook to test consumer knowledge of health issues.

Those who accept the Healia Health Challenge pick multiple-choice and true-false responses to a series of health questions. Players start as pre-medical students and work their way up toward being chief of medicine, scoring points based on how quickly they can come up with correct answers. (The point value of each question declines from 10 as a 30-second timer counts down.)

After answering each question, players see the correct answer and an explanation, as well as a link for further information on the subject. For example: “Some people falsely believe that coffee, cold showers and other remedies can hasten the process of sobering up. To learn more, search: alcohol sobering up.”

As with other Facebook applications, users can share the game with friends and challenge members of their personal Facebook networks.

Technology
This application runs through Facebook, a popular social networking site, and questions are based on Healia research.

References
“Check out Healia’s new Facebook health application.” 30 August 2007. The Healia Health Blog, http://blog.healia.com/?q=node/check_out_healia_s_new_facebook_health_application. Accessed 3 September 2007.

Detmer, DE, et al. “The Informed Patient: Study Report.” University of Cambridge, Judge Institute of Management. March 2003. Viewed at http://www.jbs.cam.ac.uk/research/health/tip/pdf/crstudy.pdf/. Accessed 3 September 2007.

September 25, 2007 I Written By

I'm a freelance healthcare journalist, specializing in health IT, mobile health, healthcare quality, hospital/physician practice management and healthcare finance.

Separating the wheat from the chaff

I’m not going to blog on my experience at last week’s Third Healthcare Blogging & Social Media Summit in Chicago and the Health 2.0 Conference in San Francisco, since so many other bloggers (including the organizers of both events) have already done so.

See The Health Care Blog, the Trusted.MD network, Enoch Choi, Scott Shreeve, John Sharp and even the Huffington Post (!) if you want a sampling of blog opinions on this.

Instead, I’ll give you a list of companies that presented or otherwise had a presence at the events. Some you’ve no doubt heard of, others might be new. Some have workable business models, others don’t. Some are bankrolled by Steve Case, but most aren’t.

File this away and see how many are around at this time next year, and if any are actually thriving. (OK, I have a feeling Microsoft’s business model is pretty solid, but there was a reason why venture capitalists were busy at the Health 2.0 conference.)

An asterisk denotes sites that recently launched or are still in beta. You will notice quite a few asterisks in this list.

“Consumer aggregators”
Yahoo!
Google
WebMD
Microsoft

Clinician forums
Netdoc.com
PeerClip*
Within3
Sermo
iMedExchange*

Video
icyou.com* (Benefitfocus)

Consumer-driven healthcare
HealDeal*
HealthCare.com
Revolution Health
Quicken Health* (Intuit)
Health Equity
Vimo

Social/support networks for patients
Sophia’s Garden Foundation/Healing In Community
PatientsLikeMe
Daily Strength.org
Inspire* (formerly ClinicaHealth)

Drug information
DoubleCheckMD.com*
DestinationRx

Physician finder
Xoova

Clinician rating
CareSeek*

Patient-to-clinician
MedHelp
DNA Direct
RelayHealth (McKesson)

Search engines
OrganizedWisdom Health*
Healia (Meredith Corp.)
Kosmix.com/health
Medstory* (Microsoft)
Healthline Networks
WeGo Health*
MEDgle*

Pharma marketing
DigitasHealth

Home health monitoring
Health Heroes Network

Blogs/blog networks
Trusted.MD
BlogHer
Diabetes Mine

* Newly released or in beta

I will give you one other highlight of the San Francisco conference: Seeing J.D. Kleinke of Omnimedix Institute and Adam Bosworth, just “relieved of his duties” at Google, chatting. I was hoping to get the two of them together with Scott Shreeve, late of Medsphere, for a podcast, so each could listen to my long-winded question and then give me a terse, “I’m not allowed to comment” due to pending litigation or other contractual obligation. Perhaps next time.

September 24, 2007 I Written By

I'm a freelance healthcare journalist, specializing in health IT, mobile health, healthcare quality, hospital/physician practice management and healthcare finance.

Podcast: Dr. David Brailer on his new venture and progress in health IT

SAN FRANCISCO—Dr. David Brailer is a very popular man these days. Having $700 million of Other People’s Money to invest, as his company Health Evolution Partners does, tends to do that. At the Health 2.0 Conference today, it took an hour and 15 minutes for him to fend off the suitors and finally sit down with me for this brief but lively podcast about his new venture and about the current state of health information technology in America. I think it was worth the wait.

(Everyone else is blogging this event live. I can’t keep up, so thought I’d try something different.)

Podcast details: Interview with Dr. David Brailer on Health Evolution Partners and progress in health IT. MP3, mono, 64 kbps, 4.5 MB. Running time 9:53.

0:34 Investment strategy
1:05 Surprise since he started the fund
1:40 About the company
2:25 Why he’s not looking at biotechnology
2:55 Health 2.0
3:35 Investing through venture partners
3:45 Assessment of national health IT adoption
4:35 Health IT hasn’t become politicized
5:05 Tough issues still unsettled
6:13 RHIOs
6:50 Shakeout in health IT (and interruption from siren outside the window)
7:50 Advice to people involved in RHIOs
8:08 Personal health records and consumerism

September 20, 2007 I Written By

I'm a freelance healthcare journalist, specializing in health IT, mobile health, healthcare quality, hospital/physician practice management and healthcare finance.

Podcast: Robert Kolodner’s MedInfo speech

I guess technically this isn’t really a podcast, or at least not my podcast, since I’m not in this at all. But I’m pretty sure it’s a worldwide Internet exclusive, U.S. National Coordinator for Health Information Technology Dr. Robert Kolodner’s keynote address to the MedInfo 2007 conference (right) on Aug. 23 in Brisbane, Australia. Kolodner’s office even asked me for a copy.

I wanted to plug my recorder into the sound board. The sound techs there told me don’t bother, they’d burn me a CD of the speech. So here you have it, a pristine recording, ripped from that CD. (Please, no flames from BitTorrent purists who believe that there’s no such thing as a “pristine mp3″ file.) I’ve uploaded it in stereo and at 128 kbps, double my normal, mono podcast rate.

I’m not going to bother with detailed podcast info for this one, since it took me almost a month to get this posted in the first place, but I’ll link once again to the story I wrote from Brisbane about Kolodner’s remarks and my interview with him. As a special bonus, I’ve included Kolodner’s presentation slides so you can play along at home.

I’ll also say that the “cuddling a koala” he refers to in the first minute is exactly what I’m doing in the picture in my Sept. 9 post. That was from Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary on the outskirts of Brisbane, if you’re ever in the neighborhood. Good thing Brisbane is in Queensland, because apparently it’s illegal to touch a koala in the Australia state of Victoria.

I have a couple more podcasts in the pipeline, so check this space later this week.

Podcast details: Keynote speech by Dr. Robert Kolodner to MedInfo 2007, Aug. 23, 2007, in Brisbane, Australia. MP3, stereo, 128 kbps, 43.5 MB. Running time 47:30.

Presentation slides (PDF, 2.4 MB)

September 18, 2007 I Written By

I'm a freelance healthcare journalist, specializing in health IT, mobile health, healthcare quality, hospital/physician practice management and healthcare finance.

Quick update

Red Herring paid me last month, just before I left for Australia. The check was for the amount in full, including a late-payment penalty. Call off the boycotts!

September 9, 2007 I Written By

I'm a freelance healthcare journalist, specializing in health IT, mobile health, healthcare quality, hospital/physician practice management and healthcare finance.

MedInfo coverage


After a week of pressing deadlines and erratic sleep courtesy of the worst case of jet lag I’ve ever encountered, I’ve finally collected my thoughts and my wits, and am ready to post a few things from MedInfo 2007 and related conferences.

I thought I’d start by posting links to some of the stories I’ve written from my trip to Australia. I have a couple of podcasts to post as well, plus some more writing to do, but here’s something. I was the only full-time journalist from either North America or Europe at MedInfo, so I’m using that to my advantage. (If there’s any editor out there still interested in coverage, I’m listening. I have nearly 500 poster presentations to draw on, to give you an idea of the breadth of material available.)

From Digital HealthCare & Productivity

“Optimism Marks Opening of the MedInfo 2007″ (Aug. 21)
My report of the keynote address by Sir Muir Gray, NHS director of clinical knowledge.

“A Tale of RHIO Success” (Aug. 21)
I travel all the way to Australia to report on Winona Health in Minnesota.

“Kolodner Says U.S. Will Reach Pres. Bush’s 2014 EHR Goal” (Aug. 28)
My coverage of Dr. Robert Kolodner’s keynote address to MedInfo, with snippets from the interview he gave me.

“Shortage of Health-IT Workers Is Limiting Progress” (Aug. 28)
News of a collaboration between the International Medical Informatics Association and the World Health Organization, based on my interview with officials of both organizations and their presentations to MedInfo.

“Grappling with the Softer Side of Health-IT” (Sept. 5)
This is another exclusive: my coverage of the ITHC 2007: the Third International Conference on Information Technology in Health Care: Socio-technical
Approaches
, a small, focused meeting held in Sydney a week after MedInfo.

“Reporter’s Notebook: From the Land Down Under” (Sept. 5)
Exactly what it sounds like.

From E-Health Insider and EHealth Europe

“IMIA and WHO to ‘revitalise relationships'” (Aug. 23)
Another take, in more depth, of the IMIA-WHO collaboraton.

“Wireless solutions simplify communication” (Aug. 31)
I look at creative applications of wireless technology in Denmark and Austria.

I Written By

I'm a freelance healthcare journalist, specializing in health IT, mobile health, healthcare quality, hospital/physician practice management and healthcare finance.