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Health 2.0 by Twitter

Here’s my version of Short Attention Span Theater (which is pretty much what Twitter is anyway), of the recently concluded Health 2.0 Fall Conference, as I reported via Twitter. Note the juxtaposition between observation, commentary and snark.

Preconference sessions on Sunday:

Irony: RegisterPatient is on same #health2con panel as DrChrono after DrChrono called its pt history collector "groundbreaking." #mhealth
Neil Versel
RT @: Still waiting for a demo to blow me away or provide impressive insight on adoption rates at Doctors 2.0. #health2con #toosoon?
Neil Versel

Monday plenary sessions:

Following thoughtful keynote from @ boss Mark Smith, live launch of HealthTap at #health2con threatens to turn mtg into pep rally.
Neil Versel
This got someone from HealthTap to misinterpret what I had said:
So much enthusiasm on health! @ After keynote from @ Mark Smith, launch of #HealthTap at #health2con turns mtg into pep rally
To which I replied:
@ @ That was meant as a caution, not as approval. Too much enthusiasm and you lose sight of reality. #health2con
Neil Versel
(For the record, @CHCF is not the correct handle for the California HealthCare Foundation. It’s @CHCFnews.)

I also had an important question for HealthTap, one that so far has gone unanswered.

@ says 5k docs signed up. I wonder about liability from giving #medical advice online to #patients they don't know #health2con
Neil Versel

I retweeted/commented on many others’ tweets, too.

AMEN! RT @: Need #healthIT solutions to be more geared toward real source of need in our population: the elderly #health2con
Neil Versel
RT @: stickK has users commit money toward their goal, spends it on their 'anti-charity' of choice if they don't meet #health2con
Paulo Machado
RT @: Love Mark Bertolini's comment that people should be able to fit healthcare into their lives & not other way around #health2con
Paulo Machado
RT @: RT @: Jim Hansen of Dossia: 85 year olds don't like sexy interfaces. Keep it simple #health2con
Mark Scrimshire

I found quite a bit of news and lack of news being announced on stage.

Aetna will have #mhealth app for #patients to make #physician appointments next spring. #health2con
Neil Versel
Pls don't tell me about another untethered #PHR. Nobody uses them. #healthIT #health2con #fail
Neil Versel

And don’t take kindly to vagueness about the word “solution.”

WTF is a solution? RT @: Or just solutions! RT @: Ppl dont want a PHR, they want tools 2 help solve health problems
Neil Versel
I hate hate hate the use of "solution" as a synonym for "product" or "service." #health2con #healthit
Neil Versel
Good health. MT @: WTF is a solution? RT @: Or just solutions! RT @: Ppl want tools 2 help solve health problems
Rachel Kalmar
@ @: ok! people want good health without having to invest time into it, that's the bottom line.
Rachel Kalmar
(I get the sense @grapealope is among the many Silicon Valley cheerleaders who came not to a conference but a pep rally. I bet the Kool-Aid tasted great.)

So true. RT @: How many social networks will people participate in? I find it hard to keep up with one. #health2con
Neil Versel
What about the unmentionable of the digital divide, that people who need help, can't afford the tools we are building apps for #health2con
Rachel de Sain

Then came the lamest presentation of them all, in a plenary session no less, a demo of an overly cutesy “life game” called Mindbloom. The presentation was accompanied by distracting sound effects of birds chirping the entire time, and the game itself featured a guide character called the “enlightening bug.” My impression?

More touchy-feely bs. Time for a group hug. #health2con
Neil Versel

Others weren’t so harsh, but at least had questions about the purpose and appeal.

Mindbloom interesting idea - just wondering how many people will take the time to manage this digital Tamagachi... #health2con
Paulo Machado
@ I say nobody. Too cutesy.
Neil Versel
Some will use - will have high drop off rate... RT @: @ I say nobody. Too cutesy.
Paulo Machado
@ Yeah, that sounds right.
Neil Versel

I later asked fellow realist John Moore of Chilmark Research this question:

@ Ready to join hands and sing Kumbaya yet? #health2con
Neil Versel

At least I wasn’t the only one worn out by having to separate the wheat from the chaff.

At odds with myself after a long day at #health2con. So much great stuff, but so much shiny hyped iVapor too. Let's make it REAL folks!

I did tone down my rhetoric a bit on Tuesday, though.

Lots of people seem to be gulping the #health2con Kool-aid. Is your enthusiasm realistic? As an objective observer, I'm seeing hits & misses
Neil Versel

OK, maybe only a bit, especially after Microsoft’s Mike Raymer said, “It was good to have two companies create a marketplace,” in reference to Microsoft’s HealthVault and the soon-to-be-departed Google Health.

#MSFT #HealthVault and #Google Health didn't create #PHR marketplace. CapMed started in 1991. #health2con
Neil Versel
GH didn't have any users. RT @: Love how Microsoft Health Vault has a welcome page to former Google Health users. #health2con
Neil Versel

I highlighted what I saw as good points:

RT @: Non invasive blood glucose monitor unveiled at #health2con in SF. very cool! Is it accurate?
Gregg Masters
Sona Mehring of CaringBridge: #Facebook is the 3rd largest country in the world. #health2con
Neil Versel

And I asked a question that I’d love to hear an answer to:

Deep Thought: Maybe there needs 2b differentiation between health 2.0 and fitness 2.0? #health2con #mhealth
Neil Versel

I would be less likely to tune out certain sessions if there were more related to healthcare and less to personal fitness and wellness. Of course, others have different viewpoints, which is why it might make more sense to separate the two into different conferences or at least different tracks.

September 30, 2011 I Written By

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

Announcing Health eVillages

I’m involved in this project that’s being announced right now. I’ll have my perspective in MobiHealthNews.

Physicians Interactive and the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights Launch Health eVillages mHealth Initiative

First-Ever Consortium of Healthcare and Human Rights Organizations Providing Mobile Medical Technology to Challenged Regions Worldwide

MARLBOROUGH, MA, Sep 26, 2011 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) — Today marks the official launch of a historic healthcare and human rights advocacy consortium, Health eVillages, which aims to bring mobile medical reference and decision support technology to clinicians fighting to save lives in underserved regions worldwide. Physician’s Interactive Holdings, with its subsidiary, Inc., in partnership with the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, will formally announce the creation of Health eVillages during this year’s Health 2.0 Conference. Health eVillages will be assisting healthcare professionals practicing medicine in the most challenged clinical environments, by providing them with mobile clinical reference and decision support tools for medical training, diagnostics and clinical references.

“Putting these devices in the hands of healthcare professionals who require access to current treatment guidelines and references for chronic diseases, drug interaction guidance and medical specialties will help save lives,” said Donato Tramuto, founding partner, CEO and vice chairman of Physicians Interactive Holdings. “Health eVillages will arm clinicians with a ‘gold standard’ medical reference tool-kit, so they are prepared for any situation and are able to properly treat even the most unique medical conditions.”

“For four decades, the RFK Center has been working on the cutting-edge of social change with human rights activists around the world,” said Kerry Kennedy, President of the RFK Center for Justice and Human Rights. “Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights recognizes the right to healthcare. With this new program, we’re harnessing the capacity of cutting-edge technology to bring healthcare to the neediest people on this earth — people in Kenya, Haiti, Mexico and in the poorest places of the United States.”

Health eVillages is comprised of leading international healthcare advocacy organizations, mobile healthcare solution providers, health information technology companies, communication providers and public health foundations. They will provide healthcare professionals in disadvantaged areas with new and refurbished mobile phones and handheld devices that do not require Internet access and are preloaded with clinical decision support reference tools to ensure caregivers and patients have access to updated medical references in remote locations. All devices include drug guides, medical alerts, journal summaries and references from over 50 medical publisher resources powered by, Inc.

To date, Health eVillages has conducted pilot projects in several regions, including Haiti, Kenya, Uganda and the Greater Gulf Coast. The Health eVillages advisory board is comprised of accomplished executives that have played a critical role in the healthcare industry throughout their careers and bring vast knowledge, dedication and insight to the Health eVillages program.

Members of the Health eVillages Advisory Board include:

        --  Kerry Kennedy, co-founding partner and president of the RFK Center for
            Justice and Human Rights
        --  Donato Tramuto, co-founding partner, CEO and vice chairman of
            Physicians Interactive Holdings
        --  John Boyer, chairman of the board of directors for Maximus Federal
        --  Glen Tullman, chief executive officer of Allscripts
        --  Steve Andrzejewski, former chief executive officer of NycoMed, Inc.
        --  Alexander Baker, chief operating officer of Partners Community
        --  Dr. Mary Jane England, former president of Regis College
        --  Neil Versel, freelance healthcare journalist

For more information about Health eVillages, please visit .

The following are suggested tweets announcing the news. For more information regarding Health eVillages via Twitter, please follow along at @PI_Posts and at @SkyscapeInc.

        --  New healthcare consortium to provide clinicians w/ Internet-free                (5 Characters)
        --  RT @SkyscapeInc Breaking from #health2con: @rfkcenter & @PI_Posts                Characters)
        --  @HealtheVillages announced at #health2con to bring vital #mHealth                Characters)

About Physicians Interactive Holdings Physicians Interactive Holdings, with its subsidiary, Inc., is the leading resource for healthcare information, medication samples and mobile decision support tools to medical professionals everywhere. We use the full power of our network to bring clinicians and Life Sciences Companies together in ways that will change the practice and business of medicine, for the better. Physicians Interactive Holdings has developed a foundation of user-generated, proprietary and public data that powers a networked suite of transactional applications, including eSampling, interactive learning programs and mobile solutions. Physicians Interactive Holdings is owned by Perseus LLC, a merchant bank and private equity fund management company. For more information about PIH, visit

About the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights The Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights was founded in 1968 by Robert Kennedy’s family and friends as a living memorial to carry forward his vision of a more just and peaceful world. Through long-term partnerships and cutting-edge methods at the Center for Human Rights, we engage in long-term partnerships with human rights activists who have won the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award to initiate and support sustainable social justice movements. We support authors and investigative journalists who bring light to injustice through the RFK Book and Journalism Awards. Our Speak Truth To Power program educates the public and provides students with a toolkit for action to create change in the classroom, the community, nationally, and internationally. The RFK Compass Program works with institutional investors to advance a discussion of the connections among investment performance, fiduciary duty, and public interest issues to optimize risk-adjusted rates of returns and address current and future global challenges. Partnering with RFK Europe, we provide human rights education advocacy programs to schools and communities across the continent. With RFK Children’s Action Corps, we urge legislative reform of juvenile justice systems. The Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit charitable organization.

September 26, 2011 I Written By

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

Rules for conference season

Fall is in the air. That means it’s conference season again in health IT. I’m at Health 2.0 in San Francisco right now, and I’ll be taking at least two more business trips to the Pacific time zone before Thanksgiving, plus at least one trip east. That means I’ll be seeing a lot of PowerPoint presentations in the near future.

Needless to say, some presentations are better than others. Some are more accurate than others. On my last trip to California back in July, I hit the AMDIS Physician-Computer Connection. There, one slide show contained a fairly serious factual error regarding mergers and acquisitions in the EHR market. I won’t repeat it because I don’t want to spread falsehoods. You could see the shock on the faces of several people in the audience.

An hour or so after that session, I was sitting a table where one particularly perturbed individual had been earlier. He left the following on a notepad: Read more..

I Written By

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

Mixed feelings about health 2.0

I’m in San Francisco for the fifth annual Health 2.0 Conference. I attended the first two, missed the last two, but this year, I have several reasons for being here, not the least of which is to help out MobiHealthNews with coverage.

I’ve always been conflicted about this conference, and about the whole health 2.0 movement. In some ways, it represents the cutting edge of health IT thinking and consumer engagement. In other ways, it represents Bubble 2.0, with lots of interesting ideas that won’t catch on with the public and/or the healthcare community, as well as companies with no readily evident revenue model. (You know how I feel about style vs. substance.) But the positives generally outweigh the negatives.

Today, there were some pre-conference sessions. The one for doctors seemed like a dog-and-pony show, where various vendors paraded their products in front of an audience. This was my only real astute observation, as posted on Twitter:

Irony: RegisterPatient is on same #health2con panel as DrChrono after DrChrono called its pt history collector "groundbreaking." #mhealth
Neil Versel

It sounded like the Patients 2.0 session was more compelling. Check this Twitter search for more details. Engaging patients is a great idea, but my personal feeling is that the session may have been a little heavy on the kumbaya. To wit:

@ I like the term "health citizen" instead of the disempowering & reactive term "patient" #patients20 #health2con
Sean Ahrens
"Love needs a billing code!" reminds us @ #patients20 #health20
Roni Zeiger

I’m liking these tweets a little better:

Great points #Patients20 Let's develop tools for soliciting & curating patient&family expertise to provide to patients newly diagnosed.
Melinda Cuthbert
Good read, More health consumers look to pharmacists and pharmacy staff for health-related services #patients20
#health2con #patients20 health literacy and "actionable" information means being able to meet people where they are.

This post is a little heavy on the Twitter for a reason. I expect to be tweeting a lot more than blogging the next two days, mostly due to time constraints. Check out my Twitter feed on the right side of this page, or just go here.

September 25, 2011 I Written By

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

Meaningful use, courtesy of Xtranormal

As you may know, I’ve become a fan of Xtranormal, a site that creates crudely animated videos based on text you provide, often with hilarious results.

I just found this one on meaningful use, a video that’s been up since February, yet that had been viewed only seven times previously. That’s a shame.

Meaningful Clicks
by: ntshawver


September 23, 2011 I Written By

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

Clinical informatics certified as medical subspecialty

I just got word from AMIA that the American Board of Medical Specialties has officially accepted clinical informatics as a medical subspecialty. I’ll have more in a story for InformationWeek by tomorrow morning. I don’t have a link to the press release yet, but here’s the text:




Clinical Informatics Becomes a Board-certified Medical Subspecialty Following ABMS Vote

AMIA to offer prep courses for clinicians who sit for Board Exam

Sept. 22, 2011, Washington, DC—Today, AMIA—the association for informatics professionals—announces the success of a multi-year initiative to elevate clinical informatics to an American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) subspecialty certified by an examination administered by the American Board of Preventive Medicine and available to physicians who have primary specialty certification through the American Board of Medical Specialties. Joining such subspecialties as pediatric anesthesiology, medical toxicology, sports medicine, geriatrics medicine, and cardiovascular disease, clinical informatics (CI) certification will be based on a rigorous set of core competencies, heavily influenced by publications on the subject that were developed by AMIA and its members, many of whom have pioneered the field and supported CI’s new status as an ABMS-recognized area of clinical expertise. The goal for the first board exam is to have it available in Fall 2012, with the first certificates awarded early in 2013. To prepare physicians who wish to sit for this examination, AMIA is developing preparatory materials both as online and in-person courses starting Spring 2012.

“It is entirely appropriate and timely to certify clinical informatics as a specialized area of training and expertise in an era when more and more clinicians are turning to data-driven, computer-assisted clinical decision support to provide care for their patients,” said AMIA’s Board of Directors Chair Nancy M. Lorenzi, PhD, of Vanderbilt University Medical Center. “Clinical informatics blends medical and informatics knowledge to support and optimize healthcare delivery.”

In 2005, AMIA took note that demand for formal training and certification in clinical informatics (CI) was growing among physicians. Two years later, with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, AMIA launched a process to define the core content of the CI specialty and the training requirements for proposed CI fellowships (that would be accredited by the Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education). In 2009, the American Board of Preventive Medicine (ABPM) agreed to sponsor an application for a CI specialty examination, and a year later submitted a formal application to the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) to consider the creation of a new specialty certification. Once submitted, the ABPM proposal attracted support from the American Board of Pathology, which will cosponsor the subspecialty with the ABPM.  Subsequently, several other medical boards expressed interest in joining as formal co-sponsors

The role of the clinical informatician is to use his/her knowledge of patient care in combination with an understanding of informatics concepts, methods, and tools to:

  • assess information and knowledge-based needs of healthcare professionals and patients.
  • characterize, evaluate, and refine clinical processes.
  • develop, implement, and refine clinical decision support systems, and
  • lead or participate in the procurement, customization, development, implementation, management, evaluation, and continuous improvement of clinical information systems, such as electronic health records and order-entry systems.

“Establishment of the clinical informatics medical subspecialty is consistent with the current emphasis on broadening and professionalizing the health information technology workforce,” said AMIA President and CEO Edward H. Shortliffe, MD, PhD. “With the need over the next decade for 50,000 informatics professionals in the health sector with various levels of expertise, this focus on physician expertise in clinical informatics is clearly a step in the right direction. The CI exam will encourage more medical schools to build informatics into their training programs and to begin addressing real-world information management needs of physicians in virtually every work environment.”

About AMIA
AMIA is the center of action for 4,000 informatics professionals from more than 65 countries. As the voice of the nation’s top biomedical and health informatics professionals, AMIA and its members play a leading role in assessing the affect of health innovations on health policy, and advancing the field of informatics. AMIA actively supports five domains in informatics: translational bioinformatics, clinical research informatics, clinical informatics, consumer health informatics, and public health informatics.

About ABMS

ABMS Member Boards certify physicians in more than 150 specialties and subspecialties. To see a full list of current specialty and subspecialty certificates offered by ABMS Member Boards, including the American Boards of Preventive Medicine and Pathology, visit


UPDATE, 8:50 pm CDT: Here’s the link to AMIA’s press release.

UPDATE, Sept. 23: Here’s my story for InformationWeek.

September 22, 2011 I Written By

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

‘Five rights’ for data administration

You know about the “five rights” for medication administrations: the right drug, for the right patient, in the right dosage, on the right route, at the right time.

More recently we’ve seen “five rights” for effective clinical decision support: the right information, to the right stakeholder, at the right point in workflow, through the right channel, in the right format.

Now, security vendor Symantec brings us the “five rights” for data administration: Read more..

September 21, 2011 I Written By

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

‘Care About Your Care’ videos

As promised last week, I have found the videos from last week’s Care About Your Care consumer-outreach program launch. Only one is embeddable, this 88-second PSA that tells the public that there is such thing as bad care and that it’s important to ask questions:

If you want to see the kickoff webcast featuring TV personality Dr. Mehmet Oz, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation President and CEO Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey and AHRQ Director Dr. Carolyn Clancy, you have to go to the main Care About Your Care site and click on the Dr. Oz box. Wouldn’t you know, it starts with the above PSA.

Last week, I questioned how much impact this program could have in a month. I see that there is no mention of it on the home page for Oz’s TV show. That would be a good place to add a link in a prominent location, no?


September 20, 2011 I Written By

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

Health Wonk Review: Could meaningful use be outdated already?

There’s a fresh edition of Health Wonk Review up at the Health Business Blog, hosted by David E. Williams. My post on the new Care About Your Care campaign merits a mention, but I have to say it’s far from the most intriguing commentary in the blogosphere over the past two weeks. I direct you to another post that made Health Wonk Review, namely one from Dr. Jaan Sidorov, author of the Disease Management Care Blog.

Sidorov wonders if “meaningful use” of EHRs isn’t designed for a PC-centric world, even though tablets and cloud computing have started to assert themselves:

It’s too early to assess the implications of this generational shift away from the PC for the Feds’ efforts to digitalize the practice of medicine.  The provider community is still coming to grips with information technology and meaningful use” (MU). Hopefully EHRs won’t share the fate of “shovel ready” and clean energy loan guarantees.

Upon review, the MU criteria may still ultimately apply, but the shift away from PCs may require some changes in how they are implemented.

I’m sure policymakers who are writing future MU rules are aware of this sea change, but the federal government moves slowly, and one never knows what will happen when lobbyists get involved. HIPAA privacy and security rules, first drafted during the Clinton administration, were practically obsolete by the time they took effect halfway through Bush’s first term.


September 15, 2011 I Written By

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

Extormity supports CCR and CCD

Leave it to fictional EHR vendor Extormity to muddle the world of health IT acronyms.

From a “press release” sent out today:

Extormity Announces Support for CCR and CCD

Surrendering to the inevitability of standards-based data exchange, EHR vendor Extormity today announced the introduction of a new CCR/CCD information sharing module.

“We recognize that the healthcare community in general and patients in particular are interested in simplifying the movement of information, and that CCD, CCR and other acronyms beginning with CC are emerging as the de facto standards for achieving this,” stated Extormity CEO Brantley Whittington from his fall retreat in Belize.

“Now, if a patient requests information from an Extormity provider, they will be given the option of CCR or CCD,” added Whittington. “Our research indicates that patients who came of age in the 60’s and 70’s prefer CCR, and we provide them with a CD containing their greatest hits – including Bad Moon Rising, Who’ll Stop the Rain, Born on the Bayou, Proud Mary and Green River. Our EHR downloads these popular tracks from the internet and burns them on a CCD while the patient waits.”

“Those opting for the CCD format tend to be Catholic parents of children who attend public schools,” according to Whittington. “As these kids do not get religious instruction as part of their school day, our CCD module generates a catechism document which can be printed or placed on portable electronic media, satisfying meaningful use patient education and church doctrinal teaching requirements.”

Extormity clients will automatically receive the CCR/CCD module as part of their next scheduled upgrade and monthly fee increase.

About Extormity

Extormity is an electronic health records mega-corporation dedicated to offering highly proprietary, difficult to customize and prohibitively expensive healthcare IT solutions. Our flagship product, the Extormity EMR Software Suite, was recently voted “Most Complex” by readers of a leading healthcare industry publication. Learn more at

I’m guessing this makes Mr. Whittington a fan of the Big Lebowski because he left the Credence tape. Hopefully, he does not support drinking or smoking pot while driving, even at his Belize retreat. This aggression will not stand!

September 13, 2011 I Written By

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