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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: [blackbirdpie url=”!/nversel/status/118085752008622080″] [blackbirdpie url=”!/nversel/status/118087344766193664″] [blackbirdpie url=”!/nversel/status/118087651160109056″] [blackbirdpie url=”!/nversel/status/118179141274189825″]

Monday plenary sessions: [blackbirdpie url=”!/nversel/status/118362364071518208″] This got someone from HealthTap to misinterpret what I had said: [blackbirdpie url=”!/HealthTap/status/118365108513673216″] To which I replied: [blackbirdpie url=”!/nversel/status/118365613512073216″] (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. [blackbirdpie url=”!/nversel/status/118363924281303040″]

I retweeted/commented on many others’ tweets, too. [blackbirdpie url=”!/nversel/status/118366901800935424″] [blackbirdpie url=”!/pjmachado/status/118366688705122304″] [blackbirdpie url=”!/pjmachado/status/118384207276949504″] [blackbirdpie url=”!/ekivemark/status/118389410910846977″]

I found quite a bit of news and lack of news being announced on stage. [blackbirdpie url=”!/nversel/status/118383509172793344″] [blackbirdpie url=”!/nversel/status/118384168316059649″]

And don’t take kindly to vagueness about the word “solution.” [blackbirdpie url=”!/nversel/status/118390936257560576″] [blackbirdpie url=”!/nversel/status/118391125554892800″] [blackbirdpie url=”!/grapealope/status/118391490748743680″] [blackbirdpie url=”!/nversel/status/118393697674067968″] [blackbirdpie url=”!/grapealope/status/118394480213766144″] (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.)

[blackbirdpie url=”!/nversel/status/118402107702394880″] [blackbirdpie url=”!/rdesain/status/118486784484192256″]

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? [blackbirdpie url=”!/nversel/status/118492715196497920″]

Others weren’t so harsh, but at least had questions about the purpose and appeal. [blackbirdpie url=”!/pjmachado/status/118492523277729793″] [blackbirdpie url=”!/nversel/status/118492973959888896″] [blackbirdpie url=”!/pjmachado/status/118493232614215680″] [blackbirdpie url=”!/nversel/status/118493422821715968″]

I later asked fellow realist John Moore of Chilmark Research this question: [blackbirdpie url=”!/nversel/status/118498456888279040″]

At least I wasn’t the only one worn out by having to separate the wheat from the chaff. [blackbirdpie url=”!/familyhealthguy/status/118479710656278529″]

I did tone down my rhetoric a bit on Tuesday, though. [blackbirdpie url=”!/nversel/status/118569075063529472″]

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. [blackbirdpie url=”!/nversel/status/118799888640258048″] [blackbirdpie url=”!/nversel/status/118800555463290880″]

I highlighted what I saw as good points: [blackbirdpie url=”!/2healthguru/status/118706082238562305″] [blackbirdpie url=”!/nversel/status/118706473646817281″]

And I asked a question that I’d love to hear an answer to: [blackbirdpie url=”!/nversel/status/118801288849920002″]

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.

Facebook + health data = all sorts of HIPAA questions

“Time’s Person of the Year is Mark Zuckerberg. Sorry, Julian Assange, I guess you didn’t violate enough people’s privacy.” — Stephen Colbert, Dec. 15, 2010.

Yes, Facebook has issues with privacy. Just Monday, the Electronic Privacy Information Center, the Center for Digital Democracy, Consumer Watchdog and the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse formally asked the Federal Trade Commission to stop Facebook from launching a facial-recognition feature. Last week, European regulators said they would investigate Facebook after it came out that Facebook’s 500 million to 700 million users were automatically opted in to facial recognition.

And now we hear that Microsoft is adding Facebook authentication to its HealthVault health information platform.

Let me repeat: You can now sign in via Facebook to a HealthVault personal health record.

Though I’m not a lawyer, I’m wondering if Microsoft might not be treading in some dangerous territory. What if it’s possible to link HealthVault updates to Facebook so your entire social network knows that you just got a lab test result back? What if the Facebook location tagger indicates that you’ve just visited an STD clinic? Yeah, sometimes discretion is in order, and Facebook generally isn’t the place to be discreet.

According to Healthcare IT News’ MobileHealthWatch blog, Microsoft’s Sean Nolan was practically giddy about this arrangement helping HealthVault go mobile. I think mobility will help make PHRs a bit more attractive to patients, but I still think PHRs are DOA if they don’t link to EHRs.

I just don’t see a lot of medical practices being willing to send electronic data back and forth to HealthVault accounts if Facebook is handling the security, making MobileHealthWatch’s claim that, in wake of the supposed demise or at least de-emphasis of Google Health, HealthVault is now “more or less unchallenged as the PHR of record” a joke. There’s no such thing as a PHR of record, and there won’t be as long as authentication passes through Facebook.


June 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.

Bosworth: PHRs need to do more than just store data

You may have heard news of Google essentially putting its Google Health PHR platform in cold storage. Whether it’s true or not, the “untethered” PHR—one not connected to a health system’s EHR—has been a non-starter for years. I’ve been particularly critical of the undeserved attention Google Health and Microsoft HealthVault have received, when many smaller companies have been working on PHRs for much longer.

The original head of the Google Health project, Adam Bosworth, left the company in 2007 under suspicious circumstances—did he quit or was fired?—prior to the way overhyped 2008 introduction of this vaporware. Bosworth has gone on to start a new company, Keas, that produces a PHR that incorporates care plans. Keas got some undeserved hype itself, in the form of an October 2009 story in the New York Times that, from what I understand, was suggested by a Times editor who also was advising Keas. (That editor is no longer with the Times.)

Keas itself hasn’t gained much traction, either. I reported in September 2010 that Keas abandoned its original plans to sell direct to consumers in favor of partnering with insurance companies and large employers. That was the last I had heard about Keas until last week, when TechCrunch TV posted the following short interview with Bosworth, entitled, “Adam Bosworth On Why Google Health Failed”:

Bosworth said that Google simply didn’t offer anything the public really wanted. “They basically offered a place to store data,” he said. “Our data shows people don’t really want a place to store data per se. They want to do something fun and engaging. If it’s not fun, if it’s not social, why would they do it?” Yes, that makes sense.

Bosworth said that people need encouragement and even peer pressure to practice healthy behaviors. Bosworth said he lost 22 pounds in 18 weeks by walking 4 miles each way to and from his downtown San Francisco office four times a week, and he credited the encouragement he got from checking in on Keas.

That’s a great sign, but I wonder how many other stories like his there are out there? My guess is, not many. I’m thinking online communities of like-minded people or those facing similar health issues have been far more successful. Last night’s post is a prime example.

Feel free to prove me wrong.

June 6, 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.