Next week at HIMSS13, John Lynn, el queso grande of the Healthcare Scene blog network, of which I am a member, is hosting his fourth annual New Media Meetup, and readers of this and all affiliated blogs are invited. It’s Tuesday, March 5 at 6 p.m. at Mulate’s Party Hall, right by the Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. Click here for details and to register. I should be there for at least a little while. Deadlines beckon, but I’ve got to have a little bit of fun in the Big Easy, right? Laissez les bons temps rouler! (That’s three languages in one paragraph. What do I win?)
I’ve been somewhat off the grid for yet another family health crisis lately, but I thought I’d at least surface to update this blog with something quick and easy. Healthcare Web and software designer Geonetric has recently come out with an infographic about how healthcare consumers engage online. It’s long been believed that the majority of Internet users will search online for health information, and Geonetric cites data showing that some 80 percent actually do so.
The real surprising numbers are in the realms of social media and mobility, two areas that are increasingly overlapping. While it’s not shocking to hear that 20 percent of health consumers use mobile devices to search for health information, take a look at how many people now have mobile phones: an estimated 4.8 billion worldwide, according to Geonetric. By comparison, the chart says only 4.2 billion people own toothbrushes.
And despite all the worries in the provider community that patient will write bad things about them on rating sites like Yelp, Geonetric says just 5 percent of mentions of companies and organizations on social media are negative. It’s not clear if that figure pertains only to healthcare, but if you’ve ever seen what so many trolls post as comments on YouTube, Facebook and news sites across the Internet, you might find that hard to believe. I sure did.
Note also that the graphic says 23 percent of people follow health experiences of friends on social media. That I believe, because I’ve been sending out updates to friends and family the last several days on Facebook, and I’ve gotten updates the same way for a friend in another state who has multiple sclerosis. I’ve written most of the updates from my phone.
The folks at HIMSS are claiming that the 2012 conference in Las Vegas a couple months ago set a world record for the most tweets at a health conference. (I’m checking to see who keeps such records.)
By the numbers, according to HIMSS:
- The #HIMSS12 hashtag was used 28,434 times.
- HIMSS12 averaged 167 tweets per hour.
- HIMSS12 was mentioned 33,247 times in social media, more than double HIMSS11 (which itself was more than double HIMSS10).
- The keynote by Twitter co-founder Biz Stone generated 7,595 tweets, beating out the 7,047 tweets from Dr. Farzad Mostashari’s keynote.
This infographic from HIMSS tells more of the story about the whole conference.
I am not surprised Brian Ahier and Regina Holliday had so much influence on social media at the conference. Ahier moderated the Meet the Bloggers panel I was on.
I was, however, surprised to the breakdown of mobile devices accessing the HIMSS conference’s mobile site. Apple with 70 percent sounds right, particularly when you consider how many iPads were in evidence, but I would have guessed Android would have more than 14 percent share because it’s so popular for smartphones and BlackBerry more than 2 percent because a lot of enterprises still use that platform. I guess I’m one of the few people left in health IT with a BlackBerry.
UPDATE, Friday, April 27: It was healthcare social media consulting firm Symplur that tracked the tweets and announced the record. There’s more data here, though my head starts spinning when someone discusses stuff like slopes of equations.
I’ve just returned home from HIMSS12. As usual, it was a grueling week, made more grueling by the fact that I arrived a day earlier than usual. But I do have to say that this was the least stressful HIMSS I have been to in years.
Maybe it’s because the conference layout within the massive Venetian-Palazzo-Sands Expo complex was surprisingly compact for my purposes, and I didn’t have to do as much walking as normal. Maybe it was because I only set foot on the show floor once, thanks, in part, to the announcement of the Stage 2 “meaningful use” proposed rules on Wednesday, which caused me to cancel one vendor meeting (in the exhibit hall) and cut another one (in the media interview room) short so I could knock out my story for InformationWeek. Or maybe it’s because I spent too much time in the casinos. Let’s go with the first two, OK?
HIMSS12 broke all kinds of records, drawing 37,032 attendees, beating last year’s former record of 31,500 by nearly 18 percent. The final exhibitor count was 1,123, also the most ever. After I tweeted the attendance figure, at least one person thought this rapid growth was an indication that the conference was “jumping the shark”:
I have thought in recent years than HIMSS may be becoming too big for its own good. This time around, I heard mixed reviews.
Personally, like I said, it was less stressful than normal. It’s always good to catch up with old friends, particularly my media colleagues. This year, I also met up with a couple of friends from back home who happen to work for vendors. We kept the fun going all the way back to Chicago, since at least three other health IT reporters and a few others I know were on the same flight as me.
I also have to say I had a wonderful time on a “Meet the Bloggers” panel on Wednesday afternoon, where I joined Healthcare Scene capo John Lynn, fellow Healthcare Scene contributor Jennifer Dennard, Carissa Caramanis O’Brien of Aetna and moderator Brian Ahier for some lively dialogue about social media in health IT. I know that at least one audience member took some video, and I’ll link to that once it’s posted.
Later that evening, I saw nearly every one of the same people at Dell’s Healthcare Think Tank dinner, where I participated in a roundtable discussion about health IT with a bunch of supposed experts. It was streamed live, and I believe the video will be archived. Many of the participants, including myself, tweeted about it, using the hashtag #DoMoreHIT. I really am adamant about the public needing to be explained the difference between health insurance and healthcare.
Speaking about misunderstandings, I am in 100 percent agreement with something Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson, a.k.a. Seattle Mama Doc, said during an engaging presentation Monday at the HIMSS/CHIME CIO Forum. She made the astute observation that there needs to be better distinction between expertise and merely experience when it comes to celebrities being held up as “experts” in healthcare and medicine. Let’s just say that Swanson, as a pediatrician, is no fan of some of the things Jenny McCarthy and Dr. Mehmet Oz have told wide audiences.
There definitely were some people among the 37,000 who were not enamored with the cheerleading at HIMSS. There was talk around the press room that HHS really dropped the ball by not having the meaningful use Stage 2 proposal out a week earlier, before the conference started. In reality, blame the delay on the White House. Every federal rule-making has to be vetted by the bean counters and political operatives in the Office of Management and Budget, and it’s hard to tell how long the OMB review will take once an administrative agency, in this case, HHS, sends the text over.
I admit, I was wrong in expecting the plan to be out earlier, too. Instead, we got the news Wednesday morning and saw the text Thursday morning, forcing thousands of people to scramble to scour the proposed rules.
I know HIMSS had a team at the ready, who dropped everything to read the proposal and get a preliminary analysis out by the end of the day Thursday. Lots of consulting firms did the same. I’ll save some of the commentary I received for another post.
The wireless Internet in the Venetian’s meeting areas was truly terrible. Either that, or I need to replace my aging laptop. I’m thinking both.
I had no trouble getting my e-mail over the Wi-Fi network, but I really couldn’t do anything on the Web unless I was hard-wired to one of the limited number of Ethernet cords in the press room, and those workstations filled up fast. Bandwidth was particularly poor on Thursday, when I presume thousands of people were downloading the Stage 2 PDF. CMS officials said the Federal Register site crashed from the heavy demand, and I’m sure a lot of it came from inside the Venetian and the Sands Expo.
There didn’t seem to be enough attention paid to safety of EHRs, at least according to Dr. Scot Silverstein of the Health Care Renewal blog, who wrote this scathing critique of the sideshow the exhibit hall has become, making Las Vegas perhaps “fitting for people who gamble with people’s lives to make a buck.”
Personally, I thought ONC and CMS took the recent Institute of Medicine report on EHR-related adverse events pretty seriously. Plus, one of the IOM report authors, Dr. David Classen, presented about the study findings at the physician symposium on Monday and again during the main conference.
Mobile may also have gotten a bit of a short shrift, despite the recent launch of mHIMSS and last’s week’s news that HIMSS had taken over the mHealth Summit from the NIH Foundation. The mobile pavilion was relegated to the lower level of the Sands, the area with low ceilings and support pillars every 30 feet or so. (I called that hall “the dungeon.”) I have a feeling you will like Brian Dolan’s commentary in MobiHealthNews next week. I’m still figuring out what I will write for that publication, but I have to say I did hear some positive things about mobile health this week.
I still don’t know what GE and Microsoft are doing with Caradigm, their joint venture in healthcare connectivity and health information exchange that didn’t have a name until a couple of weeks ago. The name and the introductory reception they held Tuesday evening at HIMSS seemed a bit rushed, IMHO. The Web address the venture reserved, www.caradigm.com, currently redirects to a GE page. Other than the fact that Microsoft is shifting its Amalga assets to Caradigm, I’m at a loss.
Popular topics this year were the expected meaningful use and ICD-10, plus the buzzwords of the moment, business analytics and big data. I’d be happy I never hear the word “solution” as a synonym for “product” or “service” again. To me, that represents lazy marketing. Get yourself a thesaurus.
I’ve given in and joined Twitter, somewhat under duress. With my quitting Fierce this week, I need to build my “brand.” Follow me at http://twitter.com/nversel. I think there’s some way of embedding my feed into this blog, but I haven’t figured it out yet, but I don’t really have much of a feed yet anyway, so I’m not concerned.
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