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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=”http://twitter.com/#!/nversel/status/118085752008622080″] [blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/#!/nversel/status/118087344766193664″] [blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/#!/nversel/status/118087651160109056″] [blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/#!/nversel/status/118179141274189825″]

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

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

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

And don’t take kindly to vagueness about the word “solution.” [blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/#!/nversel/status/118390936257560576″] [blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/#!/nversel/status/118391125554892800″] [blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/#!/grapealope/status/118391490748743680″] [blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/#!/nversel/status/118393697674067968″] [blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/#!/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=”http://twitter.com/#!/nversel/status/118402107702394880″] [blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/#!/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=”http://twitter.com/#!/nversel/status/118492715196497920″]

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

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

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

I did tone down my rhetoric a bit on Tuesday, though. [blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/#!/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=”http://twitter.com/#!/nversel/status/118799888640258048″] [blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/#!/nversel/status/118800555463290880″]

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

And I asked a question that I’d love to hear an answer to: [blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/#!/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.

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:

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/#!/nversel/status/118085752008622080″]

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:

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/#!/seanahrens/status/118101681589321728″]

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/#!/rzeiger/status/118079299784937472″]

I’m liking these tweets a little better:

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/#!/mcuthbert33/status/118115609073561600″]

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/#!/rsgold/status/118148427250020352″]

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/#!/maisybones/status/118111542607740928″]

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.

Get Biz Stone to come to New Media Meetup at HIMSS12

In trying to publicize my own blog, John Lynn, maestro of the Healthcare Scene network this blog is a part of, had a couple of interesting thoughts that he posted on the EMR and EHR site:  Let’s try to convince Twitter co-founder Biz Stone, a keynote speaker at HIMSS12, to take audience questions via Twitter. Furthermore, how about trying to get Stone to attend the 3rd Annual New Media Meetup at next year’s HIMSS?

OK, I’ll get the ball rolling. Stone’s Twitter handle is @Biz. I’m going to propose the hashtag #BizatHIMSS12. Tweet away, and let’s make this happen.

August 24, 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.

Twitter founder Biz Stone to speak at HIMSS12

Social media has hit the big time in health IT. I’ve just gotten word in the last two minutes (via Twitter, natch) that Twitter co-founder Biz Stone will be among the keynote speakers at HIMSS12 in Las Vegas next February.

Here’s the proof.

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/#!/HIMSS/status/104200217821331456″]

 

August 18, 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.

Consumer engagement in healthcare is harder than it seems

Every time I hear a story about consumer empowerment in healthcare, I get optimistic that consumers really can make a difference in containing runaway healthcare costs. Then something comes along to make me think that it’s a pipe dream. I just had one such occurrence.

Trending on Twitter right now is the meme “#pricesthatshockyou.” Just for fun, I clicked. Right near the top I saw this:

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/#!/jadedheartsxo/status/86598503140294656″]

Uh, the American government doesn’t set the prices. Sure, CMS sets Medicare reimbursement rates that often serve as a model for other payers, but providers set the rates they charge. Whether you have insurance or not, the government doesn’t have much say at all on the list price for medical services. (Yes, regulation adds to costs, and Medicare sets the tone for the fee-for-service model that has resulted in ridiculous utilization patterns, duplication and the like, but I really don’t think we’re dealing with an actuary or healthcare finance professional in this particular tweet. This is an average citizen with no concept of how the system really works.)

The sad thing is, it’s been retweeted at least 10 times.

June 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.

I’ve joined Twitter

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.

December 23, 2010 I Written By

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

How doctors use Twitter

If you’ve kept up with this blog, you know that I’m still skeptical of Twitter. I don’t have an account and I don’t feel like getting one so I can follow others, largely because I am far enough behind on my e-mail and other reading without it. Others, though, are finding practical uses for the microblogging site.

The 33 Charts blog this week recently had a post about how physicians use Twitter. The author, Bryan Vartabedian, M.D., identifies five ways, only one of which is remotely related to patient care.

“So regarding Twitter and doctors, I wish its role was more dramatic. No matter how you use it, Twitter remains a great place to build relationships with people in your sphere of influence,” Vartabedian says.

Regarding Twitter and me, I still haven’t seen much evidence that it wouldn’t be a colossal waste of time.

June 12, 2009 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 thoughts on Twitter

Though I’m still skeptical of Twitter and not ready to sign up for fear of having too many messages to read from anyone I decide to follow, I found something I might use it for. I’ve just learned that Children’s Hospital Omaha is getting ready to go live with EpicCare in orthopedics. That could have been handled in a single tweet, rather than a full blog post.

That said, I continue to fight a losing battle against e-mail. How in the world would I ever keep up with Twitter feeds?

Also, I don’t like the URL shorteners the Twitterati (did I just coin a new word?) like to use to conserve characters. With so many phishing scams out there, I’m wary of clicking on URLs that don’t make sense to me. Particularly alarming are the ones with country-specific top-level domain names. I’ve seen plenty of is.gd (Grenada) and bit.ly (Libya) and ow.ly (also Libya) links of late. With apologies to the legitimate sites out there, would you knowingly click on a cryptic URL from either an offshore tax haven or a country that formerly sponsored terrorism? What about Internet scam bases such as Russia (.ru) or Nigeria (.ng)? Just asking.

Again, Children’s Hospital Omaha is about to turn on EpicCare in orthopedics. Anyone want to tweet that for me?

UPDATE, 10:53 p.m. CDT: “Twitterati” already exists, but it’s a fairly new word. Urban Dictionary’s oldest definition related to Twitter is from Feb. 13. (There’s another, older usage that refers to Hollywood dingbats.)

April 15, 2009 I Written By

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

Seriously, why Twitter?

I’m not a user of Twitter and might only become one if I thought it might be a good way of reporting breaking news during, say, a speech at a conference or something like that. Any other uses seriously seem pointless, particularly in healthcare.

I’m particularly disturbed by the news last month that the chief resident at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit provided live tweets of a surgery to remove a cancerous tumor from a kidney. Then, last week, another Henry Ford resident Twittered a robotic hysterectomy.

I know the Twitterers weren’t the actual surgeons doing the cutting, but seriously, didn’t they have anything better to do? And unless they were close friends or family of the patients, didn’t the people following the updates have anything better to do with their time?

As I watched so many news outlets breathlessly report on the popularity of Twitter in recent weeks, I couldn’t help thinking that once the mainstream media and non-techies started using this decidedly geeky application, Twitter may already be jumping the shark. A day or so after I first had this thought, I heard someone on WGN Radio in Chicago say Twitter had jumped the shark. And then, last week, The Daily Show had this great satire of Twitter.

.cc_box a:hover .cc_home{background:url(‘http://www.comedycentral.com/comedycentral/video/assets/syndicated-logo-over.png’) !important;}.cc_links a{color:#b9b9b9;text-decoration:none;}.cc_show a{color:#707070;text-decoration:none;}.cc_title a{color:#868686;text-decoration:none;}.cc_links a:hover{color:#67bee2;text-decoration:underline;}

Still, I think this person offers the best commentary on Twitter I’ve seen to date.

March 11, 2009 I Written By

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