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On Google

Is it the worst-kept secret in healthcare, the idea that Google wants to offer some sort of consumer-centric product in the near future? Google VP Adam Bosworth has made a few speeches in recent months on the need for better health information to empower consumers, but the company isn’t talking otherwise. In fact, every healthcare person I’ve talked to that’s had any contact with Google personnel is under some sort of non-disclosure agreement.

Lucky for us, the notes in the program from last month’s World Health Care Congress offered this: “As Google’s architect of the soon-to-be-unveiled health vertical, Mr. Bosworth imparts his compelling vision for providing timely, relevant information to consumers via content providers and health care institutions to create a robust solution.” (Emphasis mine.)

If you have a copy of the full program—the thick, spiral-bound one—it’s on page 14.

May 4, 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.

Surveys, blogging and surveys about blogging

In catching up on some e-mail from the past week, I see that the European World Health Care Congress, which took place in Barcelona, Spain, last week, has its own “official” blog.

I think this might be the same site that Matthew Holt of The Health Care Blog fame (infamy?) contributed to last year, when organizers and session moderators put the kibosh on any attempt by audience questions to ask the obvious question of then-CEO of UnitedHealth Group Dr. Bill McGuire, the same day the Wall Street Journal reported on some alleged misdeeds involving a mere $1.6 billion in stock options. Still, it was cool to see live blogging of an event. (Personally, I chuckled when someone asked me via e-mail before last year’s HIMSS conference if I would be “blogging from the show floor.” Read my memorable rant from February about how much time I might have to do something like that.)

Anyway, the next U.S. version of the World Health Care Congress is scheduled for April 22-24 in Washington, and I suspect someone will blog that event as well. Matthew, care to chime in? And anyone care to remind me to book my trip soon?

You can bet that finding a viable business model for regional health information organizations will be a hot topic at that event and others coming up this spring and summer. On that note, the Healthcare IT Transition Group, publisher of the HIT Transition Weblog, is looking for opinions for its second-annual survey of RHIO finance. The deadline to opine is April 20.

And to my fellow bloggers, a team from the School of Medicine of the University of Rijeka in Croatia is taking a survey of health and medical blogs that may be fodder for a scientific paper. I’m leaning against participating because I want to maintain my objectivity as a journalist, but does the mere act of blogging compromise that anyway?

How did a Croatian medical school find the names of American bloggers? The invite came from Ivor Kovic, a student at Rijeka, who also happens to be a contributor to MedGadget, an online journal about medical technology. So there you have it, another example of the Internet making the world smaller.

April 1, 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.