Health 2.0: The Conference, the debate
I am incredibly excited about the The Health 2.0 Conference Matthew Holt and I are putting on this September in San Francisco. It will be a forum for candid, medications refreshing, seek challenging and inspired discussion about how technology is changing healthcare and not for some abstract set of - I sort of hate this phrase - healthcare stakeholders - but rather, pharmacy for you and me, our partners, parents and children.
I find it amusing that so many "consumer-directed" healthcare discussions/events/services claim to focus on the consumer but the first 2-3 words in their pitches are "employers", "plans", "providers." So who is all this consumerism for? Here's a quote from an unnamed personal health records (PHR) company, "If your organization has any stake in changing the behavior of consumers/patients, find out how you may benefit by empowering them with the best tools available." So, I ask, who is this consumerism for?
We'll be turning the paternalistic health care system on its head, for 1 day at least, in San Francisco on September 20th. If you don't come for Google, Esther Dyson, Revolution Health, Intuit, Sermo...come because this will be the most straight-up conversation on health care and technology you've participated in. No vested interests, no long-winded podium anesthetics, no oversized Vegas-style booths. Rather a close examination of organic and disruptive trends outside the top-down control of organizations, a reflective look at how each of us as interacts with various aspects of our health care and the demands we are going to increasingly place on the system to become more transparent, interactive and humane.
In the spirit of Health 2.0 and Web 2.0, we particularly embrace democracy and debate. My conference co-director Matthew Holt The Health Care Blog and Scott Shreeve, Founder of Medsphere and a Health 2.0 Conference Advisory Board member, are having a spirited converstion:Scott's take and Matthew's take. What I think: tools don't exist in a vacuum and so the use of tools will indeed have some outcome but I take a dispassionate view of the directionality of those outcomes. One hopes good things will come from this: better quality, greater transparency, etc. but the web has no guiding hand or moral compass built into it - so I watch optimistically, but believe the outcomes will be mixed, controversial, dynamic and complex.