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Health 2.0 Conference Highlights

It was a very patient-oriented conference. Intense, collaborative and lots of social networking. The “Patient 2.0” session concentrated on themes such as how to engage a broader population in healthy life. Behavioral change. Connecting with real people using their language. ROI on the patient, outcomes, data…

The entire conference was full of innovation. Many young companies with clever and promising ideas. Doubtful as to whether the ecosystem can support all of them, but some will end up being transformational. For example, many companies were focused on consumer compliance for medications, which is an area that has been worked on for 30 years, with mixed results.

Using aggregated data; the US Government is very keen to open data to the public,  Health and Human Services CTO Todd Park is a driving force behind making that happen. Making sense of narrative data is a challenge for now, but everyone looks forward to that.Transforming data to information to knowledge to action. Ron Zeiger of Google Health spoke about

“Finding an easy and fun way to collect data, open systems. Collaborative Health Records”.

There was an excellent Venture Capital Panel (Don Case, Esther Dyson, Lisa Suennen, Mitch Kapor, Bryan Roberts) at the end of the 2nd day: About half seemed not overly keen in investing in health IT (Esther was a notable exception) because it is still a rather vague industry and the ROI is often not immediate. However, Esther Dyson made some telling points; the Health IT world has changed because ubiquitous mobile technology and ubiquitous sensors are disruptive forces that allow creators to go straight to patients and clinicians with their products and services, bypassing hospitals and bureaucratic health systems.

It was invaluable to hear some of the great advice from the investors, such as 1) tell the story about your company, why it matters, what will it do for the system. 2) Short but deep advice from Esther:

“Be imperfect”, read VC suggestions before approaching them; “Be considerate of what the other person wants to hear, not what you want to tell”.

Overall, it was a great event to attend, get a feeling for the industry, meet with innovative, visionary people, chat formally and informally, brainstorm and develop new ideas. Looking forward to keeping in touch with everyone!

Yours in health,

Hamish

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