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Quantified Self Is the Future

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I know I’ve mentioned the quantified self a few times in the past. Basically quantified self is that we’re all going to start finding methods, apps, sensors, etc that will collect data about our bodies. I have never been more certain of this movement than I have been talking to the people at the Connected Health Symposium in Boston. It’s going to take a few years for all of the technologies to develop, but it’s going to happen.

A simple example of this is a startup company I met called Ubiqi Health. They have a migraine tracker that helps people to track their migraines and identify their cause. Plus, this is just their first integration. I think it’s really smart for them to work on migraines first. Lots of people have migraines and very few people have a problem admitting that they have a headache (or migraine). For some reason it’s socially acceptable to say you have a headache, but not so much to say you’re depressed for example.

One thing that’s also become clear is that it’s not just going to be devices that work to “quantify” someone. It’s going to be a great mix of devices, but also is going to have to include the narrative that a person provides. The interesting thing is that from the narrative you can often capture events that might have influenced the “disease” and also can explain the quantitative data.

This is going to be really interesting to watch. I’m still thinking about how all of this data is going to affect the doctors and how they treat patients. Either way, it’s going to transform the way we deal with “health care.”

October 20, 2011 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 5000 articles with John having written over 2000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 9.3 million times. John also recently launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus. Healthcare Scene can be found on Google+ as well.

HealthCentral’s Acquisition of Wellsphere – Much Ado About Nothing

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Unless you’re a part of the health care blogosphere, you probably haven’t been following the incredible firestorm that health care bloggers have created around the acquisition of Wellsphere by HealthCentral. Here’s the cliff notes version:

  • Bloggers receive flattering email from Wellsphere asking to join their Health Care blogger network
  • Bloggers provide their blog feed to Wellsphere
  • Wellsphere aggregates their blog content for months
  • HealthCentral Acquires Wellsphere
  • Bloggers Freak Out
  • Bloggers learn that the TOS gave Wellsphere the right to sell their content
  • Bloggers feel betrayed
  • Bloggers flame Wellsphere and HealthCentral for acquiring them
  • Bloggers pull their blog feeds from Wellsphere
  • ? (still to be written)

Honestly, I feel like bloggers are making much ado about nothing.  Sure, the emails from Dr. Rutledge were incredibly flattering.  I had to literally tell myself when reading them that Dr. Rutledge had never read my blog.  He didn’t really know how good I am at blogging even though his email called me an “expert blogger” and a “true medical expert.”  Seems like many bloggers who got that email couldn’t read through the marketing gloss.  (See the full emails here)

I too joined Wellsphere and my experience was very much like this health care blogger except the part where he feels like a sucker.   I knew what I was getting into.   All that was suggested was getting more exposure for my blog and possibly more credibility and visibility for my name.  My blog being about Health Care IT I didn’t see the promised traffic and so I pulled my blog.  No harm no foul.

I think people are making a bigger deal out of having their content on Wellsphere anyway.  If you’re blog holds any weight, then there are tons of spammers all over the internet that are pulling in your feed and republishing it.  Having it on Wellsphere doesn’t change the value of your content.  In fact, in some ways it can add more value to your content since it links back to your original post.

Sure, I feel bad for those bloggers that didn’t understand what they were getting into.  However, do I think that Wellsphere was unethical in what they did: No.  I also disagree with Dmitriy who said that “Wellsphere epitomizes all that is wrong with the “Health 2.0 Movement.””  There are so many bigger issues with Health 2.0 than this, but I digress.   From my experience, Wellsphere did exactly what they told me they were going to do.  Do I wish they could have driven more traffic to my site?  Yes.  Did it happen?  No.  Oh well, it was worth a try and cost me almost nothing.

The funny part for me about all of this is that just last week I sent an email to a couple wellness educator friends of mine that were looking to creating a wellness website.  I sent them Wellsphere as an interesting example of building a community of people focused on Wellness.  When asked, I told them that Wellsphere was probably VC funded and as such would be looking for exit opportunities.  That’s just how a website like it works.  You build it to exit.  Most common of which is purchase by another company.  It’s just unfortunate that so many bloggers were unaware of the web VC busines model.  Don’t expect this to change anytime soon.

Since I’m the eternal optimist, let’s take a look at a couple really cool things that have happened because of the HealthCentral acquisition of WellSphere:

  • I’ve found a ton of really cool Health Care bloggers that I’d never known before
  • Health Care bloggers have never been more passionate and united in a common cause

Now if we can harness that passion and energy to something as important as health care and wellness, we can certainly do a lot of good.

Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming.

February 3, 2009 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 5000 articles with John having written over 2000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 9.3 million times. John also recently launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus. Healthcare Scene can be found on Google+ as well.

Not an EMR Pessimist

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It seems like from my recent post about the possible reasons Healthcare IT can’t spend $20 billion has some people thinking that it was a negative post about the funding and possibly Healthcare IT/EMR as well.

I can assure you that I am most definitely an optimist in life and EMR. I don’t think I could support and implement an EMR if I wasn’t that way. In fact, that was kind of the purpose of my post about the long term benefits of broad EMR adoption. My point in that post was to suggest that the benefits of broad EMR adoption will be incredible. Just that it’s probably hard for most of us (including myself) to see the possibilities of having an EMR in every doctor’s office.

My hope in highlighting the possible challenges is to hopefully provide a platform for a larger discussion of the issues associated with this unprecedented investment in health care. In fact, I’d say that one of my main goals with this blog is to provide those interested in EMR points to consider when implementing an EMR. I believe information and discussion is powerful and I hope that I’ve helped to make that discussion and information sharing to happen.

What is certain is that I’m very optimistic that we’ll get to broad EMR adoption. It’s inevitable. I’ve met a lot of students in medical schools and they can’t understand why every doctor doesn’t use an EMR. This digital generation of students are digital natives. It’s all they’ve known. Once they finally start entering the marketplace in droves we’re going to see a huge shift in EMR adoption and I believe far fewer failures in the process (along with other reasons).

In fact, it makes me wonder if the reason health care has been slower than almost every other industry to adopt technology is because doctors spend so long in school. These digital natives have just begun entering the health care workforce and so they’re impact hasn’t been felt yet. Just a theory, but at least interesting to consider.

January 31, 2009 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 5000 articles with John having written over 2000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 9.3 million times. John also recently launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus. Healthcare Scene can be found on Google+ as well.

Do We Know What Obama’s Health Plan Is?

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I’ve been writing quite a bit lately about Obama’s investment in EMR and healthcare IT. I find the topic completely fascinating and so I expect I’ll be writing a lot more about Obama and EMR/EHR. Hopefully I can not just talk about it, but add something to the conversation.

Related to all of this is a headline I recently read from The American Spectator that said “Obamacare Could Kill You.” While the headline is meant to attract attention, the first paragraph in the article made a lot of sense. Here’s a small portion of it:

It is probable, therefore, that many people who believe they voted merely for what the Obama-Biden campaign site calls “affordable and accessible” health care will be unpleasantly surprised by the “reform” they are about to get.

It is pretty amazing that Obama could put forth such an ideal with so little detail work on how he was going to make healthcare affordable and accessible. If like the article implies that Tom Daschle is looking at adding in more government bureaucracy to healthcare, then our healthcare system is in real trouble. It reminds me a lot of another headline I read that basically said “To see Government run health care, then Just Take a Look at Medicare.” Can you imagine?

January 22, 2009 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 5000 articles with John having written over 2000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 9.3 million times. John also recently launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus. Healthcare Scene can be found on Google+ as well.