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Where HIMSS Can Take Health 2.0

Posted on April 24, 2017 I Written By

Andy Oram is an editor at O'Reilly Media, a highly respected book publisher and technology information provider. An employee of the company since 1992, Andy currently specializes in open source, software engineering, and health IT, but his editorial output has ranged from a legal guide covering intellectual property to a graphic novel about teenage hackers. His articles have appeared often on EMR & EHR and other blogs in the health IT space. Andy also writes often for O'Reilly's Radar site (http://oreilly.com/) and other publications on policy issues related to the Internet and on trends affecting technical innovation and its effects on society. Print publications where his work has appeared include The Economist, Communications of the ACM, Copyright World, the Journal of Information Technology & Politics, Vanguardia Dossier, and Internet Law and Business. Conferences where he has presented talks include O'Reilly's Open Source Convention, FISL (Brazil), FOSDEM, and DebConf.

I was quite privileged to talk to the leaders of Health 2.0, Dr. Indu Subaiya and Matthew Holt, in the busy days after their announced merger with HIMSS. I was revving to talk to them because the Health 2.0 events I have attended have always been stimulating and challenging. I wanted to make sure that after their incorporation into the HIMSS empire they would continue to push clinicians as well as technologists to re-evaluate their workflows, goals, and philosophies.

I’m not sure there is such a thing as a typical Health 2.0 event, but I generally see in such events a twofold mission. Sometimes they orient technologists to consider the needs of doctors and patients (as at a developer challenge). Other times they orient clinicians and health care institutions to consider the changes in goals and means that technology requires, as well as the strains caused by its adoption (as in a HxRefactored conference). Both of these activities disturb the cozy status quo in health IT, prodding its practitioners to try out new forms of research, design, and interaction. Health 2.0 was also happy to publish my own articles trying to untangle the standard confusion around health care.

For HIMSS, absorbing Health 2.0 is about as consequential as an ocean liner picking up a band of performing musicians along its ports of call. For Health 2.0, the impact could be much larger. Certainly, they gain the stability, funding opportunities, and administrative support that typically come with incorporation into a large, established institution. But can they keep their edge?

Subaiya and Holt assured me that Health 2.0 maintains its independence as part of HIMSS. They will be responsible for some presentations at the mammoth annual HIMSS conferences. They also hope to bring more buyers and sellers together through the HIMSS connection. They see three functions they can provide HIMSS:

  • A scanner for what’s new. HIMSS tends to showcase valuable new technologies a couple years after Health 2.0 discovers them.

  • A magnet to attract and retain highly innovative people in health IT.

  • A mechanism for finding partners for early-stage companies.

Aside from that, they will continue and expand their international presence, which includes the US, Japan, South Korea, China, and India. Interestingly, Subaiya told me that the needs expressed in different countries are similar. There aren’t separate mHealth or IT revolutions for the US and India. Instead, both call for increased used of IT for patient education, for remote monitoring and care, and for point-of-care diagnostics. Whether talking about busy yuppies in the city or isolated rural areas lacking doctors, clinicians find that health care has to go to the patient because the patient can’t always come to a health care center. If somebody can run a test using a cheap strip of paper and send results to a doctor over a cell phone, health coverage becomes more universal. Many areas are also dealing with the strains of aging populations.

HIMSS leadership and Health 2.0 share the recognition that health happens outside the walls of hospitals: in relationships, communities, schools, and homes. Health 2.0 will push that philosophy strongly at HIMSS. They will also hammer on what Subaiya calls health care’s “unacceptables”: disparities across race, gender, and geographic region, continued growth in chronic disease, and resulting cost burdens.

Subaiya and Holt see the original mission of HIMSS as a beneficial one: to create technologies that enhance physician workflows. Old technologies turned out to be brittle and unable to evolve, though, as workflows radically changed. As patient engagement and collaboration became more important, EHRs and other systems fell behind.

Meanwhile, the mobile revolution brought new attention to apps that could empower patients, improve monitoring, and connect everybody in the health care system. But technologists and venture capitalists jumped into health care without adequate research into what the users needed. Health 2.0 was created several years ago to represent the users, particular patients and health care consumers.

Holt says that investment is still increasing, although it may go into services instead of pure tech companies. Some is money moving from life sciences to computer technologies such as digital therapeutics. Furthermore, there are fewer companies getting funded than a few years ago, but each company is getting more money than before and getting it faster.

Subaiya and Holt celebrate the continued pull of health care for technologists, citing not only start-ups but substantial investment by large tech corporations, such as the Alphabet company Verily Life Sciences, Samsung, and Apple. There’s a particularly big increase in the use of data science within health care.

Some companies are integrating with Alexa to make interactions with consumers more natural. Intelligent decision support (as seen for instance in IBM’s Watson) is taking some of the burden off the clinician. For mental health, behavioral health, and addiction, digital tech is reducing stigma and barriers to those who need help.

In short, Health 2.0 should not be constrained by its new-found partner. The environment and funding is here for a tech transformation of health care, and Health 2.0’s work is cut out for it.

EMR Data Inaccuracies, EMR and Labs, and the Database of Healthcare

Posted on May 13, 2012 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

As you read this post, I’m probably on a red eye flight to attend Health 2.0 Boston. I’m really excited to attend Health 2.0 Boston. I think Matthew Holt is always interesting and so I hope I get a chance to interview him while I’m there. Plus, I think it’s large enough to bring out some important people, but not so large that you’re overwhelmed and can’t connect with those who attend.

Also, even if you’re just in Boston and not planning to attend Health 2.0 Boston, we’re going to be doing a tweetup on Tuesday evening. I call it the after party. I’m not sure where we’ll do it, but watch @ehrandhit on Twitter and I’ll tweet out the exact time and location for the tweetup. I look forward to seeing all my Boston Healthcare IT friends.

Now, without further ado, some interesting EMR tweets:


The interesting part of the story linked above is that all of the inaccuracies could happen on paper as well.


Reminds me of the announcement that said that physicians order more labs with EHR. I know we implemented the lab cost display in our EHR, and I’m sure that the cheaper tests were ordered, but that was certainly due to the type of clinic that I implemented the feature.


The idea of the internet as a database is very interesting. It’s probably too forward thinking to be really practical today, but we’ll definitely get there. It’s just a question of how quickly. We’re already seeing indications of this. It’s amazing what you can build in a weekend using “internet parts” through powerful APIs.

Note: This post has been a meaningful use free post.

Lots of Investment in Healthcare IT

Posted on June 24, 2011 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

There’s been a ton of interesting news about investment in healthcare IT lately. Much of what I’m seeing is happening in the mobile health space. No doubt mobile health is a really exciting market right now and I think it’s also really exciting because the cost to develop a mobile health app these days is so low.

Here are some interesting investment groups, incubators, etc that are focusing on healthcare IT:
Healthbox – A leading venture capital firm and incubator for startup companies launched Healthbox to focus exclusively on the healthcare industry. They offer $50,000 in seed capital, along with standard incubator services (office, mentor/leaders, etc) and are based out of Chicago. The program will culminate in an investor’s day (I might have to get Neil Versel to attend the investor’s day).

Rock Health – Another startup seed-accelerator program that offers $20,000 along with mentorship and office space for 5 months. It just started this month in San Francisco and has connections to a lot of the major players in healthcare.

Blueprint Health – A startup accelerator based in New York City. It provides $20,000 of seed capital along with mentorship and a work environment to be able to build your idea. They’re initially planning for 10 companies.

Startup Health – This isn’t an investment vehicle yet, but I could see it becoming one very quickly. It’s part of the Startup America Partnership and has some big names like Time Warner Chairman and CEO, Steve Krein, Esther Dyson, and the founders of Health 2.0 Matthew Holt and Indu Subaiya.

I’m guessing that there are even more programs that I’m missing. I’d love to learn about others in the comments as well. Either way, it’s exciting to see all this investment happening in healthcare applications.

AthenaHealth CEO Jon Bush Awesome Interview at HIMSS

Posted on April 15, 2009 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

In the final interview by Matthew Holt at HIMSS, Jon Bush knocks it out of the park. Jon Bush is CEO of AthenaHealth and one of the most entertaining interviews I’ve seen. He agrees with me on CCHIT, but that wasn’t even the best part of the interview. Definitely a breathe of fresh air in the HIT and EHR world. Check out the video interview:

My favorite John Bush quote from the interview: “These legacy [EHR] systems have to die.”

CCHIT Head Mark Leavitt Interviewed at HIMSS

Posted on I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

This is basically the second part in a 3 part series of video interviews by Matthew Holt. This interview was at HIMSS of the heat of CCHIT Mark Leavitt. This video is a little long and dry, but it gives you a feeling of Mark Leavitt and his motivations with CCHIT.

To read my comments on CCHIT, then just read this whole blog. My short takes from the video:
CCHIT is looking at ways to measure usability.
CCHIT is looking at ways to measure successful EHR implementations.
My comment: Only took 4 years to start looking.

Mark Leavitt did state that CCHIT’s goal was to “reduce the risk of buying an EHR.” If that’s the goal, I’m a little surprised they aren’t measuring the results of this. Where’s the data that implementing a CCHIT certified EHR is any less risky than a non-certified EHR?

Allscripts CEO Glen Tullman Interviewed at HIMSS

Posted on April 14, 2009 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

I finally had a few moments to watch the Matthew Holt interview of Glen Tullman, Allscripts CEO at HIMSS. Allscripts is no doubt a large player in the EHR industry (like it or not). This is especially true after Allscripts acquisition of Misys. So, Glen Tullman will have a large effect on the EHR industry so it’s worth listening to hear what he has to say. I’ll include a few quick comments of my own below the video.

Overall a pretty low key video. There were a few things that are worth commenting on.

The first thing that hit me was that Glen Tullman thought that the controversy over CCHIT was that CCHIT certified over 300 EHR vendors. Glen makes the argument that government wants a smaller footprint of EHR vendors and that 300 was too many. I guess I can kind of see why government might not want to certify 300 EHR providers since doctors just don’t have time to look through that many. However, it was the first I’d heard of that CCHIT controversy.

What does make a lot of sense is why the CEO of one of the largest EHR vendors would want the certified EHR vendor list to be a really small list that includes them. So, it would make sense for him to lobby the government to keep the list small.

I’m glad that Matthew Holt brought up at least another reason that CCHIT as the EHR certification is a problem. How about you just start with the controversy that CCHIT certification doesn’t provide benefit to doctors. Solve that one and we can find a way to deal with any other CCHIT controversies.

Of course, at the end Glen Tullman also said “CCHIT has done it [EHR certification] very effectively.” Effectively? Seriously? Can he provide me some data on how effective it is? It might be effective for his organization’s interests. So, maybe that’s what he meant.

Glen Tullman did make a great comment about SAAS EHR versus client server EHR. He basically said that most users don’t know the technology behind SAAS EHR and client server EHR. Glen suggested that most users just know the financing model of the two EHR options. A very fine point. I’d just add that they know the financing part AND the IT support part of the equation (ie. SAAS EHR means you [the EHR vendor] do the IT. Great!) Glen does seem to understand how to sell an EHR product to his customers.

There you go, there’s my quick comments. What can I say? I type fast.