Health 2.0 ostensibly is about interactive technologies and user-generated content for health and healthcare (yes, they are two different things). The Internet is the primary enabler for these types of innovations, but as the Internet has become more mobile, so has the idea of health 2.0.
Many of the sessions featured demos and even introductions of mobile apps, some more interesting than others. A look at the tweetstream is instructive; Microsoft's Sean Nolan offered this: "At odds with myself after a long day at #health2con. So much great stuff, but so much shiny hyped iVapor too. Let's make it REAL folks!"
Plenty of 1,500 people in attendance at the just-concluded Health 2.0 Conference in San Francisco were happy to drink the Kool-Aid and act like the event was a pep rally for their cause. In many cases, people seemed to confuse "health 2.0" with "fitness 2.0." But there certainly were a whole lot of intriguing technologies and ideas on display that the healthcare industry could get behind.
Happtique, featured elsewhere in MobiHealthNews this week, seemed to win some plaudits for curated app store for healthcare professionals. "You can deploy the apps the way you want, when you want. Apple doesn't have to see it," Paul Nerger, Happtique's Chief Technology Officer, said. Nerger added that the company is looking at how to include apps for non-Apple mobile platforms like Android, Windows Phone and BlackBerry.
Ringful Health, a producer of mobile clinical decision support and communications technologies, demonstrated an iPad app that delivers educational content and videos to walk patients through the hospital discharge process. CEO Dr. Michael Yuan said the app also includes a self-guided process for post-discharge assessments, an important consideration as Medicare gets ready to cut reimbursements for some preventable readmissions.
Nephosity, a company with the motto, "mobilize your cloud," showed consumer and professional versions of an iPad app that lets people in different locations manipulate radiologic images. It's not yet FDA-approved for diagnostic purposes, but Nephosity founder and CEO Michael Pan, a former DreamWorks Animation image-rendering pro, said the image quality is suitable for consultations.
Aetna Chairman, CEO and President Mark Bertolini announced that the health insurer would introduce an app next spring to allow members to make physician appointments on their smartphones. He was part of a high-powered session on health 2.0 for employers and payers that included Louis Burns of GE-Intel Care Innovations (interviewed in MobiHealthNews this week) and Kaiser Permanente CEO George Halvorson.
Numera, the telehealth firm formerly called iMetrikus, launched Numera Social, a white-labeled platform for care coordination that is embedded within Facebook or delivered as an iPhone app. "Our philosophy is, go where the people are," CEO Tim Smokoff said. The system can pull data from various wireless devices and health databases and deliver alerts as necessary. Users can create challenges among their friends, too. "We think there's an opportunity through this interface to drive clinical recruitment, too," Smokoff added.
Other highlights included GE Healthcare's Richard Peters showing off the new Centricity EHR iPad interface, as well as a demo by Adam Odessky, a U.S.-based product manager for France Telecom subsidiary Orange, of a prototype triage device that combines voice recognition, avatars and Microsoft's Kinect motion-capture technology.