Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Health Session at Social Media Club DC is a sell out

Tomorrow, Wednesday February 7th, IQ Solutions in Rockville is hosting a Social Media Club session. The topic is "Engaging the Health World Through Social Media." I have been asked to take part on the panel that is being moderated by Alexandra Rampy (@SocialButterfly). It is a real pleasure to be participating alongside Healthcare blogger, Dr. Val Jones (@DrVal), Christian Olsen and Joel Selzer of Ozmosis.

This should be a great panel, an interactive discussion, with not a PowerPoint in sight.

I have been invited because of my role as "chief troublemaker" and change agent in the HealthCamp movement. With HealthCampDc happening on Friday February 27th and HealthCampPhila taking place a month later on Saturday March 28th, this is a great opportunity to spread the word about these events.

I hope that anyone following the event is inspired to sign up for a HealthCamp event and join in the discussion about the future of Healthcare.

For those not familiar with HealthCamp, these are barcamp-style events focused around HealthCare. Healthcare is a complex industry with many different specialists engaged in the delivery of services.

Privacy issues create complexity and often stifles innovation and experimentation in the industry. Privacy is a double-edged sword. We have to trust that our privacy will be protected. At the same time, if we happen to be the victim of serious medical conditions that affect our quality of life then sites like PatientsLikeMe demonstrate that we are willing to sacrifice some of our privacy in order to improve our quality of life.

Privacy issues will come to the fore with Personal Health Records. Fears of our most personal information being accessible without our consent will have to be balanced against the risk of receiving incompatible treatments due to an ignorance of the full range of medications we are taking.

It always strikes me as ironic that when it comes to Health Records it is us, the health consumer, that are the only people in the health equation that typically does not have access to our records.

As I have discussed in an earlier post I believe Personal Health Records will be adopted by the senior members of the population. This will be driven by the quality of life issue. Our seniors will take advantage of Remote Tele Health monitoring equipment that will feed the Personal Health Record and allow vital signs to be remotely monitored.   

How does Social Media come in to play in the Health Arena?

I expect to see Social network tools being adopted amongst doctors and others with common interests. However, the real revolution has to come with the Personal Health Record.

We are the one common denominator in the health delivery equation. As such, we need to encourage systems to be developed that reflect this fact. If this is to happen then the Health Care industry needs to recognize and adopt some of the standards that are enabling information to be controlled by individuals. OpenID, OAuth and microformats are just three examples of standards that have much to offer in the Health Care arena.

I look forward to discussing these issues at the February Social Media Club DC meeting. If you come to the event please come and say hello!

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