Wednesday, July 11, 2012

#HCSM Review: Socially Infused Health Care (8th Edition)

This is my first time publishing for the Health Care Social Media Review. Thanks to Joan Justice for publishing the previous edition. If you are passionate about the Convergence of Health Care and Social Media then you should volunteer to put your blog on the publishing calendar.
It seems appropriate that I am writing this post this afternoon because this morning I met with Eli The Computer Guy. @EliComputerGuy is a Baltimore Area tech character and he hosts a weekday show via Google Hangouts and YouTube.  I met Eli this morning after his daily show to discuss how he uses Google Hangouts to host a video talk show with his audience. He answers questions posed through the forum associated with the Hangout on YouTube.
The meeting came about as a result of some questions asked on the weekly #HCSM Tweetchat about using Google Hangouts as a communication channel in Health Care. I will have to sit down and write up an assessment of Google Hangouts and have been thinking about how it might be interesting to put together a webinar that is hosted for small groups via Google Hangouts. I wonder how many people might be interested in attending a webinar on the topic? There would be a fee involved.
Anyway enough of my musings. Let's take a look at some of the other things that have been brought to my attention recently...
Obviously the biggest news in Health Care in the past two weeks has been the final decision on the Affordable Care Act. Check out a couple of posts on David Harlow's (@HealthBlawg) HealthBlawg for an assessment of what the decision is and isn't about further commentary here. Is this relevant to Health Care Social Media you may ask. I believe it is. There has been so much innovation in Health Care lately much of it can be traced back to the ACA as the trigger. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services is pushing the Innovation envelope with pilots and challenges that are driving innovators to try new approaches. This in turn is opening up opportunities to leverage the social element in achieving the Triple Aim. 
Social Media is entering the mainstream in Health Care. As an example the Mayo Clinic has put out a call for papers for an October conference that will look at case studies that document the impact of Social Media. That impact can be either data gathering via social media or can look at the effectiveness of social media interventions. I can't wait to see what this call for papers surfaces. I have been saying for some time now:
Social gets everywhere... including funding
Alex Fair has been busy. One of his innovations, MedStartr, recently was featured in Forbes
MedStartr is bringing the crowd sourcing model to the Health Care startup world. Where as KickStarter generally doesn't accept health related projects this is the entire focus of MedStartr. Just like the growing popularity of developer challenges this is another innovative source of initial funding for entrepreneurs, developers and innovators. 
MedStartr potentially gives patients a voice in the funding new ideas that may help them improve their quality of life. This is not the only example of this trend. We are all familiar with the way Patients Like Me have given patients a voice and data relevant to their condition. More examples of this are appearing where the Importance of Patient-Initiated Research is being recognized and embraced, rather than being dismissed by the medical community. 
As Dr. Sharonne Hayes notes: “The people most highly motivated to support or to even initiate investigations of a rare condition are those personally affected and their close relatives,” 

Since I recently had the privilege to attend Tim O'Reilly's HealthFoo in Cambridge, MA this article caught my attention:
LET’S TALK ABOUT THE INTERNET & SOCIAL MEDIA IN HEALTHCARE – KATHI APOSTOLIDIS. There is a trend afoot: Patients, collaboration and connectiveness. This is coming together with "Big Data" to transform health care. Health Care should be a natural user of big data tools. I argue that the explosion in the use of personal wellness sensors is already dwarfing the amount of data collected in traditional electronic medical records for an individual. This will change the "balance of power" in ways we don't fully understand. But when a patient has access to more bio data than their care team then the roles will change. Patients will not operate independently but they will want help in interpreting the data, particularly when they are trying to diagnose a condition. 
But maybe Patient's won't have to depend on medical professionals directly. When I was taking part in the Washington DC Health Data and Innovation Week (which included I got to catch up with the Johns Hopkins students that have developed Symcat - a great application that uses artificial intelligence to provide advice and next steps when patients are researching a condition. Symcat was a well deserved winner of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s (RWJF) "Aligning Forces for Quality" Developer Challenge.
While I was catching up on my Health Care Social Media reading I came across a post on the Ozmosis blog about Social Media and Health Care - an interesting assessment of the current state of play by PWC. Some of the highlights of the PWC report point to the generational changes in attitudes that are emerging where 80% of respondents ages 18–24 would be likely to share health information through social channels, while nearly 90% would engage in health activities or trust information found via social media. Clearly Social Media is critical to the future of Health Care, whether the industry is ready to embrace it or not.
The US Government is clearly embracing Social Media in Health Care. Just today an email arrived in my inbox that encourages people to make a short video that demonstrates how access to your health record has improved the care of you or a loved one.
In wrapping up this #HCSM review I want to point to an article on TeleTherapy. Results show that teletherapy for depression are similar to the results achieved through face-to-face therapy sessions. How does this relate to Social Media? Social Media doesn't have to mean we are publishing everything we do. Social Media is a platform. Conversations can happen in private via some of these platforms. The point is that people are more accepting of technology and it has a vital role to play in delivering better health care. If using a phone or a video camera means that a patient is more likely to keep an appointment, or complete treatment, isn't that a good thing?
The next issue of the HCSM Review will be at the end of July by Fard Johnmar. Check out:
Ok folks! It has been a pleasure! 
I hope you will come and say "hi" at one of our upcoming HealthCamps in Boston (Friday September 14th, 2012),  Kansas City (Sunday September 23, 2012) or San Francisco Bay (Friday October 5th, 2012).