In Cambridge, Mass., an “unconference” on #healthcare and the web #hit #healthfoo

“Unconference, ” “NERD center” and “Health Foo.” Find our what all that means and more in report on last weekend’s  Cambridge, Massachusetts meeting on health care and the web.

Or, as defined by the site “a cross-discipline, immersive, informal ‘unconference’ that will take advantage of a growing interest in applying Web 2.0 and open-source thinking in health care to spark ideas that can expedite changes in the ecosystem of health care services.”

On, poster Susanna Fox describes a session on why Google health failed and Cambridge-based Patients like Me succeeds. Fox is the “associate director of the Pew Internet & American Life Project and author of the Project’s survey reports on e-patients and online health”

–          Google created a private record, which was off-mission for Google since they do a great job of connecting people and aggregating data.

–          The ecosystem wasn’t ready and Google got “big company disease” so they bailed too early.

–          There are no lightweight solutions for such a broken system.

–          An EMR is the hardest problem to tackle and the least interesting for most consumers.

–          Google failed to make it easy for people to import data and use it.

–          Useful analytics, like’s, would have been a saving grace.

–          A counterview: The minimal use case was compelling enough – an easy way to see last year’s test results next to this year’s. Just to see the data is enough for some people.

–          Outside the U.S., EMRs and health data tracking helps trigger vaccination reminders – another simple use case that is compelling to people.

–          Google was late or unable to get the developer community excited.

–          Companies need to come to the game with someone in mind, someone whose problem you want to solve.

–          PatientsLikeMe’s 4 keys: 1) the platform has to be awesome; 2) someone has to care about the individual; 3) understand what is meaningful about the problem being solved; 4) do research, help people take action.

–          This space is not about apps. It’s about a use case, a value proposition like “this will help you save money” or “this will help avert disaster.”

–          A successful future initiative would do well to focus on babies. Pregnancy and parenthood are gateway moments in people’s lives.

–          Let the data flow and the technology will work itself out.


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