Health 2.0: User Generated Generating (New Health) Users

20 Sep Health 2.0: User Generated Generating (New Health) Users

User Generated (yū’zər jĕn’ə-rāt‘) n.

1. Media content that is produced by end-users
2. Refers specifically to user content tools such as wikis, blogs, social networks generated by general public rather than paid professionals.

Today I will be blogging live from the Health 2.0 Conference. It is exciting to see an entire room full of people (nearly 500) who are interested in learning more about a topic that begin on some discussion blogs last fall. The conference itself is a demonstration of how social networking can serve as a powerful organizing force of like-minded people in relatively short order. The conference is an elite mix of the healthcare intelligensia, from the huge blue chip corporation, to the vulture capitalist looking to score big, to the many player providers who have labored their entire careers for an opportunity to test the metal of their dreams against the iron anvil of healthcare opportunity.

Matthew and Indu have organized the conference on an impossibly tight schedule, with power packed sessions of powerfully influential people, and leveraging the best practices of social (un)conferencing. The conference started with the Rocky theme song music right on cue at 7:58 and Matthew and Indu took the stage. Lights down and a really cool 2.5 minute video on “Health is . . . ” was shown. The video was a variation of the famous “Web 2.0 is . . . “ video by professor Michael Wesch of Kansas State University.

This was followed by an introduction of Health 2.0 by Matthew who provided an introductory overview. Matthew highlighted the definitional debate we have enjoyed, and showed a few pictures of my canonical graph and definition of Health 2.0 in relief to his. I was prepared for a verbal response to his challenge of my definition (that will have to wait for a future blog), but we were too short on time. Either way, I appreciate the acknowledgment and look forward to continuing to be a part of defining both the technology and the movement.

This was immediately followed by a panel on which Google, WebMD, Microsoft, and Yahoo discussed the implications of search and adding value to the amazing amount of information that is available on the Web. These large consumer aggregators have learned some painful lessons along the way (I was particularly impressed with the weariness of Wayne Gatinnella of WebMD who has been there for 7 years – a lifetime in technology industry – and “survived” the tumultous years). Again, interesting dialog between four companies with a 1/2 trillion dollar market cap. Questions ranged from relevance of search, to role of the physician, to value added models without advertising, etc.

The big takeaway from me was how this new movement is generating an entirely new generation of users. This is being done by both generating new users not only by helping current patients become consumers but also generating users de novo who did not participate in healthcare previously.

Stay tuned . . .


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