The Ozmosis Blog

Healthcare Is Poised To Capitalize On Social Technologies

Tags: healthcare, Pharma, physician social networks, Health 2.0, enterprise collaboration, mckinsey, accenture, IBM by Joel • November, 15 2012

“The time has come to think seriously about enterprise social networking and consider its role within wider enterprise collaboration strategy", says Ovum, the global analyst firm. While 72 percent of companies use social technologies in some way, very few - according to the McKinsey Global Institute - have acheived the full potential benefit. In fact, McKinsey says the most powerful applications of social technologies in the global economy are largely untapped.

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Davita Launches Collaborative Community, NephLink, for Kidney Care Physicians

Tags: physician social networks, physician networking, enterprise collaboration, OzmosisESP, care collaboration by Joel • November, 01 2012

The Ozmosis team is delighted to announce that DaVita Inc. (DVA), a leading provider of kidney care services that is committed to improving the quality of life for those diagnosed with chronic kidney disease (CKD), has launched NephLink, a new online physician community for kidney care (powered by the OzmosisESP platform.)

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Why The Healthcare Industry Needs More Than Microsoft Plus Yammer

Tags: social software, enterprise collaboration, yammer, Social Business by Joel • July, 09 2012

The social software industry is red hot. In case you missed it, Microsoft officially announced it will acquire Yammer, an enterprise social networking platform, for $1.2 billion in cash.  This follows Jive’s very successful IPO as analysts estimate the company’s revenue may jump 157%.

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Healthcare Innovation Converges in Philadelphia

Tags: physician social networks, mobile, Healthcare Reform, Health IT, enterprise collaboration, Social Business, care collaboration, innovation by Joel • July, 02 2012

The healthcare industry is in the midst of a massive transformation as global trends such as Mobile, Social and Big Data  converge with new and innovative approaches to healthcare.  Following the Supreme Court’s long awaited decision on healthcare reform, MedCity’s inaugural conference on healthcare innovation, CONVERGE, could not come at a better time.

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Voice of the Doctor

Tags: social media, healthcare, physician social networks, physician, social software by Joel • June, 20 2012

The Voice of the Doctor is an internet radio show hosted by Dr. Nick van Terheyden, Chief Medical Information Officer for Nuance, that looks at healthcare from the perspective of a clinician.  This Friday’s show, June 22, will focus on social media in healthcare and Dr. van Terheyden has asked me to join him. 

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PWC report shows how much social media “likes” healthcare

Tags: social media, healthcare, physician social networks, Health 2.0, social software by Joel • May, 10 2012

According to Social Media "Likes" Healthcare: From marketing to social business , PwC’s consumer survey of 1,060 U.S. adults, about one-third of consumers are using social sites and tools as a natural habitat for health discussions.  As overall use of social networking sites has grown from 5% of all adults in 2005, to half of all adults (50%) in 2011, this should come as little surprise.  More importantly, PWC’s survey does a terrific job highlighting what “social” consumers really want from healthcare providers and how healthcare organizations (such as Aetna, Kaiser and Texas Health) are already transforming into social businesses.

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Doctors Encourage Use of Mobile Health Apps

Tags: mobile, Health Apps, disease management by Joel • March, 15 2012

The mobile health industry is growing like gangbusters.  More than 80% of physicians use smartphones and medical apps such as ePocrates, EyeChart, and Medscape.  These are just three of the most popular apps.  Did you know there are more than 10,000 medical and healthcare apps available for download in the iTunes Store?  According to the INFOGRAPHIC embedded below, this makes health apps the third-fastest growing app category among iPhone and Android users.  Its no wonder more and more physicians believe the right mobile health apps can help patient care.

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Social intranets are on the rise

Tags: social software, enterprise collaboration, Social Intranet by Joel • March, 05 2012

Recent studies, including an employee satisfaction report from APCO Worldwide and Gagen MacDonald, point to several benefits that arise from social intranets as enterprises deploy new social communication solutions.  Enterprise social networks, when configured and used properly, are becoming the main knowledge repositories and communication hubs in the enterprise. They are replacing corporate intranets as the most comprehensive and reliable places to find information about the company, its processes and procedures, and the people who work there. 

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New Media Meetup & Kindle Fire Raffle at HIMSS

Tags: social media, HIMSS12, New Media Meetup, Las Vegas by Joel • February, 08 2012

Vegas baby, Vegas.  That’s right, the Ozmosis team is heading to Las Vegas for HIMSS12 and once again  we are delighted to co-sponsor the New Media Meetup.  This year we are joining simplifyMD, HealthcareScene.com and Influential Networks to network and mingle with our healthcare social media friends. That’s the #hcsm, #HealthIT and #HITsm crowd for all you Twitter newbies. 

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Social Media and its Continuing Impact on Healthcare

Tags: social media, healthcare, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Google+ by Joel • February, 02 2012

Join Ozmosis & Ogilvy Public Relations Wednesday, February 15th for a star studded discussion on the continuing role social media plays in healthcare as part of Social Media Week in Washington, DC.  As we look back on the impact social media has had on the healthcare industry over the past year, we see dramatic growth in social media adoption by health care consumers, providers, and all the various organizations engaged in the healthcare ecosystem. While the industry has taken a giant leap forward into the world of social tools and collaborative models, we’ve only scratched the surface of what is yet to come.

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Google and Why Every Healthcare Organization Needs a Social Profile

Tags: Facebook, Google, Google+, SEO, social profile by Joel • January, 25 2012

In case you missed it, Google really is organizing all the word's data.  This is no longer a clever marketing ploy but the stark reality of the digital world in which we live.  In an era where more than 61% of all adults search for health information online, we need to sit up and take notice when Google makes significant changes to its search results and privacy policy.  

Given the outcry this week regarding Google's privacy policy and this month's integration of Google+, let's step back and review a few facts.

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2012: Social Business Trends Converge

Tags: Facebook, social software, Social Business, trends, big data, social analytics, electronic medical record by Joel • January, 18 2012

For those who have been keeping tabs on the rise of social business in healthcare, McKinsey's 5th annual survey on the way organizations use social tools & technologies finds that they continue to seep into many organizations, transforming business processes and raising performance.

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Don’t Wait for Comprehensive Social Media Guidance

Tags: social media, Pharma, FDA, guidelines by Joel • January, 12 2012

On December 31st, the FDA finally released its long awaited guidance on the use of social media, Responding to Unsolicited Requests for Off-Label Information About Prescription Drugs and Medical Devices." (click to download the actual PDF).  As most of us expected, the FDA did not provide comprehensive guidance.

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How to Make Friends and Innovate: Using Social Networks to Transform Innovation in Health Care

Tags: physician social networks, patient social networks, Social Business by Joel • October, 27 2011

At this year’s forthcoming HBA Leadership Conference being held in Washington, DC, we will explore how social business tools are being used to drive innovation throughout the healthcare industry.  From medical education and clinical trial development to clinical research and disease management, our panel will share specific examples and key learnings needed to accelerate the adoption and use of the right social strategy and tools.

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Healthbox Is Accepting Final Applications for Its New Healthcare Accelerator Program

by Joel • October, 05 2011

The U.S. healthcare system desperately needs an "innovation" injection and startup accelerators such as Healthbox and RockHealth aim to do just that. Founded earlier this year by business incubator Sandbox Industries, Healthbox, an accelerator program for healthcare startups, is accepting final applications for its inaugural class in Chicago.

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Is Social Business Ready to Grow Up?

Tags: ozmosis, social software, enterprise collaboration, jive software, IBM, Social Business, Salesforce.com, social content management by Joel • September, 24 2011

According to Forrester, 57% of enterprises are making some investment in enterprise social in 2011.

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Physicians Increase Use of Social Tools

Tags: social media, Facebook, physician social networks, physicians, research by Joel • September, 21 2011

Two recent surveys explore how physician’s use social media for personal and professional use.  What was interesting from the data is how actively physicians are now using social tools for professional purposes, particularly their affinity for closed, private communities.

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CIOs see real-time communication tools replacing email

Tags: social software, enterprise collaboration by Joel • September, 01 2011

According to a recent survey from Robert Half Technologies, More than half (54 percent) of chief information officers (CIOs) interviewed recently said real-time workplace communication tools will surpass traditional email in popularity within the next five years.  At Ozmosis, we see this shift already taking place with early adopters spread across the healthcare industry.

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Enterprise 2.0 Descends on Boston

Tags: collective knowledge, healthcare, social software, enterprise collaboration, best practice by Joel • June, 27 2011

Last week, the annual Enterprise 2.0 Conference made its way to Boston. For those unfamiliar with the term, Enterprise 2.0 refers to a new generation of innovative technologies and proceses (primarily "social" and "collaborative" tools) that improve productivity and reduce cost.

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BIO International: Social Networks in Life Science

Tags: ozmosis, BioPharma, life sciences, physician social networks, patient communities, Deloitte, sermo by Joel • June, 14 2011

On the heels of releasing its latest findings on the use of social networks in the life sciences industry, Deloitte Research has invited Ozmosis to join its BIO International 2011 presentation and panel discussion on "Improving Innovation Through Use of Social Networks" Thursday, June 29th in Washington, DC.

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Why Facebook Struggles With Healthcare

Tags: healthcare, Facebook, physician, enterprise collaboration by Joel • May, 10 2011

Over the past year Facebook’s popularity has continued to skyrocket. The world’s largest social network is now home to 700 million+ users and 2.5 million company pages (updated June 23, 2011).  So it should come as little surprise that millions of Americans are turning to Facebook to search for and discuss health related information.  However, while social collaboration can improve patient outcomes and reduce healthcare costs, it can also lead to unintended consequences.

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Social Innovation at HIMSS

Tags: social media, Facebook, Meaningful Use, enterprise collaboration, hospital, HIMSS, ACO, Health Information Exchange by Joel • February, 25 2011

Another HIMSS conference is in the books.  Last week over 31,000 Health IT professionals and nearly 1,000 vendors descended on Orlando to discuss the latest industry trends.  Once you got past all the pageantry and hoopla, there were meaningful discussion, debate, and education around the intersection of technology and healthcare.  In particular, mobile health, health data exchange and the role of accountable care organizations seemed to dominate the conversation. 

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How Social Networking Has Changed Business

Tags: ozmosis, clinical insights, healthcare, Facebook, physician social networks, IBM by Joel • February, 12 2011 The Harvard Business Review recently featured a post from Bill George, a Professor of Management Practice at Harvard Business School, where he states, “Social networking is the most significant business development of 2010, topping the resurgence of the U.S. automobile industry.”  As Bill points out, social networking took a transcendent leap forward in 2010 as it morphed from a "personal communications tool for young people into a new vehicle that business leaders are using to transform communications with their employees and customers". 

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New Media Meetup at HIMSS 2011

Tags: ozmosis, social media, Facebook, Twitter, HIMSS by Joel • February, 01 2011

Ozmosis is heading to Disney World…or rather the annual HIMSS HealthIT Conference being held in Orlando, FL, from February 20-24.  So whether you're a clinical informatics leader, hospital administrator, health care professional, or a Health IT vendor, we look forward to seeing you at the New Media Meetup we’re co-sponsoring at HIMSS.

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Looking Ahead to the Enterprise 2.0 Conference

Tags: healthcare, EHR, social software, enterprise collaboration, mckinsey, accenture, CPOE by Joel • January, 12 2011

The Enterprise 2.0 Conference is still more than five months away, but conference organizers are already hard at work crafting a terrific agenda.  With more than 320 papers submitted for presentation, the conference’s main theme of “Open Collaboration” is being put into practice as the E20 Community across the world discusses the virtues of each proposal and casts their vote.

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Social Networks for Life Sciences

Tags: physician social networks by Joel • December, 14 2010

To friend or not?  A new study from Deloitte on social networking in the life sciences industryToday, Deloitte Research released a new study on the use of social networks in the life sciences industry entitled, "To Friend or Not?"

Deloitte notes, "the industry thinks of social networks as marketing, similar to direct-to-consumer advertising; only more targeted. In reality, social networks are promising as tools that let the company collect information from, communicate to, and collaborate with people outside company walls."

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Enterprises are Riding the Social Wave.  Will Healthcare Keep Up?

Tags: healthcare, social software, enterprise collaboration, yammer, jive software, chatter, saleforce by Joel • December, 09 2010

For anyone keeping score these days, the market for social business software, especially enterprise collaboration, is heating up.

social software upstarts are going head-to-head with enterprise provdersLarge software players such as Microsoft, IBM and Salesforce.com all tout the “collaboration capabilities” of their products, from Microsoft's enhanced social features in SharePoint 2010 to the release of Chatter 2.0 by Salesforce. However, the real push is coming from a rapidly growing number of pure-plays like Yammer, Jive Software and Lithium.

IDC reports 41% of respondents have already deployed an enterprise social software solution. Which isn't surprising, since Chatter has more than 60,000 customers and Yammer is used by over 90,000 companies and organizations, including over 80% of the Fortune 500.

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When It Comes to Social Media, Is Everyone a Potential Partner?

Tags: social media, Public Health Initiatives, ogilvy, georgetown, conversations by Joel Selzer • December, 03 2010

Last month, the Ogilvy Social Marketing exCHANGE and Georgetown University held a fantastic event on the role social media can play in improving public health.  During the course of our panel discussion, we were asked to describe the value partners can play in social media.  My response was simple, I said “when it comes to social media, everyone is a potential partner.”  Alex Hughes, the organizer and moderator for the event took this message to heart and posted a very thoughtful review which I have shared below.

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The New Engagement Channel: Physician Networks

Tags: Pharma, Bayer Schering Pharma, physician social networks, physicians, engagement by Joel Selzer • December, 01 2010

Len Starnes, the Head of Digital Marketing & Sales, General Medicine at Bayer Schering Pharma, has long been regarded as a thought leader and trailblazer among Pharma executives when it comes to effectively leveraging social media.  He recently shared a fantastic article on the impact physician networks are having across the world and how Pharma is moving to actively engage providers through each network.

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Using Social Media Platforms to Amplify Public Health Messaging

Tags: social media, Facebook, Twitter, physician social networks, Public Health Initiatives, ogilvy, georgetown, white paper by Joel • November, 17 2010

Ogilvy Washington and the Center for Social Impact Communication at Georgetown University have released a terrific white paper, “Using Social Media Platforms to Amplify Public Health Messaging” that explores how social marketers rely on networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Youtube as channels to raise awareness of public health-related issues, facilitate behavior change, and ultimately help people live healthier, safer lives.

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AMA Issues Social Media Guidelines

Tags: ozmosis, social media, AMA, guidelines, physician by Joel • November, 10 2010

The American Medical Association (AMA) adopted social media guidelines earlier this week at its semi-annual policy making meeting.  This is a positive step forward by the AMA and demonstrates the importance of social media to its members.

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Hands On Social Media Workshops and Simulations

Tags: social media, healthcare, KOL, Pharma, workshop, life sciences, physician by Joel • June, 30 2010

I am delighted to announce the launch of a new hands-on, social media workshop series offered by Ozmosis Business Solutions. These workshops are available initially for BioPharma companies, with customized sessions for both payor organizations and health systems to follow later this summer. As we look back at the impact social media has made on healthcare, the opportunities for healthcare organizations to engage healthcare providers continues to expand.

Social Media's Impact on Healthcare - HCNM Keynote

(You can view or download the presentation)

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Social Media and Its Impact on the Healthcare Industry

Tags: social media, HCNM, Pharma, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, medicine, health systems, FDA, CDC, physician by Joel • May, 25 2010

Today, 650 hospitals have an active presence on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter and numerous healthcare organizations have turned the corner to engage in conversations online.  As we look back on the impact social media has had on the healthcare industry over the past year, we see dramatic growth in social media adoption by health care consumers, providers, and organizations. 

For example, health systems such as Henry Ford have begun to broadcast surgeries and answer clinical questions live via Twitter, new communities like WiserTogether have made it easier for patients to share novel practices around specific conditions such as pregnancy, and services such as iGuard have changed the way we think about drug safety. The FDA’s public hearings in November also gave hope that the cloud of regulatory uncertainty would soon be lifted and the Dose of Digital Wiki now lists hundreds of active pharmaceutical social media programs.

While the industry has taken a giant leap forward into the brave new social media world, we've only scratched the surface of what is yet to come. So what does the future hold?  Join me June 14th in Chicago, as Shahid Shah (CEO of HITSphere) and I explore the past and future at the 2nd Annual Healthcare New Media Marketing Conference.  Our talk kicks off a terrific event, and I am honored to join the distinguished group of speakers Q1 Productions has assembled.
 

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Announcing the launch of Ozmosis Business Solutions

Tags: social media, healthcare, Pharma, solutions, regulation, risk readiness by Joel • May, 10 2010

It's an exciting day for all of us at Ozmosis as we officially launch a new business unit. Ozmosis Business Solutions - an outgrowth of our core business - is focused exclusively on serving the social media needs of our clients throughout the healthcare industry.  

Ozmosis Business Solutions

When we started Ozmosis three years ago, Facebook had fewer than 20 million active users and Twitter was relatively unknown until the SXSW conference that March. Today, they have close to 600 million active users between them and their users spend an astonishing 500 billion minutes on Facebook per month and share more than 50 million tweets a day.  

Healthcare organizations have been actively utilizing social media. More than 650 hospitals have an active presence on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. Scanning the Dose of Digital Wiki shows how forward thinking major pharmaceutical firms are with their own social media programs. However, most of their efforts to date have been patient centric. Whether organizations are trying to educate their respective audiences or provide better customer service, they can also engage the more than 60% of physicians who consume user-generated content created by and for healthcare professionals.
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The Limits of Manufacturer Accountability in Social Media

Tags: Pharma, Bayer Schering Pharma, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Oglivy, Sanofi-Aventis, FDA by Joel • March, 29 2010

In its call for public comments on the promotion of regulated medical products using the internet and social media, the FDA sparked renewed interest in the role the agency's guidelines might play in pharma's embrace or avoidance of social media.  While many manufacturers have moved forward with innovative programs (See the Pharma and Healthcare Social Media Wiki) there are still organizations unsure or simply unwilling to engage online in an uncertain regulatory environment.

It's easy for some to accept that fear and hesitancy are warranted when billion dollar blockbuster drug franchises and patient safety are at stake.  Yet, those of us who believe the power of the social web can improve both the bottom line and the public good will continue to push pharma to engage more openly and effectively online.  As an example, Digital Pharma Europe is being hosted by Bayer Schering Pharma in Berlin this week.  While I cannot attend in person, I will follow along via twitter (use #digpharm) and am encouraged by the fact that Bayer, among others, is taking social media seriously in Europe.   Joining with Bayer in their respective comments to the FDA, manufacturers demonstrated they can come together to provide a near unanimous opinion on issues relating to the use of social media (See our summary of PhRMA comments here).

When it comes to defining what they should be held accountable for online, PhRMA, Abbot Labs, AstraZeneca, Bayer, Eli Lilly, Genentech, Johnson & Johnson, Novartis, Pfizer, Sanofi-Aventis, and Sepracor seek to limit accountability to content that is company owned and controlled.  Novartis proposes that companies “should only be held accountable for those online communications which they directly own or control", while Pfizer distinguishes between company-controlled web properties and company-controlled content, saying that “statements by unregulated persons on manufacturer-hosted (or -supported) online forums are not statements by the manufacturers themselves.”

If the FDA adopted these recommendations today, would manufacturers more fully embrace social media?  One would hope so, but in the absence of formal guidance, manufacturers still hesitate to engage openly with patients and providers alike.  Behind closed walls on manufacturer sponsored or controlled private sites for patients and providers, some allow real conversations to take place.  However, on the public sites they control, such as branded and unbranded Facebook pages, most manufacturers restrict commenting and often disable posting all together.  If patients and providers can't engage the brand or company in an open conversation online because the manufacturer fears being held accountable for their statements, how much value does a presence on Facebook really provide?  Clearly, we need to encourage more open, engaging and credible conversations in these settings.  Without such an approach, we will continue to see manufacturers stumble in their social media efforts, as recent events illustrate.
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FDA Framework for Regulating Social Media Promotion

Tags: social media, BioPharma, Pharma, FDA, physician social networks by Joel • March, 16 2010

On March 16th, Ozmosis submitted its comment to the FDA's docket on the promotion of regulated medical products using the internet and social media, joining over 150 other submissions by drug manufacturers, health systems, consultants, agencies, advocacy groups, and private individuals.

The level of interest in this subject should surprise no one.

The world of medicine has changed dramatically since the FDA's last hearings on internet use. In 1999, less than 50% of physicians used the internet for professional purposes. Today, Google reports that virtually all physicians (92%) use the internet to gather medical information in a clinical setting, and according to Manhattan Research, 89% of U.S. physicians now describe the web as "essential to their professional practice." With the groundswell for social media resources among physicians continuing to rise, Manhattan Research also shares that 71% of U.S. physicians are interested in or already use physician social networks for peer-to-peer interactions.

However, many pharmaceutical manufacturers hesitate to engage with physicians through social media due to the uncertain regulatory landscape. While there have been notable exceptions, as highlighted in our FDA comment, this missed opportunity is a detriment to patients, providers and manufacturers alike. We strongly encourage the FDA to provide clear guidance to avoid further delay.

So what would appropriate guidance for manufacturer participation look like? At Ozmosis, we have established a set of principles that, if applied to the broader web and social media landscape, would be to the benefit of manufacturers, physicians, and patients alike.

On Ozmosis, physicians use their real identities and share their professional affiliations, resulting in a more trusted and transparent exchange of clinical information. Since physicians always know with whom they are communicating and sharing knowledge, the insights and discussions that take place on Ozmosis are highly valued and insight rich. Any regulatory framework put forth must ensure the same level of trust, transparency and accountability our physicians already benefit from every day.

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Improving Physician and Pharma (Life Science) Company Interactions

Tags: Pharma, life sciences, ePharma Summit 2010, mobile by Joel • February, 23 2010

The 9th Annual ePharma Summit was recently held in Philadelphia the week of February 8th, otherwise known as “Snowpocalypse”. Those of us who braved the blizzard were rewarded with a terrific set of discussions on the role digital and social media can play to improve the working relationship between physicians and pharma.

In our last post, Practicing Medicine in a Mobile Powered World, Jason shared a vision of how a physician’s workflow might look in the not too distant future. As Jason described, this is a world where the pharmaceutical information and services physician’s require are available when the physician needs them, inserted into the clinician’s workflow in a manner that improves rather than hinders their ability to diagnose and treat patients effectively.

Today, physicians need the following when it comes to assessing pharmaceutical information at the point of care:

1. Fast, simple, reliable answers to product questions

2. Peer-to-Peer interaction and trusted feedback

3. Access to rep like services provided on their terms

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Practicing Medicine in a Mobile Powered World

Tags: mobile, medine, Epocrates, point of care by Jason • February, 04 2010

Apple changed the world when they launched the iPod.  When the iPhone came out, a new standard for smart phones was set, healthcare apps appeared, and the devices were quickly adopted by physicians (here is a great list of apps for physicians and medical students).  So, given Apple's track record,could the Apple iPad help revolutionize healthcare?  It may be wishful thinking, but I believe mobile technology has and will continue to change the way medicine is practiced. 

64% of U.S. physicians own smartphones and this number is expected to increase to 81% by 2012, according to Manhattan Research.  There are some significant advantages to today's mobile platforms, and for many physicians, our mobile device has become essential to our practice.  Consider a typical patient encounter…

A 66 year old patient of mine comes to the office with symptoms of depression.  She has a complicated medical history with heart failure, atrial fibrillation, high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol (believe it or not, there is nothing rare about this type of patient, they make up 10-20% of a typical panel and a much larger portion of the medicare population.)  Here she is, with a relatively straightforward problem (depression), confounded by multiple medical issues and the host of medications that come with them.  In addition to the seven (7) medications she is currently taking, I need to add an antidepressant to treat the mood. Yet, with all of these medications I am concerned about drug-drug interactions and wonder if there is an optimal drug to use.  Today, I use Epocrates on my iPhone to see that there are a few I want to avoid.  In less than 2 minutes I figure out the best option with the least potential interactions – 10 years ago I had to check multiple sources for the same information – a process that took me 10-20 minutes.  With the time I save, I can move on to help another patient.

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A Call To Action: FDA, Social Media and Physician Engagement

Tags: social media, Pharma, FDA, physicians, GI Circle by Joel • November, 18 2009

Joel Selzer (LinkedIn profile), my Co-Founder at Ozmosis, has spent the past few weeks following the buildup to the FDA's Public Hearing on Social Media. After digesting last week's testimony and the conversations around it (visit www.fdasm.com for the latest courtesy of Fabio Gratton), Joel offers the following:

During my recent presentations at Digital Pharma and AdvaMed's Social Media Seminar, I argued that social media offers pharmaceutical and medical device brands a unique opportunity to engage with physicians. According to Mark Bard from Manhattan Research, 70% of physicians want pharmaceutical firms to engage them online and 60% of physicians either use or are interested in using physician social networks (just ask the docs on Ozmosis or Sermo). With thousands of physicians actively using social media every day to access and share medical information (see Rohit Bhargava's post on "How Doctors Are Using Social Media", one would expect pharmaceutical and medical device firms to salivate at the engagement possibilities.

Yet, both industries have been reluctant to engage doctors using social media under current FDA guidelines. Their reluctance has been disappointing to many but should not be surprising. Michele Sharp of Eli Lilly said it best at the FDA hearing:

To date, Lilly has avoided significant interaction with healthcare professionals and patients about our products in social media forums – largely because of a lack of clarity in understanding FDA’s expectations as to how we could participate and comply with FDA requirements.

This theme was reiterated throughout the hearings, and its absolutely critical that the FDA evaluate the impact of not providing guidance. Michele Sharp also nailed it when she called on the FDA to lead a series of public workshops that could, "collectively generate ideas, leverage the knowledge, expertise and experiences of the participants and work toward viable solutions, so that FDA can provide the detail and clarity to the pharmaceutical industry and others through Guidance or executive channels."

Lilly's recommendation is spot on, but in addition to immediately scheduling a series of public workshops…the FDA should appoint a Social Media Advisory Panel (a recommendation echoed by Zen Chu of Accelerated Medical Ventures). While holding the public hearings was a great step forward, the FDA needs to augment its social media expertise and it needs to do so quickly. Its clear from last week's testimony that the FDA has a lot of homework piling up and the best way we can accelerate their education is to demonstrate two very important points about social media use to the FDA.

1. Physicians and industry are already working together
2. Practical solutions exist to address the FDA's concerns
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Exploring the Controversy Around Healthcare Reform

Tags: Healthcare Reform, Health IT, H-IT, Meaningful Use by Joel • November, 12 2009

The controversy around Healthcare reform continues to grow, especially with the recent House passage of HR 3962.  This 1900 page bill (summarized nicely in this 61 page downloadable pdf file), begins to address a number of the problems and inefficiencies in our healthcare system but there is much still left to figure out.  In tandum with the funds appropriated for accelerating Health IT adoption under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act passed last year, we may actually be moving towards transforming healthcare.  

To further explore what healthcare reform really means for all of us, the Mayo Clinic, AARP, Pfizer and others, are sponsoring "The Minnesota Healthcare Roundtable" on November 20th.  The assembled panelists will tackle topics such as Medicare, private health plans, business ethics, codes of conduct, and transparency.  With representation on the panel from some of the leading healthcare institutions in Minnesota, expect some great discussions.

Physicians on Ozmosis have been holding their own conversations about the recent healthcare bill, insurance reform, and the impact of both on physician practices.  As the social media sponsor, Ozmosis members will have the opportunity to participate virtually in the Healthcare Roundtable.  Questions posed on Ozmosis will be answered, in real-time, by the panelists in Minnesota.  Some of the questions already being asked on Ozmosis are around Healthcare IT and connectivity, overcoming physician shortages, and issues around meaningful use.  

We look forward to an exciting event, and you can follow the discussion on November 20th live via Twitter, just look for the #MNMDreform hashtag.  

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Health 2.0 2009, San Francisco, Day 2: A Summary

Tags: healthcare, FDA, Health 2.0, Keas, Athena Health by Jason • October, 08 2009

Three CEO's and a President offered interesting perspectives on where they felt Health 2.0 was heading.  Alexandra Drane, President of Eliza, made a fascinating point about how most of the data out there is not very useful until it is cleaned with some high touch effort.  Eliza actually contacts patients to confirm and clean up data - she mentioned that 20% of the people who were reported to have diabetes, didn't have diabetes - all you have to do is ask!

Jane Sarasohn Kahn moderated a great conversation between Wayne Gattinella of WebMD, Sameer Samat of Google Health, and David Cerino of Microsoft.  I was blown away with how clean the new MS HealthVault interface looks (using Silverlight) - it was like looking at a Mac!  Google showcased a new telehealth solution, MDLiveCare, that is now integrated with their system and uses video chat to deliver medical and psychiatric services to patients.  Wayne focused heavily on their new WebMD mobile apps that he feels (and I agree) are where tools need to be delivered.  

Sanjay Koyani from the FDA showed a demo of their Twitter feeds and widgets - similar to what he shared in the Driving the Adoption of Health IT Through Innovations in Social MediaJamie Haywood from PatientsLikeMe discussed their recent study that was based on data gleaned from their site about lithium and Multiple Sclerosis.

Adam Bosworth did a demo of Keas today.  The site has come a long way since last year.  Care plans now help consumers improve their health by helping them keep on track with their specific disease state.  Adam described it as a "Facebook for health" which gives you steps to better health.  There is a slick integration with Quest Labs that turns the raw data into very nice visualizations that are easy to interpret.  Keas allows for some personalized and relevant data to be delivered to the patient based on their condition.  It is definitely shaping up and I look forward to seeing how it develops over the coming months.  Well done Keas, keep it simple and stay out of the red.
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Social Media Meets Healthcare: Health 2.0, 2010

Tags: Health 2.0, H1N1, Health Alerts by Jason • October, 07 2009

Social media meets healthcare next week at the Health 2.0 Conference in San Francisco.  Health2.0 is one of the more innovative and exciting conferences that I have been to, and I look forward to it each fall.  This year the event is being kicked off by Aneesh Chopra, CTO of the United States and former Secretary of Technology Virginia.

Given the upcoming Influenza season and concerns around H1N1, I have been asked to demo the Ozmosis Real-Time Health Alerts solution at the Health 2.0 in the Doctors Office session on Tuesday, October 6th at noon.  Joining me on stage to demo their solutions as well will be David Best, MD, showing The Doctor’s Channel, Ryan Howard, with Practice Fusion, Chaim Indig, showing Phreesia, and Mark Walinske, with Boundary Medical. 
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Health 2.0 2009, San Francisco, Day 1: A Summary

Tags: point of care, Health 2.0, telemedicine, EMR by Jason • September, 30 2009

There are some underlying themes at Health 2.0 this year that are quite different than last year.  While 2008 was all about mobilizing for change and encouraging new ideas, this year seems to be focused on incenting people to adopt all the new technologies that have been built.

Aneesh Chopra kicked off the conference with a great talk on his experience with HIT in Virginia and how how he believes that innovation in the Health 2.0 space is critical to controlling costs and improving care.
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Preparing For H1N1 and the 2009 Flu Season

Tags: H1N1, CDC, WHO, Veratect, Public Health Initiatives by Jason • August, 18 2009

As the influenza season approaches, our focus has turned to the Southern Hemisphere to learn how they weathered their first wave of the pandemic H1N1 Influenza virus. On Ozmosis, physicians have been following regular tactical reports on H1N1's impact from Dr. James Wilson, Chief Scientist and Biosurveillance expert at VeratectDr. Wilson's reporting has included morbidity and mortality statistics, effects on ICU's and infrastructure, and social dissent and unrest stemming from H1N1's spread.  While there are too many variables to reliably predict what our experience will be this fall, the reports reveal some very concerning details about how quickly the health systems in many countries were overwhelmed by both the sick and the worrying well. 

More than two million people are believed to have contracted the new flu in the U.S.; 7,511 had been hospitalized and 477 had died as of Aug. 13, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. World-wide, 177,457 people have been confirmed with the disease, and 1,462 deaths had been reported as of Aug. 12, according to the World Health Organization.
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Driving Health IT Through Innovations in Social Media

Tags: social media, FDA, Health IT, CDC, Clinovations, HHS, NIH, Amplify Public Affairs by Joel • July, 13 2009

With close to $40 billion in stimulus funding specifically appropriated for Health IT adoption and a wave of successful initiatives utilizing social media for public health, key decision makers need to understand the full potential social media has to affect positive change for healthcare reform. We already know the Obama Administration believes Social Media offers a low cost way to improve transparency and drive community engagement, and earlier this year we shared Six Ideas where Social Media could be used to ease and improve the HIT integration process. Now, we need to ensure that the right stakeholders join the conversation.

To help educate policy makers and advance the discussion, Ozmosis is co-hosting a Symposium on Thursday, July 16th with Amplify Public Affairs and Clinovations, entitled, "Driving Health IT Through Innovations in Social Media."  We have a terrific group of speakers from CDC, FDA, HHS, NIH and the private sector who will demonstrate the success of and lessons learned from existing social media programs in the federal, state and private health sectors. 

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Musings on President Obama and his speech to the AMA

Tags: Healthcare Reform, H-IT, Obama, AMA, EHR, Tort Reform by Jason • June, 15 2009

You did not enter this profession to be bean-counters and paper-pushers. You entered this profession to be healers – and that's what our health care system should let you be.

- President Barack Obama, Speech to the AMA, June 15, 2009, Chicago, IL

Today, Obama was as sincere and charismatic as we have come to expect.  In his speech to the AMA he was able to address many of the topics and issues facing the U.S. healthcare system.  Of the points addressed, I was particularly interested in his views on tort reform, implementation of electronic health records, and improving health care by making physicians better doctors. 

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Healthcare Reform, Conversations and HealthCamp

Tags: Healthcare Reform, HealthCame by Joel • June, 11 2009

Joel Selzer (LinkedIn profile), my Co-Founder at Ozmosis, and I will be participating in HealthCamp Maryland next week. Joel shares some insight into what HealthCamp is all about. 

With healthcare costs skyrocketing, projected to reach $4.4 trillion by 2018, we can no longer delay fundamental reform of our healthcare system.  We simply can't afford it.

As President Obama prepares to address the American Medical Association on Monday and Democrats on the Hill near a consensus for healthcare legislation, we may finally see some semblance of a plan for health reform emerge.  Yet, no matter the outcome in Washington, physicians, consumers, activists - all of us involved in healthcare - can take action today to drive positive change within our local communities.

If you haven't attended a HealthCamp yet, I encourage you to do so. This is the venue for a vitally important conversation about the future of healthcare, both in this country and around the world." says Mark Scrimshire, the founder of HealthCamp.  This is a collaborative meeting that  brings together interested parties from across the Health Care industry to consider how we can create a more inclusive, participatory structure that focuses on health, wellness and disease prevention.
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H1N1 Pandemic Preparedness, Social Media, and Lessons Learned

Tags: social media, Twitter, H1N1, Veratect by Jason • May, 18 2009

The recent H1N1 Influenza outbreak raised concerns about our ability to handle the current, and future pandemic threats. Our systems for surveillance, reporting, infection control, and antiviral drug distribution showed strain and could potentially be overwhelmed. In the brief time we have to prepare for our next flu season, we must step back and evaluate where improvements need to be made.

Of critical importance during any crisis are the roles and responsibilities of healthcare providers on the front line, not only those in ER's, but also in Primary Care offices and Urgent Care Centers.  As demonstrated during these past few weeks, social media can play a vital role in the dissemination of information (via twitter, blogs and social networks), however, pushing out limited alerts through Twitter is only the first step.
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Social Media And Public Health: New Tools In The Battle Against Influenza

Tags: H1N1, Health Alerts, CDC, WHO, Veratect by Jason • April, 29 2009

VeratectFor the past six weeks Ozmosis has been quietly testing a new Real-Time Health Alerts solution. OzmosisIn its early stages, this tool is a joint project between Ozmosis and Veratect, a company that tracks disease outbreaks globally. While we had not intended to publicly launch the Health Alerts solution yet, the recent events around the Swine Influenza outbreaks have caused us to push ahead. After launching to the Ozmosis community yesterday, the system has quickly generated significant usage and results.   Unlike a simple RSS or Twitter feed for Swine Flu and Pandemic alerts, the Ozmosis solution allows its physicians to:

  • view, search, and filter through alerts state by state
  • discuss management and treatment options, share health department and CDC updates
  • submit their own potential cases for review which are then evaluated by Veratect, verified and reported back to Ozmosis, the CDC, the UN, and other health agencies
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A Virtual Grand Rounds Curriculum Improves Learning Among Residents and Faculty

Tags: Virtual Grand Rounds by Jason • April, 15 2009

One of the most powerful events in medical education is the traditional case presentation at Grand Rounds.  It is the opportunity for physicians to present challenging clinical cases to their colleagues, to deliver the history and physical, and to defend and discuss the management of that case.  During the course of the presentation, something amazing happens: everyone learns from each other.  The collective input from residents, faculty, and other attending staff help work through the complexities of an otherwise difficult to manage case.  Everyone in the room gains valuable insight regarding how to approach a complicated case, such as the one discussed.

So why is such an invaluable learning experience not taking place throughout all physician training programs, in every hospital, and at all practices across the country?  The reasons vary, but ultimately, it is a function of lack of time and too few resources.  The end result is that more and more physicians are missing out on Grand Rounds and other similar learning opportunities.

Like many Residency training programs, one program from the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine has found it difficult to gather all of the residents and faculty together at any one time.  Restrictions on work hours, multiple clinic rotations, and a number of other limiting factors contribute to this.  Recently, Bret Ripley D.O., the Associate Director at VCU's Shenandoah Valley Family Practice Residency Program in Front Royal, Virginia, took the initiative to find a solution. 
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Guest Post: The Business Behind Social Networks

Tags: social media, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, ExecTweet, Intangible Insights by Joel • March, 24 2009

Joel Selzer (LinkedIn profile), my Co-Founder at Ozmosis, has spent the past three years immersed in Social Media - in particular the business and functional side of Social Networks.  As Facebook, Linked-in, and most recently Twitter break new ground with ways to turn their members into dollars, we are all trying to learn more about their strategies.  In this Guest Blog, Joel helps to shed light on what the big players are up to. 

For months, there has been talk that Twitter would finally unveil its business model with a focus on serving corporate customers, whether to help promote their businesses or to provide a customer service solution. Yesterday, news broke that Microsoft (MSFT), via its Federated Media ad network is the first to sponsor an Ad on Twitter.  ExecTweet, a service that collects and highlights Tweets from various executives, will be prominently displayed on Twitter pages.

Twitter will get an undisclosed payment for promoting ExecTweet and Federated Media’s John Battelle hints at a revenue share arrangement. Federated also said it plans on launching similar programs on Twitter with other clients.  Excitement over Twitter continued to build as Salesforce announced plans to integrate Twitter within its Service Cloud, a tool it released back in January.  While countless organizations, such as our own team at Ozmosis, use Twitter daily to share insights and monitor industry news, companies like Comcast and Dell have customer service agents on Twitter to proactively find complaints and address them.  Now Salesforce users can search, monitor, and join conversations specifically on Twitter creating a far more comprehensive customer service solution. 

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The Economic Stimulus Package - How Do We Accelerate Health IT Adoption?

Tags: H-IT, Stimulus by Jason • March, 09 2009

Thanks to the recently passed "Health Care and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act" (full text on Wikipedia) nearly $19 billion has been allocated to drive HIT integration into the US medical system.  However, only a small percentage of the investment actually goes to fund implementation.  So what do we, as healthcare providers already struggling in this economy, do to navigate the muddy waters around the implementation of Electronic Health Records (EHR)?

We already know the Obama Administration believes Social Media offers a low cost way to improve transparency and drive community engagement, so here are my top 6 ideas where Social Media could be used to ease and improve the HIT integration process.

1.  Offer providers trusted product reviews - Launch a "crowdsourced" solution where healthcare providers, practice managers, and hospitals can collectively evaluate the hundreds of EHR products - make it transparent, explain certification standards, invite industry, and let the conversation flow.  Imagine a site like CNet reviews but just focused on EHR.  Perhaps a solution similar to ProCompare, but make it easy for users to determine a reviewer's relative expertise.

ProCompare, social media product reviews

2.  Simplify the selection/purchase process for small practices - Provide a one stop shop where small practices and provider groups can compare prices, download trial software and purchase off the shelf products.  (#1 and #2 may well be different parts of the same offering)CDC Twitter Feed

3.  Provide regular updates on policy changes via Twitter or Facebook - Follow the example CDC and FDA have set and keep the masses engaged and informed through the medium of their choice (web, rss, email, sms).

4.  Share best practices on EHR implementation and use - Let providers and administrators benefit from the collective experience of their peers.  Best practices are already being shared on a limited basis on sites such as EMR Update and Ozmosis, but scale it, and get everyone involved.

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Improving Practice Health - Using Social and New Media Tools to Improve Practice Management

Tags: social media, medicine, practice management, patient recruitment by Jason • January, 15 2009

A majority of physicians’ offices are run as small businesses and are extremely sensitive to economic pressures.  With the US economy in the midst of a recession, physicians, right along with everyone else, are facing financial difficulties.

We feel the crunch at my practice in Northern Virginia, and are actively searching for practical solutions to improve office efficiency and increase revenue.  As physicians across the country struggle in a similar search, I have paid attention to the suggestions many have shared in their discussions on Ozmosis, and other sources like Twitter.  Of particular interest are the Social Media or Health 2.0 solutions (generally readily accessible and inexpensive) that offer promise in improving the bottom line quickly and effectively.

Of the available suggestions, I feel the following have the most value, or have been implemented into practices with some measure of success.

Marketing Solutions to Recruit Patients

1. Start a practice Blog - This is a marketing and practice growth tool.  It can help increase your visibility in the community and improve your communication of services to existing and new patients. 2. Create a Facebook page - A form of social marketing, Facebook can increase your reach as well as advertise existing and new services in your practice. 3. Send practice updates through Twitter - Keep patients informed of practice specific events (flu shots, physicals, etc) and increase your practice visibility. Maximize Revenue and Reduce Operating Costs

2. Extend practice services to the Web - such as online scheduling with ZocDoc (available only in NYC for now) and automated patient appointment call reminders with PhoneTree. 2. Provide online lab results to your patients - Using services like Quest360 or use your EMR's patient based portal - this may allow you to reduce or re-purpose your current staff.

3. Move to a Web-Centric or Concierge practice - Consider a practice solution like Myca or converting to a Micro-Practice or concierge service.

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Social Media Trends to Watch for in 2009

Tags: social media, physicians, providers, consumers by Jason • December, 30 2008

In 2008 medicine evolved.  There was an explosion of social media applications enabling physicians and consumers to share healthcare related information.  With 60 million U.S. adults now Health 2.0 consumers according to Manhattan Research, I want to look ahead to the coming year and share, from a physician's perspective, the trends I will be watching for in 2009.

Provider Trends in 2009
Physicians will continue to pour into online communities and physician social networks throughout 2009, but priorities are changing, and we will demand more from the social media services we use - we will see:

The Evolution of Physician Collaboration.
We will embrace resources that offer trusted information and look for more in a site than news feeds or discussions boards.  And we will build and use professional networks to help filter the overflow of information and prioritize our learning activities. 

Recognition of rapid communication tools as a resource, not a distraction.
Health Systems and provider groups will start to understand the massive potential of instant communication, whether mobile or via microblogging as an information and collaboration resource, and begin to 'unblock' these services for their providers.

Early steps in improving Provider/Industry interaction.
In order to re-establish trust in their interactions with Physicians, Industry will begin to lean towards a more open and balanced exchange of information.  Over time, new models will level the playing field with improved transparency between both parties. 

Mobile, Mobile, Mobile. Physicians have always been interested in mobile apps for referencing medication doses and practice management resources but with wireless broadband access, faster processors, and slick new devices like the 3G iPhone, more useful and productive apps are bound to appear.  Look for mobile apps that go beyond simple reference and calculators to interactive learning, CME, and instant or "store and forward" consultations.
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A Tech-savvy Physician’s View of Patient Social Networks

Tags: patient communities, patient social networks by Jason • December, 08 2008

This week I have posted as a guest on Shahid Shah's blog, The Healthcare IT Guy.  I discuss how patient focused social networks are impacting how we provide care. Below is an excerpt from the post, which you can read in its entirety here: Guest Article: A Tech-savvy Physician’s View of Patient Social Networks.

Patient social networks are generally either diverse, all purpose communities, such as HealthCentral, MedHelp and RevolutionHealth or disease focused, such as Patients Like Me (neuro-degenerative diseases and mood disorders), Relief Insite (chronic pain), DiabetesMine (diabetes), and I’m Too Young for This (cancer patients from 15-40 years old). As these sites continue to grow in popularity, patients are using these communities to share and discuss daily life struggles or to cope with rare diseases.
 



(Collage of the many patient social networks)


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Ozmosis Unleashes the Power of a Physicians Network

Tags: crowdsourcing, physician networking by Jason • November, 10 2008

On Ozmosis, physicians learn from each other every day.  As the only Trusted Physician Network, we enable our members to share clinical and practice management insights (see my blog on migraine therapies).  In observing these interactions and reviewing feedback from the community, two key themes continue to emerge.

On Ozmosis, as in medicine, "Trust" and "Access To Your Professional Network" are essential to learning.   We have developed the next generation of Ozmosis to drive the exchange of medical knowledge by maximizing the power of a trusted physician network.

Ozmosis now leverages the power of each member's trusted network to deliver more personalized and relevant information to every physician.  The new feature set and user interface on Ozmosis drive "Network Powered Knowledge", which means physicians can quickly access personalized content from the sources they trust the most.
 



 


By expanding their professional networks, our physician members benefit from the insights shared by colleagues.  Upon logging in, personalized information is immediately presented to each physician.

Physicians see questions submitted by members of their network,

number of responses, and relative level of trust from the community

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Health 2.0 Day 2: Highlights and Musings

Tags: Pharma, Health 2.0, Keas, Athena Health, Sage Software by Jason • October, 24 2008

Day two at the Health 2.0 Conference in San Francisco was just as busy as the first -full of amazing ideas and inspiration.

The day began with Jonathan Bush of Athena Health being interviewed by Chris Lawton of the Wall Street Journal. I was struck by Jonathan's blunt appraisal of the problems in the healthcare system. He was especially aware of the plight of the physician and how to incent them to adopt change (money). While I agree that certain things that cost money will require some financial inducement, I also believe that physicians will ultimately do what is in the best interest of their patients.

There was a great panel on various health technology initiatives from around the world. There is an understanding that mobile apps are the key to improving health and access to healthcare in underdeveloped countries. Deb Levine of ISIS showed off some pretty cool apps for disease prevention (HIV) using SMS (everyone's phone was beeping). James Mathews of Sage Software is one of the best moderators that I have seen - his calm demeanor and extremely insightful commentary was excellent.

There was a strange, but entertaining period where Matthew Holt dared to dress in drag and go through the process of testing a number of 'Consumer Tools' from H20. From genetic testing (23andMe) to apps that check for generic drug equivalents, estimate your savings, and even call the doctor to change the prescription, there are all sorts of fun toys for us to play with. Adam Bosworth unveiled Keas to the world today and it looks like a Consumer Decision Support Tool. It takes in health data from Microsoft Health Vault or Google Health and helps the consumer build a health plan while forecasting outcomes from specific diet, exercise, and other lifestyle changes. It was a bit underwhelming but I suspect we were only seeing the tip of the iceberg.

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Health 2.0 Day 1: Quick Review

Tags: Health 2.0 by Jason • October, 23 2008

Day 1 of the Health 2.0 Conference in San Francisco this week was the whirlwind that I had expected. Below is a quick snapshot of highlights from the day's events:

The folks from Google Health, Yahoo! Health, WebMD all agreed that "Trust" is an essential part of an online community and the exchange of information, essentially saying that information comes from trust, and trust cannot be forced by simply pushing information.

Michael Yang (VP & GM Yahoo! Health) announced a collaboration with Healthgrades and will be getting into the healthcare provider search game.

Organized Wisdom announced that they are creating Provider 'Wisdom Cards' so consumers can learn more about their doctors.

West Shell, CEO of Healthline, had a nice demo of his health search site - he talked about their intelligent ad targeting and how they have built a taxonomy to make the ads more contextually relevant - When searching for "AAA" on a health site, think "Abdominal Aortic Aneurism," not flat tires.

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Health 2.0 Pre-Conference Highlights: Provider Social Networks, Pharma, and Consumer Search

Tags: Health 2.0 by Jason • October, 21 2008

Will you be at Health 2.0?  Ozmosis hopes to see you there!

I have the absolute privilege of participating in the Health 2.0 conference this week in San FranciscoHealth 2.0 has been defined a number of different ways, but in my view, it's a movement that encompasses the various social web technologies, companies, and ideas that are driving innovation in healthcare and healthcare delivery.

Ozmosis will be highlighted in the Clinical Social Networks panel on Wednesday, October 22.  The panel is moderated by Enoch Choi, MD of PAMF and MedHelp.  Other panelists include Brijesh Mehta a Co-Founder of MedicalPlexus, Lance Hill the CEO of Within3, Tobin Arthur the CEO of iMedexchange, and Rex Jakobovits the Creator of MyPacs.net.

During the panel, I will be showcasing some of the new personalization and trust features being released shortly on Ozmosis.  I will share a more detailed review of the features in an upcoming blog post.

This year’s Health 2.0 conference is full of great sessions and I look forward to seeing many of the other demonstrations and updates from companies and products that I have been following intently. From the Patient-Provider Communication panel I will be watching for new insights from Teladoc, they offer an innovative approach to telemedicine and an affordable solution for access to care.  I am going to pay close attention to the Provider Search and Directory panel, where we will see speakers from Consumer Aware, HealthWorldWeb, ZocDoc, and Emphasis Search - provider search and ranking is a very real concern of mine.
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Ozmosis Community Shares Insights on Treating Migraine Headaches

by Jason • September, 19 2008

I continue to enjoy the great exchanges of medical knowledge on Ozmosis. As physicians from across the country add their insights to the community, doctors are learning from each other and improving patient care every day. Since the clinical insights shared on Ozmosis can benefit all of us, I intend to highlight, from time to time, what we are learning. In a recent discussion on Migraine Headaches (a common and often vexing affliction that physicians across many specialties deal with), our members collaborated on ways to help Migraine sufferers. Below are some of the key points:

- The treatment of acute and chronic migraines differs greatly across specialty and geography

- Prevention of triggers is useful and worthwhile but can be a compliance challenge

- Anecdotal reports from physicians within the Ozmosis community indicate that Alka Seltzer and Intra-Nasal Lidocaine may be options for treatment of acute migraine

- A recent, industry sponsored study, shows Botox may be efficacious in chronic migraine management and is one of the trusted treatment options in certain cases of chronic migraines among Ozmosis Physicians.

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Looming Physician Shortages Continue to Make Headlines

Tags: Obama by Jason • September, 15 2008


The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published recent survey results that demonstrated a significant decline in the number of medical students who intend to go into Primary Care.  An abysmal 2% of students planned to go into Primary Care Internal Medicine and 5% into Family Medicine.  This in the face of the aging Baby Boomer population and the obvious need for more physicians to manage their care (estimates are 85,000 physicians short by 2020.) 

Family Physicians, general Internists, and Pediatricians make less than 50% of the salaries of some of our specialist counterparts
- while this is not the only reason for entering specialties, it contributes.  We are in essence paid more to fix problems with procedures than to prevent them with good care.  I think Dean Ornish hit the nail on the head with his article "The Collapse of Primary Care" in Newsweek where he states:
 

For example, insurance companies pay more than $30,000 to amputate a diabetic foot even though most amputations are preventable by scrupulous foot care organized by a primary care doctor for a few hundred dollars and which is often not even covered by insurance or Medicare.

I think once we figure out our priorities as a country, the rest should fall into place - although not without a significant sacrifice from all involved.  

Even Barak Obama has indicated that there is a significant problem in the works - this in response to the AAFP Candidate Survey question dealing with Workforce Development: What is your plan to increase the number of medical students who choose family medicine and primary care?

To increase the number of medical students who choose family medicine and primary care, I will expand funding—including loan repayment, adequate reimbursement, grants for training curricula, and infrastructure support to improve working conditions—to ensure a strong workforce that will champion prevention and public health activities.

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Terre Haute, Indiana - the Home of actionable solutions in the Primary Care Crisis

by Jason • August, 25 2008

In the town of Terre Haute, near Indiana State University (yes, where Larry Bird played basketball) a noble experiment in healthcare innovation is taking place.  The Lugar Center for Rural Healthcare is redefining how a Family Medicine Residency Program, a Teaching Hospital (Union Hospital), a Medical School (Indiana University School of Medicine), and a Community (Indiana AHEC) can work together to innovate and develop a sustainable and reproducible model for rural health care.

Their mission, "to prepare and train primary care physicians for successful rural practice," is needed more today than ever before.  As the nation confronts the stark realities of a growing primary care shortage, the Lugar Center is focused on using technology and innovative practices to improve medical access for patients and resources for physicians. 

 

The Lugar Center has adopted two core principles to deliver more effective rural health care:
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MedPedia vs Google Knol: The Medical Knowledge Share Wave Gains Momentum

by Jason • August, 02 2008

Announced only last week, Google Knol and MedPedia are already drawing more attention to online collaboration in medicine.

The "Wave" is definitely approaching (see my first Blog post), and whether we are ready or not, the world of medicine is changing. Google Knol and MedPedia represent two of the latest trends, and the question is, which one is worth the ride?

Google Knol (Knol stands for a 'unit of knowledge') is described by Wired as a "Wikipedia-like online encyclopedia penned by authoritative sources", and according to TechCrunch, Medpedia offers an "online collaborative medical encyclopedia". Both build upon earlier wiki based medical resources such as AskDrWiki from the Cleveland Clinic and WikiDoc which is maintained by Harvard. So how are they different?

Google Knol

1. Anyone can register and post a Knol - Google only verifies your identity, not your expertise.
2. Readers can comment on a Knol but cannot directly edit the posting - Knol authors do not appear to be required to maintain or update their Knols.
3. Multiple posts can exist on any topic - Traditional Google search ranks by popularity, not accuracy. Will Google modify their rankings to promote Knols?

MedPedia

1. Experts (MDs, PHDs, etc) will post and review content - This appears to be an exclusive club (I requested an account but have not yet heard back)
2. MedPedia will select their experts - Some have already raised concerns regarding the lack of transparency to the process - Is this just another way for top institutions to market their services?
3. Committees and Boards of experts will oversee the content generated and edited in their fields of expertise. - Is this really any different from todays 'Top Down' approach? How will MedPedia capture and share the collective knowledge of the medical community, i.e. is this scalable?
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Videos From Social Media Experiment at UVA

by Jason • July, 24 2008

What happens when you take two innovative, social media companies, add a room full of intelligent and knowledgeable physicians and turn on the camera and bright lights? The answer is, tons of fun and and some great videos with clinical insights. The Doctors Channel has produced the first videos from our social media experiment at the UVA School of Medicine, which are NOW LIVE!

These videos are also being viewed and discussed by the physicians who were featured in them. Members of Ozmosis can watch the videos and join in the discussion. The beauty of the project is that not only can physicians access these clinical pearls anytime, but on Ozmosis, we may also directly engage and discuss the information with the 'stars' themselves. While in Charlottesville, I also had the opportunity to present, "How Physicians Can Use Social Media to Improve Medicine", (see authorSTREAM presentation below) at UVA's Grand Rounds.

During the presentation, we had some great discussions about how physicians can use social media and social networking tools (thanks David Rothman) to mix evidence with experience, enable more meaningful and more frequent exchanges with our peers, connect physicians across geographies and bridge the gap between academia and the trenches.

Jason Bhan, MD Co-Founder, Ozmosis

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Medicare Payment: Not the Whole Problem

by Jason • July, 14 2008

On July 10, the U.S. Senate approved legislation that will delay cuts in Medicare reimbursements to physicians. Already passed by the House of Representatives and on its way to the White House, the bill delays the scheduled 10.6 percent cut for 18 months and provides a 1.1 percent increase in reimbursements to physicians and bonuses for doctors serving in rural communities.

Despite these short-term changes, physicians remain vigilant about the future of Medicare. Will we be able to continue to care for Medicare patients, let alone take on new ones? Unfortunately, the situation is far more complex than the general public believes. The problems we have in caring for older patients reach far beyond possible restrictions in Medicare payment.

We, as physicians, need to engage in dialogue on how to care for patients with serious chronic conditions. Now projected as the leading cause of disability by 2020, chronic conditions are draining the U.S. healthcare system. Heart disease alone cost some $400 billion in 2006, says The Silver Book, while diabetes has increased 50 percent in the last 10 years, according to the National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse. Diabetes now affects some 20.8 million people, but will double by 2020. At the same time, cancer’s price tag is more than $70 billion a year, says the Agency for Research and Quality.

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Social Media Experiment at UVA Grand Rounds

by Jason • June, 24 2008

Ozmosis and The Doctor’s Channel To Examine How Physicians View Social Media During UVA Grand Rounds And Video Shoot

  • When – Friday, June 27, 2008
  • What – Physician Video Shoot Hosted by Ozmosis and The Doctor’s Channel at Family Medicine Grand Rounds (Video interviews in studio at UVA Hospital West Complex)
  • Where – University of Virginia School of Medicine and Hospital, Charlottesville
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3G iPhone, Health2.0 and a World of Possibilities

by Jason • June, 10 2008

Steve Jobs announced the long awaited 3G iPhone or iPhone 2.0 yesterday. The new devices will be available July 11, 2008 and start at $199 for the 8 gig version (AT&T contract required). (See the initial Engadget review of the iPhone. While the majority of consumers will easily become enamored with the new phone's faster Web surfing speeds, slimmer profile and global positioning system (GPS) support, physicians and healthcare professionals must ask more relevant and intriguing questions: What kind of impact, if any, will the speedier iPhone have on healthcare and medicine? How will it help transform physician practice and care delivery? What's its potential for reducing medical errors and ensuring quality of care? Physicians who are optimistic and enthused about the e-medicine revolution eagerly await the launch of Apple's App Store, through which Apple will offer iPhone applications from third-party developers.

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Missing in Action: A Call for Physician Leadership and Involvement in E-Health Innovation

by Jason • May, 30 2008

A May 2008 American College of Physicians (ACP) report focuses on e-health. "E-health is an emerging field in the intersection of medical informatics, clinical practice, public health, and business," says the ACP in E-Health and Its Impact on Medical Practice. The ACP further describes e-health as "health services and information delivered or enhanced through the Internet and related technologies." ACP uses its report to cover three major areas of e-health: telemedicine, patient use of the Internet as a health information source and personal health records (PHRs).

As health policy analyst Jane Sarasohn-Kahn writes in her blog, the ACP report demonstrates that physicians are embracing e-health. Interestingly, the report does not mention a new, powerful and emerging area of e-health: Internet technologies designed exclusively by and for physicians. Physicians' use of these technologies has already demonstrated a potential to improve patient care, as evidenced in research in the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice, and in an Information Week report, "Physicians Leaning More on Internet Technologies".

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Resist Change or Join the Online Revolution: A Physician’s Dilemma and Opportunity

by Jason • May, 10 2008

I enjoy taking a look back at a 2004 article published in the British Medical Journal entitled “Easy Ways to Resist Change in Medicine.”

Written by two evidence-based medicine gurus, the article satirizes the tactics physicians use to obstruct and resist change.

Of course, physicians aren’t alone in resisting change. The reasons for knee-jerk responses to change are numerous and entirely understandable. Among them:

  • Fear of failure
  • No obvious need
  • Loss of control
  • Fear of the unknown
  • Unwillingness to learn
  • Lack of support
  • Fear that the new way won’t be any better
  • Close mindedness
  • Lack of money

Most of us have been guilty of these behaviors at some point in our professional lives. And yet, as physicians, we can no longer resist the dramatic shift in online health and medicine. The stakes are just too high and we can’t afford to miss another opportunity.

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Searching for Doctor Right

by Jason • April, 28 2008

At the AMA’s 28th Annual Medical Communications Conference, held April 16-18, 2008, in San Diego, I had the opportunity to serve as a panelist for a session on social media in medicine. The audience featured media savvy professionals, many of whom were physicians. I could not have asked for finer fellow panelists than Craig Stoltz, one of Time’s Top 25 Bloggers, David Rothman, an expert on online search and medical web technology, and Eric Wright, our video guru from DSS.

I was struck by the level and quality of group participation and the questions surrounding new and innovative uses of the Web. We spent time discussing Web Presence, how and when to blog or distribute videos, the rationale behind Search Engine Optimization(SEO), and how patients search for their physicians on Google. If physicians aren't actively involved in enhancing their Web presence, potential patients are likely to find search results from a physician rating site or—even worse—no results at all. Since so many Web sites mention a physician by name (even Zagats offers physician ratings now), it’s virtually impossible for the average physician to provide adequate monitoring and surveillance. At a minimum we should check our reviews on the more significant rating sites, including Healthgrades (http://www.healthgrades.com) and RateMD (http://www.ratemd.com).

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The Wave Is Approaching, Are We Ready?

by Jason • April, 16 2008

Over the past few years, we have seen increased use of social media throughout healthcare. Consumers are utilizing new online communities and tools to help make healthcare decisions. According to a recent survey, the Internet is the most widely used resource for health information: 59% of adults use online resources to obtain health and wellness information, 55% go to their doctors and 29% talk to relatives, friends or co-workers. (iCrossing Survey) Innovators such as Patients Like Me, Inspire, ChangeHealthcare, ReliefInsite, and many others are empowering patients and helping to improve care.

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