Home Health 2.0: Rules of Engagement

Health 2.0: Rules of Engagement

In the middle of one of the worst economic crises experienced by the US, Health 2.0 AdvisorJane Sarasohn-Kahn confirmed today that US citizens are not as focused on heath care as they were a year ago.

“Twelve months ago,” Jane Sarasohn-Kahn said, “the most important things on American voters’ minds were the war and health care. Two days ago, the most important thing on American voters’ minds is the economy. Health care and the war have taken a backseat.”

This doesn’t mean however, that health care plays second fiddle to the attendees of the Health 2.0 Conference in San Francisco this week – it’s still their driving force. The rules of engagement however, as Clay Shirky pointed out in his keynote on Wednesday, are changing.

According to a study released today by Edelman [PDF], trust and confidence are inversely proportionate to demand for health care. With an aging population, behavior-related chronic conditions, and expensive innovations, companies must help people address their specific personal health concerns with thorough, transparent and specific information.

Additionally, the financial meltdown is aggravating an already weak health system as people forgo or postpone essential health care due to loss of insurance or inability to pay.

The answer, according to the survey, is engagement: “Effective health engagement can build trust, and conversely, trust is the key to deeper engagement,” said Nancy Turett (Edelman).

While the Edelman study serves as a basic guide, the leading providers of health information services have also been monitoring and implementing changes.

WebMD and Aetna

Wayne Gattinella (CEO WebMD), pointed out that health on the Web is no longer only for the electronic literate, a fact that demonstrates the power of electronic information. “Additionally, health care is not only about personal issues anymore,” he said, “but financial as well. Patients want to know how to reduce out-of-pocket costs; they want more information.”

Mark Bertolini (President, Aetna), said the company is hoping to help customers improve communications with their health insurance providers by giving them the option to transfer their personal health records to Microsoft’s HealthVault – “our main focus is on portability,” he said.

The Big (Internet) 3 – Microsoft, Google, Yahoo

Of course, the big three – Microsoft, Google and Yahoo – have plans of their own.

Microsoft, according to Peter Neupert (Corporate VP, Microsoft HSG) is focused on making HealthVault, a platform that allows providers to look at patient information [with their consent], easier to use for physicians and consumers.

Roni Zeiger, (Product Manager, Google Health) told the audience that the most important thing they’ve been hearing is “we want our data,” since the launch of Google Health, a site that allows people to store health information. “This is incredibly hard,” he explained, “people want data, but they also want two more things: it must be easy, and it must be useful.”

Michael Yang (VP & GM Yahoo! Health), said that the biggest changes in the past year are awareness and recognition: “It’s amazing to see how much demand there is for health.”

While these five companies are paving the way to make personal health records available on the Web, the question remains whether we as a society can get used to the idea.

What do you think?

About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Get the biggest tech headlines of the day delivered to your inbox

    By signing up, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy. Unsubscribe anytime.

    Tech News

    Explore the latest in tech with our Tech News. We cut through the noise for concise, relevant updates, keeping you informed about the rapidly evolving tech landscape with curated content that separates signal from noise.

    In-Depth Tech Stories

    Explore tech impact in In-Depth Stories. Narrative data journalism offers comprehensive analyses, revealing stories behind data. Understand industry trends for a deeper perspective on tech's intricate relationships with society.

    Expert Reviews

    Empower decisions with Expert Reviews, merging industry expertise and insightful analysis. Delve into tech intricacies, get the best deals, and stay ahead with our trustworthy guide to navigating the ever-changing tech market.