Red Hat Summit – Sun, Sand, and Health 2.0

Summit (sŭm’ĭt) n.
  1. The highest point or part; the top.
  2. The highest level or degree that can be attained.
  3. A conference or meeting of high-level leaders, usually resulting in a call to action

As mentioned previously, I was fortunate to visit with the Matthew Szulik, the CEO of Red Hat last fall. We discussed a wide range of topics, including how Red Hat could potentially get involved with the largest industry in the world – healthcare. Matthew was much taller than I expected (and I was much younger than he expected), and I was impressed with him on multiple levels, including his vision for what Red Hat was “really” about.

I like to think I left him with a favorable impression as well, as both a huge healthcare initiative (beginning with the recent HIMSS announcement and webinar [no longer available?]) and an invitation to speak at the upcoming Red Hat Summit followed. My topic will be on “Healthcare 2.0 – the Enabling Technologies and Reform Initiatives that will Redefine Healthcare“. The idea overall concept has begun to get traction on multiple levels, and people are beginning to talk and think about its implications. To further highlight that the concept has merit, people have already begun to throw stones at the idea as an overhyped buzzword compliant waste of time. Heck, an entire conference has been created to continue the debate.

I believe most people have missed the point of my concept of Health 2.0 – it is primarily rooted in the reform movements that are current taking hold within the healthcare system. Again to restate my definition of Health 2.0 (which no one has commented on by the way!):

“New concept of healthcare wherein all the constituents (patients, physicians, providers, and payers) focus on healthcare value (outcomes/price) and use competition at the medical condition level over the full cycle of care as the catalyst for improving the safety, efficiency, and quality of health care.”

There is actually nothing in my concept of Health 2.0 that has to do with directly with technology, or hype, or bubble, or buzzword compliance, etc. My belief is that Health 2.0 is a new paradigm for health delivery which will be enabled by new ways to organize, to think, to measure, to monitor, and to improve healthcare outcomes. That many of these objectives must, of necessity, be transacted through a technology medium is not the point. I believe that as we reorganize around how we deliver care – with a laser like focus on healthcare value – we can begin to shift all the convoluted cross/reverse/perverse incentives that plague our system. With everyone focused (incented?) on value – we can begin to make some progress.

Clearly, there will be lots of interesting startups that will be the corporate medium through which these technologies will come to market. I have attempting to highlight these change agents in the past, and have moved that discussion to the Health 2.0 Wiki site for ongoing update by a small, but growing, community of interested participants. Again, I have attempted to define these companies by the things that they share in common:

“Next generation health companies that leverage the principles of openness, standards, and transparency; utilize the technology tools of collaboration, information exchange, and knowledge transfer; and focuses on delivering value added services that empower health participants (patients, physicians, providers, and payers) with freedom, choice, and accountability for health outcomes.

I look for the upcoming Red Hat Summit to serve as a forcing function for me – to sharpen the concept of Health 2.0, to force me to cut through the hype, to generate an engaging call to action, and to demonstrate that this concept has merit, momentum, and most importantly – some MoJo (Permian style!).

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Filed under Change Agents, Conferences, Health 2.0, Open Source

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