Frindle: Settling in on a definition of “Health 2.0”

Frindle (frĭn dl) n.

  1. An alternative word to describe a writing instrument or pen
  2. Frindle is a 1996 children’s novel written by the American author, Andrew Clements

As the Health 2.0 machine continues to roll on, it looks like the general public is adopting the more limited definition of the term (Web 2.0 tools and methodologies) as opposed the larger perspective that I have been a proponent of. Having read a very interesting childrens book called Frindle, I am Ok with this process of sorting out what the term means. In the book a maverick 5th grader starts a plot to start using the term Frindle instead of saying “pen”.  What starts out as a small prank snowballs into a national ruckus, subsequent commercialization, and ultimate triumph his 5th Grade Teacher whom he thought was his nemesis but turns out to be his grandest fan in the validation of a new word that makes it into the Webster dictionary.

Beyond being a cute story, it got me thinking about how words are used to describe ideas/concepts. Matthew and I were some of the early users of the term and we ended up in different places with what we felt the word should mean. While it is somewhat semantics and resulted in some friendly gesturing, I still argue that there is no reason to limit the notion to the enabling tools and technology when the larger prize is nothing less than a complete redefinition or first creation of a true health system with the attributes we all desire.

I have slightly revised my definition and will have a few upcoming forums (see speaking schedule below) to see if I can sway the public to take a larger or perhaps longer view of what Health 20 is all about:

“New concept of health care wherein all the constituents (patients, physicians, providers, and payers) focus on health care value (outcomes/price) and use disruptive innovation as the catalyst for increasing access, decreasing cost, and improving the quality of the health care system.”

    I have a few forums to have people continue to see Health 2.0 as the broader movement toward a true 21st Century Health “System”

    Wish me luck in Frindelizing the term “Health 2.0”.

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    1 Comment

    Filed under Conferences, Health 2.0, Innovation

    One response to “Frindle: Settling in on a definition of “Health 2.0”

    1. I was at a talk years ago in NY by William Gibson, author of the famed science fiction book Neuromancer and coiner of the term “cyberspace”.

      He spoke about how when he first created the term he was able to “shovel” into it whatever meaning he wanted it to have – but that as it entered into wider user, it took on its own life…

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