World Health Care Congress Consumer Connectivity Summit Presentation

Here’s the presentation I’m giving this afternoon at the World Health Care Congress Consumer Connectivity Summit. Regular SMUGgles will note significant similarities to my previous presentations, but for those attending the Summit or who are unfamiliar with what we’ve been doing with social media at Mayo Clinic, I hope this will be a helpful resource.

Please feel free to chime in with any questions or comments below; it can help illustrate some of the benefits of social media, in that it allows conversations to continue even after the presentation is complete.

You also can follow the stream of tweets at #whcc2.

WHCC Innovator’s Showcase

During my presentation as part of the Innovator’s Showcase at the World Health Care Congress Leadership Summit on Consumer Connectivity, I’ll be talking about three kinds of health care innovation in social media. 

Straightforward application of technology, but in a health care setting.

This is the “Use as Directed” level of innovation; what is innovative is that many in health care have not taken advantage of these tools. As Mayo Clinic examples we have:

  • Facebook Fan page. We have 5,497 fans as of this writing. We established our page on November 6, 2007, the first day Facebook made pages available. To find out why we moved so quickly, see Track 1.
  • YouTube channel – We were able to customize the look to match our site, including a link to our site from the Mayo Clinic logo.
  • YammerTwitter for the Enterprise. This is a tool for workplace collaboration that you can try before you buy. You don’t have to spend on something when you don’t know whether users will…well, use it. If you don’t have a email address you can’t see our Yammer site, and even if you do work at Mayo you can’t see our Social Media Team group or our Sharing Mayo Clinic editorial team group. See the Yammer curriculum for more details, but a key benefit of Yammer is the ability to hold meetings asynchronously.
  • Dropbox – Lets you mirror audio/video files “in the cloud.” You can get 2 GB of storage at no cost.
  • Blogs – If 100 million people can start blogs, it can’t be too hard for your organization. And if you don’t need branding/customization, it can even be free, but the customization is inexpensive and relatively easy.

Thinking like MacGyver – how can you creatively combine cheap (or even free) and readily available tools to accomplish your goals?


Facebook groups: Options include open groups like the WHCC group, closed groups like Health Science Career Festival Alumni, or even secret groups like the One Voice Group to gather feedback from a patient advisory group. Depending on your need for exclusivity or privacy, you can adapt these group types to get started quickly to see whether these applications would be beneficial and whether your target group would join. If you find that these are successful, or if you identify barriers to success, you can use what you’ve learned to perhaps develop a customized, single-purpose social network.

Blogs – In addition to our Sharing Mayo Clinic blog for patients and staff to share their stories, we have others hosted externally and mapped to subdomains of our Web site:

  • Podcast blog to host and serve our podcasts. Here’s a post on POTS and another on Niemann-Pick Disease Type C.
  • News blog that serves as our password-protected multimedia online newsroom, with video and audio resources for journalists. After embargo, these provide great resources for patients too.
  • This week we launched our Physician Update blog.

YouTube is the video server for our blogs, and Dropbox enables us to make large video files available for download without the muss and fuss of FTP. To see an example, right-click and “Save As…” here to download a 60 Mb video file to your desktop, or here is an example of a particular post related to a recent story.

Think Like Dr. Henry Plummer or Dr. John Kirklin.

Among his many innovations, Dr. Plummer essentially invented the PMR that makes today’s EMR possible. Dr. Kirklin took the heart-lung bypass machine developed elsewhere and perfected it.

Similarly in social media, when you have proven the concepts with the free or low-cost tools you can decide whether it’s worth the time and development expense to further customize or to pay for a premium service from a vendor.

We have some Plummeresque applications in the works. Nothing to announce just yet. Watch this space for news as it becomes available.

Microsoft, WebMD and CIGNA on Consumer Medical Data

The title of this session is Next-Generation Consumer Engagement — New-Age Solutions to Advance Consumer-Driven Health.

Jim Mault, M.D., from Microsoft started with an illustration, asking how many people know how to access credit card transactions online vs. getting access to our immunizations or cholesterol test readings. Not surprisingly, only about half of the health geeks here knew how to get these health records. The absurdity defies explanation.

You’re already suffering the risk of someone (a hacker) getting your online health information, but getting none of the benefits.

Need Portability and Interoperability to realize the potential benefits. In HealthVault, Microsoft is developing a health info ecosystem, much like Facebook and MySpace did for digital photography. Unlimited opportunity for you to share your data, on your terms, with whomever you want.

John Young from CIGNA says lifestyle accounts for most of the risk of chronic conditions. He says it’s not a decision of whether to do consumer-driven health care, but how. By year end 59 percent of employers will be using consumer-driven models. Companies need to design their plans as an “on-ramp” to promote consumerism. He says consumerism could save about $2,300 per employee per year within 5 years, without cost shifts. CIGNA’s offering is CIGNA Care Connections, and he says the key is making it simple. Better choices = improved health and lower cost. Incentives drive better decisions. Pharmacy tools enable consumers to compare specific costs for their particular prescriptions. Next up is a Cost of Care Estimator. Patients will get much more interested in how much the bill will be when they have HSAs and similar plans. 

Need to change language; instead of “coinsurance” need to say “amount you pay after the deductible.” The goal is to build confidence and self-sufficiency among consumers.

Craig Froude from WebMD Health Services works with a lot of big employers and health plans with the goal of improving health outcomes and lowering health care costs. They create an individual profile for each IBM employee, for example, and import lots of data from various sources into the system without the employee needing to enter information. Based on these data he says they deliver personalized, targeted information and recommendations. It’s called WebMD Health & Benefits Manager. He says 1.8 million people took a risk assessment last year, and 43 percent started an exercise program, 40 percent changed diet, but 26 percent reported making no changes. His team’s goal is to increase the proportion of users actually taking action.

Vince Kuraitis, the moderator, concluded the presentations with what he calls “5 New Realities”

  1. Personal control of PHI displaces health care incumbents and puts patients in charge. Emerging reality: Patients say: “It’s my data. Hand it over. NOW.” Now HealthVault and Google are making it practical for patients to exercise the rights they already have.
  2. Proprietary IT and processes give way to open standards and collaborative business models. Collaborative Care Management Networks are required to coordinate care, just as you don’t worry today about using a non-network ATM (other than some extra fees.) But 70 percent of PHRs are not interoperable.
  3. The Personal Health Info Network facilitates incremental advances toward interoperability and liquidity. This has been moving very slowly, but now we’re moving from Ready, Aim, Fire to Ready, Fire, Aim
  4. The jury is in: patients will use PHRs. Conventional wisdom says adoption rates are low, but the emerging reality is patients value integrated PHR systems. Kaiser has 30 percent adoption and Group Health has 50 percent.
  5. Google, Microsoft and others are collaborating in creating a new ecosystem. Conventional wisdom says it’s a battle between the titans, but the emerging reality is “It’s a new ecosystem!”

In the ensuing discussion…

Continue reading “Microsoft, WebMD and CIGNA on Consumer Medical Data”