Xconomy Forum on Health IT: Searching for the Consumer Payoff—or an App as Compelling as Facebook

11/5/10Follow @bvbigelow

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healthy behavior (such as exercise) and to discourage unhealthy behavior (over-eating, smoking). He also oversees related research, such as the genetic underpinnings that social networks have on health—work by UCSD’s James Fowler and Harvard’s Nicholas Christakis that became the basis for “Connected,” their provocative book on how such things as “happiness” and “obesity” are related to who you know.

The main event, however, is a panel discussion among some power players in health IT, beginning with Arlene Harris, the first woman inducted into the “Wireless Hall of Fame.”

Harris founded Del Mar, CA-based GreatCall a mobile virtual network operator for Jitterbug, a cellular phone and service created to simplify the entire cellular experience. Jitterbug offers an uncomplicated phone capable of providing a variety of sophisticated services, including check-in calls, medication reminders, and “LiveNurse,” a 24/7 service that won the “Best Mobile Consumer Application Award” at the 2009 CTIA Wireless IT and Entertainment conference.

Joining Harris on the panel is Jean Balgrosky, a former CIO for Scripps Health in San Diego, who has been studying the potential benefits of electronic medical records—and where the potential benefits are not being realized—as part of the doctorate she is just completing at the UCLA School of Public Health. Also on the panel is Sharp Healthcare CIO Bill Spooner, who spearheaded the implementation of an electronic medical record (EMR) at Sharp, a seven-hospital system that ranks among the largest integrated health care systems in California.

Our final panelist is Nathanial “Nat” Findlay, the founder and CEO of Quebec-based Myca Health, a Web-based platform commercialized in the United States as Hello Health. I’m eager to hear how Myca’s Software-as-a-Service technology platform, which has been described as part electronic medical record, part practice-management, and part social-networking site, has been deployed in the corporate health centers of companies like Qualcomm and Apple.

Rounding out the event are what we call “burst” presentations by startup CEOs at companies developing technologies with the potential to revolutionize healthcare. We’ve asked Mark McWilliams of MediPacs and Kian Saneii of Independa to describe how they hope to change the world—and also to explain what the consumer payoff will be.

Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at bbigelow@xconomy.com or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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