Health 2.0 – will my children micro blog about their health, to pay less for their health insurance while getting better healthcare?

February 16, 2009 — 7 Comments

Will there be full transparency in the future in healthcare?

Quite some while ago I saw a episode of CSI where Twitter was used to validate alibis and past movements to solve a murder case. But I have not yet seen an episode of House or Medical Investigation, two quite popular american medical ´detectives´ shows, using Twitter. I guess that shows how slow the healthcare branch moves towards online social media. So maybe they should? Isn’t the urgency high enough? What can be more urgent than saving lives?

If you know me well enough, you know that Iwant to see if paths towards certain goals can be made more clear. So this Health 2.0 blog is NOT about the generic approaches and its theories. On the contrary, I’ll try to show ways of reasoning that will the numbers to make a path towards Health 2.0 with a successful more tangible.

Getting into Health 2.0
Since last years end I’ve been challenged by one of my client to show that Componence can really be a partner for them in their Health 2.0 ambitions. It has been quite a journey since then and after having met many people (Egbert van Gelder, Satya Kaliki and Bas van Eijdhoven) and read many articles / blogs (especially the blog of Martijn Hulst), I strongly believe that Enterprise 2.0 can be made very tangbile in Healthcare. But even then it seems that there are a lot of non-enterprise factors that make progress in the healthcare industry actually quite hard.

Health 2.0 can be very tangible!
I’ve compared networking technologies before; military operations use top of the nodge networking / communication because they need it to ensure optimal effectiveness of the soliders in the fields. Soldies need to have as much as information as they can get, to make the best decisions, within the shortest times … to save their own lives as well of their men.

In many theories of Enterprise 2.0 the possible gains are hard to put into metrics, which is a key factor in non successful ROI calculations for Enterprise 2.0 projects. But with Health 2.0 it can be quite easy in my opinion:

  • It’s about saving lives – how much is 1 life worth?
  • It’s about preventing medication/treatment mistakes – how many costs can be saved by improve medication guarding?
  • It’s about decreasing the amount of illness days – wouldn’t the aging society of the old economies benefit from this?
  • It’s about improving the efficiency of Healthcare with the patients active involvement.
  • It’s about decreasing insurance costs for healthcare, probably the most expensive personal insurance we all need.

Dutch Health 2.0 – no chance with poor communication / ambition?
In the current phase, The Netherlands is busy to setup a national EPD (Electronical Patient Dossier), a place  where all stake holders can access the same information about a patients health situation. But as Egbert told me, it’s just information and the regulation of who can access it. Without any services …

Yeah, so if you start a national project like that, of course there will be many problems and resistance by the people. I mean, when Bush pushed several legistlations to allow federal agencies to intrude into private data of many, the ambition was clear: prevention of 9-11. But what is the ambition / goal of such a EPD?  On the website of the Ministry national healthcare we can find:

“Het is belangrijk dat zorgverleners veilig en betrouwbaar relevante medische gegevens met elkaar kunnen delen. Dat maakt de kans op medische fouten kleiner en ondersteunt de samenwerking tussen artsen beter.”

roughly translated as:

“It is important that care providers can share relevant medical data with each other in a safe and trusted manor. That makes the chance of medical data smaller and supports the collaboration between doctors better.”

I mean, really, any student could have formulated such a sentence. There is not Web 2.0 ambition in it anywhere, it’s plainly Web 1.0 with a central digital information facility where stake holders can read / write. I mean, in a country where it’s people already are complaining about too much regulations, the government should show a clearer benefit than just some words like ‘important‘, ‘chance of‘ and ‘collaboration‘.

Minister Klink should have more balls
Minister Klink is the person who prevented a group of failing hospitals to go bankrupt and saved it with an organized take over. I mean, hospitals are not banks right? Clearly failing companies must go bankrupt, just look at the automotive giants in the US.

As I’ve blogged before, Enterprise 2.0 can only become a success if such projects / visions are lead by leaders who understands and really do 2.0 stuff. So it’s quite logical that with a leader like Minister Ab Klink, who probably went directly from University, through Science, into Politics, healthcare in the Netherlands will not have a 2.0 vision. Just look at his Linkedin profile, it’s really not up-to-date. Probably he read somewhere that everyone is on Linkedin, but failed to understand that a profile is useless unless you really make it complete and do something with it. See … probably he has no clue about what 2.0 is!

I mean, he doesn’t even have a blog. I personally would, especially if I saw how many blogs write about me (over 200.000 results on ‘Ab Klink Blog‘. I mean, a perfect chance to market my self :)! Ok, I should stop now, I really did not have the intention to bash Ab Klink when I started this blog. Back to my point … he should have more balls to name numbers that will support his ambition, like:

  • From 2011 – it will be publicly visible how often / good the central facilities have been used by the cares supplier, as it will be mandatory to use such systems from the end of 2010.
    • How many consults were there in general vs how many e-consults have been given?
    • How many times did it lead to activity in the EPD?
    • What is the rating for the e-consults / normal consults / availability / communication / after care of this health care supplier?
  • By 2012 – every care supplier who makes mistakes, that could have been prevented by appropriate usage of the central systems like the EPD, needs to face consequences
    • Will get on a public list of doctors who had mistakes that could have been prevented.
    • After 2 warnings will get a XXXXX fine, up to XXXXXX Euro
    • Can loose their license if it keeps on happening
  • By 2013 – 40% of regular consults will be e-consults, supported through a mandatory online appointment system.
    • Increasing the capacity of total consultations with 10%, health care suppliers can see their income increase accordingly.
    • Decreasing the length of waiting lists with 20%, that should result into additional preventing of fatalities.
  • By 2014 – we will have decreased the amount of fatalities by wrong medication with 80%!
    • saving XXX fatalities
    • saving XXXX medical mishabs
    • saving XXXXXXXX Euro’s per year on wrong medication / procedures to correct mistakes
  • By 2015 – saving each person in Holland XXX Euro per year on insurance money
    • Saving Holland with XXX MLN Euro’s per year for the whole population
    • While at the same time providing better healthcare.

It always starts with yourself
As I do believe in the possibilities and benefits of Health 2.0, I will start myself (and convince BT to help me) to micro blogging about my soon to be here newborn about his / her health situation. And I will try to push this facility to the doctors who will treat my baby.

And from a professional point of view, I will lead Componence to produce a new Health 2.0 productline for the future portals of hospitals. With such actions I hope that Componence will help many societies to improve their healthcare in order to save lives and improve the experiences of their patients.

A personal note to Mr. Ab Klink
Mr. Klink, if you’ll ever read this blog, please do respond or start your own weblog to show us how you’ve intended it all in your scientific mindset. And if you’re not weary of criticism, do invite me through Linkedin to help you in your process to really do Web 2.0. I mean, just look at what Obama 2.0 brought 😉 And if you really want to save some money, don’t give out subsidies for thinktanks that will just write reports that lack the path to execution.

There are many professionals in the Netherlands who would gladly provide the advice for free, saving some taxpayer’s money with it. I mean it’s for our healthcare, including our children! Just send me a message and I’ll organize something for you.

7 responses to Health 2.0 – will my children micro blog about their health, to pay less for their health insurance while getting better healthcare?


    Haven’t read it yet – but just a quick note – my friends company I was talking about before:


    I really enjoyed your first blog on healthcare 2.0. From a 50,000 foot view the answers to healthcare problems look so basic, but at the surface you start to see how really complex it is. Medicine in most cases is not a paint by numbers game. A standard treatment for one person might not yield the same result for another. Another point to keep in mind is that higher quality sometimes leads to lower costs. I would add that you need to try and determine at what cost are we willing to pay for an extra year of life. Are we willing to use excessively expensive interventions that do not yield a positive ROI combined with a positive quality of life outcome? I also have comments on your main points:
    • It’s about saving lives – how much is 1 life worth? – No one really knows this until it is you or a close loved one that is trying to answer this in real life encounters this question.
    • It’s about preventing medication/treatment mistakes – how many costs can be saved by improve medication guarding? – Agree with you, but nothing is perfect. What is an acceptable level of error?
    • It’s about decreasing the amount of illness days – wouldn’t the aging society of the old economies benefit from this? Yes but at what cost?
    • It’s about improving the efficiency of Healthcare with the patients active involvement. Patients need information to become informed and they need skin in the game to really care about it. Health challenges are long term. Take smoking if you started smoking at age 15 you will not see the effects until much later in life. If smoking killed you with in 1 year we would see only a handful of people die from smoking because the impact would be immediate.
    • It’s about decreasing insurance costs for healthcare, probably the most expensive personal insurance we all need. Yes it is about decreasing cost, but also about aligning the incentives. Reward good behavior and punish bad behavior. Everyone has to have a stake in the game.
    We have not even touched on technology and patient provider connectivity yet. I think the first place to start is to look at the foundation. How is medicine being delivered and how are people being rewarded in the market.


    Good comment Arthur,

    I do agree that many things can be made relative. But I do believe numbers can make people better understand whether something is worth investing – changing. Without numbers it´s always more difficult to take a standpoint, in my opinion often politics goes slow because of it.




    Hi 🙂
    I liked this post.
    The idea of calculating $ of one single life is quite interesting. I mean that it definitely can be expressed in $, in any world economy, no matter if it is NL with good health-care infrastructure or UA with its unofficial payments.
    Further about you telling it’s not WEB 2.0 but just pure WEB 1.0 and simple read/write stuff. I do agree that things should be designed in mind with WEB2.0 but everything starts from data/information design and interfaces. If they can’t manage this stuff then there is no chance to even think about Web2.0. You know, if they had such a bureaucratic approach they will end up in 2010 with something that is already obsolete and old-fashioned.
    Also it’s a good idea to evaluate mistakes of health-care providers and share it publicly. But I’m a bit skeptical on this since I am sure such evaluation/judgment is extremely complex thing, much more complex then construction of Health2.0 IT structure.

    In general: good luck for you in starting this branch. It is something useful for the society so I think luck is inherent here 🙂


    Just passing by.Btw, you website have great content!

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