February 17, 2010

Backward Ho!

When I was a wee lad, way back when dinosaurs roamed the earth, I traveled across the country in a motor home. Yes it was so long ago they weren’t even called recreational vehicles yet. We were in a group with a few other families. My Uncle Jack aka “the Moose” aka “Uncle Moose” was our fearless leader. He may have been one of the aforementioned dinosaurs. (I mean that in a loving old school rocks kinda way.)

We hit all your name brand National Parks and some lesser scenic venues. When it was time to go The Moose would holler, “Backwarrrrrrrd HoooooOoooooo!” Kids would come running and scrabble into their respective vehicles and the caravan pulled out to new adventures. The call was a satire of the old pioneer wagon train movies’ ‘Forward Ho.’ It was always funny because Uncle Jack sold it and the scramble was a spectacle we reveled in producing with him.

The Moose has been leading motor home caravans to your name brand National Parks and lesser scenic venues of the Great Beyond for decades. Yet his call of Backward Ho seems to have taken hold with the purveyors of connected and mobile medical devices.

Sadly they haven’t figured out Uncle Jack was all about the next adventure and was kidding with the backwards bit.

My feed reader tries to keep track of what is news in the medical mobile wireless connectivity world. I want it to find the Holy Grail of diabetes data management - software that is worth using. It would get all the various diabetes toys to play nice at the scenic overlook and come scrambling sharing information at the first call. Here is the kicker the toys should just do it so we don’t have to. Then make some kind of useful suggestions. No Holler needed.

My feeder gives me tons of articles to read. Blood glucose get mentioned a lot of these articles so does the Continua Health Alliance. Alert YDMV readers may notice I have written about Continua before. This week the news is all about how GSMA (a cell phone innards association) is partnering with Continua.

Sounds like progress right? So what does it have to do with The Moose?

Simple, we are going backwards. You know that Health 2.0 bit where health care consumers have a voice? Amy has written aboutHealth 2.0 saying:

“I’ve spoken and written a lot on Health 2.0 myself, and when people ask me what the term means, I usually give them this simple two-part explanation:

1) Health 2.0 is where new, interactive web technology meets a new, more patient-centered approach to healthcare. It’s giving people access to tools and information they never had before, to empower them.

2) It’s about changing the engagement model with healthcare providers, so that “the medical establishment” treats patients more like partners in their own care.

Sadly this not what my reader is telling me. Patients as partners is not part of the mobile e-patient plan. Backward 1.0!

Development is very much a function of trade associations of Big Honking Companies. I once asked Continua, 'Where do patients fit in?'

They said, in essence, the Big Honking Companies employ a lot of people. They want to take care of those people and that is how consumers get represented. Oh and they want to keep their health cost in check so electronic records are awesome. I may be over simplifying a tad but not much.

To all you Big Honking Companies out there, the Holy Grail is about collecting our data and providing us with actionable information to help self manage. Our use of the stuff you see as brands, franchises and annuity streams from consumables is a function of you partnering with us as we self manage.

Forward 2.0

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