The White House Conference on Aging

Lawn sign in front of the White House announcing the Conference on Aging July 13

The White House Conference on Aging only happens once every ten years — and it’s happening tomorrow.

The program begins at 10 a.m. ET on Monday, July 13, and will be livestreamed: https://www.whitehouse.gov/live

I’ll be on a panel in the late afternoon talking about technology and the future of aging, directly after Tim Brown and Barbara Beskind discuss universal design. (Read this Wall Street Journal article about some of Beskind’s ideas.) Continue reading

The Value of Data

Health care is in danger of missing the point.

Patient Records by ken fager on flickr

(A repost from 2014 that’s relevant today thanks to announcements at HIMSS.)

In 1999, when I was the editor of USNews.com, the dot-com boom was in full swing. Money seemed to be gushing out of the Bay Area and some sharpies at U.S.News saw an opportunity to cash in. They proposed slicing out the most marketable piece of the website — the education franchise — and selling it off for a minority stake in a college applications start-up. Continue reading

“We just flipped a switch.”

Quote

“At one level, we just flipped a switch. It wasn’t a complicated, multi-faceted, variegated intervention. All we did was open up the doctor’s notes… Out of that came a cascade.”

– Tom Delbanco talking about OpenNotes and how a seemingly simple change — allowing patients to view clinicians’ notes from their visits — is having a profound effect on health care. (This quote is around minute 13.)

Check out the rest of the line-up for the latest RWJF Pioneering Ideas Podcast and listen to it here:

Where do you see opportunities for simple changes in the way we pursue health? Feel free to comment here, on the RWJF podcast page, or tweet @LoriMelichar, who produces the show.

Recognizing the value of data

In 1999, when I was the editor of USNews.com, the dot-com boom was in full swing. Money seemed to be gushing out of the Bay Area and some sharpies at USNews saw an opportunity to cash in. They proposed slicing out the most marketable piece of the website — the education franchise — and selling it off for a minority stake in a college applications start-up.

I was aghast. There were good editorial reasons to not sell out to this particular company. But what shocked me was that the publisher did not recognize the value of the school rankings data, laboriously collected and coded each year. That was the gold mine we were just beginning to explore. Continue reading

Big data, red flags, better health?

A new interview with Stephen Wolfram on “why he thinks your life should be measured, analyzed, and improved” popped up on the same day that American Medical News ran a story advising clinicians to look for “red flags” like unfilled prescriptions and delayed screenings since it may mean the patient has lost their job or is having transportation trouble.

What if the big data vision of ubiquitous surveillance comes true and people are monitored — and helped — to a much greater degree than they are now?

No answers, just questions, but I thought I’d share. What do you think?

An aside: I love how MIT Technology Review lists “upcoming articles” at the bottom of their Big Data Gets Personal feature. I may steal that for upcoming research reports and blog posts (no dates attached, just ideas I know I’ll write about).

What people living with disability can teach us

The Pew Internet Project recently issued a short report noting that people living with disability are less likely than other adults in the U.S. to use the internet: 54%, compared with 81%. The first question many people ask when they hear that is, Why? The second is, What can be done? The third is, or should be, What can we learn from this? Continue reading

“Give Us Our Dammed Data” – Regina Holliday–Susannah Fox

17 health-care authors painted by Regina Holliday

Regina Holliday's painting, "Give Us Our Dammed Data" (Photo by Cindy Throop)

17 authors with weapons in hand stare down upon the viewer. The three panel painting measures 60 inches by 144 inches. It is a very large painting, and yet it is crowded with those who have been hurt and those who have suffered. Every one of them is an author. Nearly everyone in the painting took the hurt and outrage they felt about a dysfunctional medical system and channeled that into a book. That book is their shield and their pen is a spear.

(Read Regina Holliday’s complete post, “Give Us Our Dammed Data” about her show at Clinovations in Washington, DC)

Health Geek Radio: Adam Bosworth’s Straight Talk Express–Susannah Fox

Adam Bosworth of Keas delivered quite a lecture yesterday at the Alliance for Healthcare Foundation. He talks about how Americans don’t really like data (but they need it), why “frugal innovation” is the best path for start-ups, how e-Patient Dave shook up the EHR world, why health privacy legislation would kill patient-driven research, and why texting is way more promising than any smartphone app.

I call this “health geek radio” because you should just listen while you are doing other things – the visuals aren’t great.